Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Entertaining
How to Make Virgin Versions of Classic Cocktails

By

For expecting moms, one of the many big adjustments is a pretty sudden change in their relationships to food and drink. Sushi and soft, gooey cheese? Out. Anything with an ABV? Out (obviously). Though there’s not much you can do to quell the craving for raw fish and camembert, cocktail-loving moms-to-be can still enjoy complex, three-plus ingredient drinks in a coupe glass. Taking booze out of your life while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding (or for any other reason) only means that you have to get a little more creative with your drink making.

“It’s kind of like learning to cook vegan for the first time,” says Christy Pope, co-creator of Dallas, Texas, bar Midnight Rambler and mother to a two-year-old daughter. “If you look at alcohol as the meat of your cocktail, how do you take that out and still make something interesting?”

Pope says there’s a lot of potential with non-alcoholic cocktails, whether it be creating ABV-free versions of classics or starting from scratch. And luckily for those with a bun in the oven, bars around the country agree, and are getting into the liquor-free spirit (no pun intended).

“With our non-alcoholic drinks we aim for fresh, creative options that are not drowning in sugar, so that those who don't imbibe know that we care as much about their experience as that of those who do,” says Brittany Tinelli, bar manager at Gramercy Tavern, where the menu includes drinks like the N/A-groni (Sans Bitters, grapefruit, club soda) and the Ginger Swizzle (ginger beer, mint and lime).

Of course, the easiest way to insure you’re getting a delicious booze-free drink is to make it for yourself at home. Here, virgin versions of four of our favorite classic cocktails that prove moms-to-be aren’t relegated to sipping sparkling apple cider and Perrier for the foreseeable future.

Matthew Kelly/Supercall
"A great Jack Rose is like biting into a tart apple,” says Natasha David, co-owner and head bartender at Nitecap  in NYC. As a new mother herself, de-boozifying cocktails is something she’s had time to consider. In her liquor-free take on the Jack Rose, David subs cider in for Applejack brandy. “By using good quality apple cider we're making sure that we get the most apple-y apple flavor balanced with our citrus and tart, home-made grenadine,” she says, adding that the lemon twist garnish helps tie all of those flavors together.

The Essentials

apple cider
lemon juice
grenadine
Matthew Kelly/Supercall
If you’re a fan of the vodka-based Cosmopolitan and don’t want to cut out its delightfully sour presence while you’re expecting, this citrus-packed but booze-free take on the drink from the bar team at Gramercy Tavern hits all the right notes. “The Cosmonot is not necessarily a mirror of the original Cosmopolitan, but it is citrusy, tart, a little red-berry fruity and not overly sweet,” says Tinelli. “That could all be said of the Cosmopolitan.” It blends muddled orange, lemons and limes with grape juice and grenadine. What you end up with is a complex mocktail that looks and tastes darn good—something anyone shunning liquor will appreciate.

The Essentials

Citrus
Grape juice
grenadine
Matthew Kelly/Supercall
“I’m really interested in working with ingredients that have some form of potential medicinal value to them,” says Pope, who created this twist on a Pineapple Rickey using a cilantro-pineapple-turmeric syrup. “Turmeric is one of those wonderful ingredients that you feel is going to cure your every ailment.”  While that may not actually be the case with this virgin Rickey, Pope says it will at least taste like you’re putting something good into your body. The best part is, this drink looks every bit the part of a thirst-quenching tiki cocktail, with pineapple leaves and dehydrated fruit as a garnish.

The Essentials

lime juice
pineapple juice
Cilantro Pineapple Turmeric Syrup
Matthew Kelly/Supercall
If you love Palomas but have to swear off tequila for the next nine months, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you taste this thirst-quenching and agave-free take on the cocktail. This booze-free version of the cocktail from Naren Young of Dante in NYC gets its slightly savory quality from a salted rosemary syrup in place of tequila. At once herbal, citrusy and salty, it’s likely everyone will want to join in on this mocktail adventure—just be sure to use fresh grapefruit juice to get the most flavor you can out of it.

The Essentials

grapefruit juice
salted rosemary syrup
Club soda

Published on

More From Around The Web