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Non-alcoholic cocktails for adults


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On 3/24/2022 at 12:31 PM, JAZ said:

 

These days, when I want something tasty but non-alcoholic, I tend toward fresh citrus juice (orange and grapefruit are my favorites) with tonic water (I use Fever Tree) and a big splash of Angostura bitters. The bitters do contain alcohol, although you add so little, it's not much. If you can't have any alcohol at all, you can use Fee Brothers brand bitters, which as far as I know are non-alcoholic. Their Aromatic Old Fashion bitters is pretty close to Angostura.

 

 

Just made this with some fresh mandarins I had on hand, absolutely delicious! 

 

Great idea, would have never thought of citrus and tonic water (though it makes sense given how nicely limes work in G&T's!)

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Aka Shiso Juice makes a nice refreshing drink and growing the red shiso isn't too hard. Well, getting the right amount of sun can be a bit tricky - mine needs full sun in spring and partial shade later. I grow it in pots and it self-seeds for the next year.

 

If you want booze, it makes a nice sub for simple in a Tom Collins

 

Aka-Shiso-Juice-9309-II.jpg

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Certainly nothing fancy, but my fave is Cran-Cherry and sparkling water. Preferably Mountain Valley, but then, I’m a homer.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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9 hours ago, haresfur said:

Aka Shiso Juice makes a nice refreshing drink and growing the red shiso isn't too hard. Well, getting the right amount of sun can be a bit tricky - mine needs full sun in spring and partial shade later. I grow it in pots and it self-seeds for the next year.

  That stuff is fun and tasty. Have you noticed that it doesn't get the bright pink color unless you acidulate it?  If you just extract the juice from the leaves into a syrup it is murky green/brown.  Add a bit of citrus juice or citric acid and it flashes over to pink.

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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12 hours ago, cdh said:

  That stuff is fun and tasty. Have you noticed that it doesn't get the bright pink color unless you acidulate it?  If you just extract the juice from the leaves into a syrup it is murky green/brown.  Add a bit of citrus juice or citric acid and it flashes over to pink.

 

Yes you definitely need the acid, like for braised red cabbage. Mine has been sitting in the fridge for a while and is slightly blue. Needs some lemon to freshen up.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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On 3/30/2022 at 9:21 AM, kayb said:

Certainly nothing fancy, but my fave is Cran-Cherry and sparkling water. Preferably Mountain Valley, but then, I’m a homer.

 

I hadn't even thought of it as part of this conversation, but yeah, a splash of almost any fruit juice in seltzer makes a perfect summer drink. The day I discovered that I stopped buying soft drinks forever.

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Notes from the underbelly

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On 3/27/2022 at 10:10 PM, paulraphael said:

. . .

 

I gather this is what soda fountains were about back in the day. Modern things like coke and root beer are probably sad industrial incarnations of things people used to craft with infusions and fresh-squeezed juices and who knows what else. 

 

I hope this tuns into a whole new culinary category and not just the sad-sack options for people who can't imbibe.

 

eG member @dsoneil has done a lot of research into this (he even posted on this very topic back in 2009). He even wrote a fascinating history of soda fountains called Fix the Pumps (eG-friendly Amazon.com link). Highly recommended. He also hosts the website Art of Drink.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/29/2022 at 1:02 PM, paulraphael said:
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Some NA drinks are priced similarly to alcoholic spirits or liquors. As Cho explained, that may be because of how the ingredients are processed. Extracting or distilling herbs or fruits to produce concentrated flavors uses a lot of product for a small return. And of course, both time and effort go into developing drinks. Still, it’s hard not to feel like some of these drinks are just expensive flavored water. 

Count me among those taken aback by the price points here. 

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On 4/29/2022 at 11:02 AM, paulraphael said:

Fascinating list, beautiful labels. The scary one is described as a "chili dusted watermelon Jolly Rancher." Remember that weird thread where members suggested the most awful three ingredient combos?  Just the idea of a cocktail that involves Jolly Ranchers  makes me want to run for the hills. But I'm also a person who thinks cereal milk ice cream is pathetic.

 

The easiest grown up NA drink for me would be a Virgin Mary. Lots of flavor distractions, addictive heat, goes great with almost all cocktail food. Using good tomato juice is a must, though. I like Knudson's. Also, no pre-made mixes! 

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In Wine Enthusiast, there's an article with a few non-alcoholic cocktail recipes gathered from bartenders: 4 Nonalcoholic Cocktails Perfect for Summer. While they all require purchased non-alcoholic beverages and a couple require making additional ingredients, they seem interesting. (Side note: the author is long-time eG member alacarte.)

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  • 4 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Craig E said:

He's not wrong that its the R&D that you're paying for... Traditional alcohol-based spirits have about 1000 years of prior art to draw on and use to optimize processes and predict what you're going to get.  If n/a spirits have a thousand year run, they'll naturally come down in price as the body of usable knowledge fills in.

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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On 5/25/2022 at 10:54 AM, cdh said:

He's not wrong that its the R&D that you're paying for... Traditional alcohol-based spirits have about 1000 years of prior art to draw on and use to optimize processes and predict what you're going to get.  If n/a spirits have a thousand year run, they'll naturally come down in price as the body of usable knowledge fills in.

 

An added expense with the non-alcoholic concoctions might be short shelf life. For my personal cocktail making, I stick mostly to spirits, so I don't have to worry about expensive fresh things going bad. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/28/2022 at 4:28 PM, cdh said:

Does anybody have any experience with Seedlip and its relatives in the non-alcoholic but distilled genre?  The idea seems interesting, but I've not taken the plunge because I can't imagine them having any body or mouthfeel... Clarified herbal teas are unappealing. 

 

I tried the Seedlip "fake gin" and was severely underwhelmed.

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On 6/21/2022 at 8:19 PM, Orbit said:

 

I tried the Seedlip "fake gin" and was severely underwhelmed.

 

Agree. I have tried one of the Seedlips and I have the other two unopened in my bar for about the past 2 years. I got them to work through the Aviary Zero book. It has a nice flavor, but is essentially flavored distilled water. My main issue is the shelf life - it has the shelf life of opened water, which isn't to say it went bad, but it's only a matter of time before 1 bacteria gets in there and starts something, or oxidation and off flavors take hold. It could also benefit from being thickened a bit. The cost is exorbitant.

 

I have been working on a Chamomile "Champagne" that I am quite happy with. I could drink dozens of these:

  • 1L chamomile tea (brewed with approx 1/4c fresh chamomile flowers)
  • 80g sucrose
  • 16g "champagne acid" (from Liquid Intelligence - or sub 1g citric acid)
  • mix, chill, then heavily carbonate
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