Mocktails Make Good

Photo by Kelly Ann Shuler

Drinks for the Dry

You know a trend’s made the big time when none other than The New York Times publishes a piece about it. Such was the case in late June with the latest craze to overtake the drinks industry: mocktails. Seems suddenly everyone’s all about booze-free beverages, which have been around forever. No- or low-alcohol beer, dating back at least as far as Medieval Europe, gained popularity in this country during Prohibition. More recently, Heineken debuted a no-alcohol brew in May. Meanwhile Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit crafted from ingredients like cardamom, thyme and grapefruit, hit U.S. stores including Dean and Deluca at the beginning of the year, just in time for Dry January.

Dry January
Or #dryjanuary as it’s become known on Instagram – is a kind of short-term New Year’s resolution, a pinky-swear promise not to drink through the first month of the year. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to teetotal beside social media fashion, be it pregnancy, religion, meds that make hooch a no-no or just a desire to live a healthier lifestyle. The increased interest in wellness – particularly among Millennials – may be the biggest factor in mocktails  becoming all the rage.

All Grown Up
Whatever the reason, mocktails have grown up, according to Kyle Hurston, bartender at The Harrisburg Arts Center – House of Music, Arts & Culture (HMAC) Hurston notes, “Now the people who are doing them right are gearing them toward an adult audience. Instead of a two-part drink with Strawberry Sprite, it’s becoming something where we’re using four or five different ingredients and care and creativity to make them.”

HMAC Caribbean Breeze
2 oz. Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
2 oz. Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
2 oz. Freshly Squeezed Pineapple Juice
Splash of Tonic Water
1 Fresh Orange Wedge
Combine ingredients and pour over ice. Top with orange wedge.

Cafe 1500's Blackberry Basil Lemonade
2 Fresh Blackberries (+1 for garnish)
4 Fresh Basil Leaves (+2 for garnish)
6 oz. Fresh Lemonade (recipe below)
2 oz. lemon/lime soda
In a shaker tin, muddle the blackberries and basil. Add lemonade and ice and shake vigorously. Serve in a mason jar or glassware of your choice. Top with lemon/lime soda and garnish.
…and Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade
1 pt. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 11 whole lemons)
1 pt. white sugar
In a gallon pitcher, combine sugar and enough steaming hot water to cover it. Stir until dissolved. Add lemon juice and fill with cold water. To serve immediately, add half water, half ice. Stir well before serving.

Rosemary Italian Soda
1 oz. Homemade Rosemary Simple Syrup (recipe below)
7 oz. San Pellegrino Sparkling Water
Fresh-squeezed Juice from a Lime Quarter (or to taste)
Sprig of Fresh Rosemary (for garnish)
Combine ingredients and pour over ice. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.

by Kelly Ann Shuler

…and Rosemary Simple Syrup
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup local grown, organic honey
6 rosemary sprigs
Place sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to boil and cook for three minutes. Remove from heat and add honey, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Add rosemary sprigs. Let syrup cool to room temperature before removing rosemary.