Don’t drink? No problem. Bartenders making special mocktails

on 16/02/11 at 11:10 pm

Booze News

Mocktails

No booze? No problem. Bartenders are taking the mockery out of mocktails and treating non-alcoholic beverages seriously.

There once was a time when Robert Scope might have cringed at the idea of making a virgin cocktail. “If you work at a bar or at a club and somebody orders a non-alcoholic drink, you’re kind of like, ‘Huh?’ ” he says. “I’ve got all these great cocktails on my list, why don’t you want one?”

But these days, the bar manager at Refuel restaurant in Vancouver’s yoga-loving Kitsilano neighbourhood is putting as much effort into his non-alcoholic beverages as his boozy ones, thanks in part to British Columbia’s stricter new drunk-driving laws and a growing recognition of an untapped demand. On his new alcohol-free menu, the same principles apply – using fresh and often local ingredients, balancing the flavours and making sure it looks as appealing as it tastes.

He mixes a purée of locally grown pears with vanilla bean syrup and soda to make a liquor-free version of his popular vodka Pear Vanilla Rickey. He combines ginger ale with cucumber, fresh lemon, lime and basil to create a Virgin Cup No. 1, a sobertwist on the traditional Pimm’s cocktail. And he creates a syrup of local grapes, then adds soda and plum bitters to make a Seneca Nehi, a fresher, more refined cousin of the Shirley Temple.

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