Mocktails are the new black

You’d be hard pressed to go into any new up and coming bistro or bar these days and not see it packed with millennials and hipsters, cocktails in hand having a grand old time. Little do you know that more than half of those cocktails don’t even contain any alcohol at all. They are the newest trend among both bar-goers and living room-mixologists: they are mocktails. All the same carefully selected ingredients, precisely measured liquids and skillful mixing techniques go into these drinks as their alcoholic counterparts minus the booze. Flavors are still as complex, the balancing act of sweet, spicy, sour and fruity are all still part of the process. In short regardless if it is sans alcohol or not, it must enliven the senses.

Mocktail consumers have a variety of reasons to sip these virgin drinks: from avoiding all alcohol to just taking a temporary break, being the designated driver for the evening or simply wishful thinking for avoiding a next day hangover – all good reasons to enjoy the playground of flavors without the drawbacks of alcohol.

Many mixology neophytes that previously shied away from mixing drinks in the past due to the costly alcohol ingredient are feeling freer and more experimental to try their hand at mocktails. Whether it’s recreating a classic in a mocktail version or improvising with new and adventurous flavor combinations, people are excited about this new trend and love to customize their drinks to match events, holidays and even seasons.

Not sure where to begin in your mocktail adventure? Alison Roman of the NY Times suggests to “start with assertive and complex flavors: Think whole, tart lemon muddled with a pinch of salt, or floral hibiscus tea perked up with funky, fermented apple cider vinegar. Then, top with something bubbly and refreshing, whether spicy ginger beer, botanical tonic water or fizzy soda water.”

A great essential to have on hand when you are ready to foray into mocktail-making are the variety of St. Regis wines. They are not only delicious on their own but whether it be the bubbly or the dealcoholized wines they are a perfect jumping off point for mixing.

Because November is synonymous with early planning for the holiday season get a jump on your friends and family by stocking up on the ingredients you will need to prepare the perfect holiday mocktail: The Framboise Royale

Framboise Royale

Framboise Royale

1½ tsp commercial raspberry purée
1 oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice
St. Regis non-alcoholic Brut
Fresh raspberries (as garnish)

In an ice-filled shaker, add all ingredients except the sparkling wine, and mix well
Strain the mix into a champagne flute
Top up with St. Regis Brut
Garnish with raspberries