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Mussina

"cocktail" recipes without hard alcohol

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I am looking for cocktial recipes that can be served in a restaurant that has a liquor permit that is limited to wine and beer. Wine is fairly broad as it encompasses sake (think sake martinis) as well as brandy, eau de vin, champagne, port, etc.

I was wondering whether people had recipes for before dinner drinks when you are limited to no hard alcohol.

Many thanks!!!

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I am looking for cocktial recipes that can be served in a restaurant that has a liquor permit that is limited to wine and beer.  Wine is fairly broad as it encompasses sake (think sake martinis) as well as brandy, eau de vin, champagne, port...when you are limited to no hard alcohol.

Brandy isn't considered hard liquor?

:hmmm:

Are liqueurs allowed to be served mixed in drinks? Or are you "limited" to fortified wines and (hopefully) bitters?

In CA, I know Shochu (essentially low proof Asian vodka) is allowed in restaurants with only beer and wine licenses.

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You are correct - brandy is out.

Our state defines "Spirits" as any beverage that contains alcohol obtained by distillation mixed with drinkable water and other substances in solution, including brandy, rum, whiskey and gin.

"Wine" is any alcoholic beverage obtained by the fermentation of the natural sugar content of fruits, such as grapes or apples or other agricultural products, containing sugar, including fortified wines such as port, sherry and champagne. We can also sell cider up to 6% alcohol.

"Beer" means any beverage obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion or decoction of barley, malt and hops in drinking water.

I just looked up angostura bitters and they don't appear to contain alcohol so they would be fair game.

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I just looked up angostura bitters and they don't appear to contain alcohol so they would be fair game.

I'm pretty sure bitters have alcohol, but are treated separately because they're so damn bitter.

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I wouls start by getting a couple of bottles of good vermouth. Carpano Antica, Punt e Mes, Vya both sweet and dry, and any other you can find, and use thoes to flavor the saki. I'm not sure if Amaros fall into the No Booze Catagory, but they are also wonderful flavoring agents.

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Google the word "mocktail" and see what it gets you.

Perfect a good sangria recipe or two.

Look up all the wine based drinks in any number of good cocktail sites.

Is it not possible to extend the license to spirits for additional monies?? Is there some sort of zoning issue involved?? Seems silly to have a "liquor" license and then not be able to serve the largest revenue producing items. Might as well go BYOB.

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I just looked up angostura bitters and they don't appear to contain alcohol so they would be fair game.

I'm pretty sure bitters have alcohol, but are treated separately because they're so damn bitter.

To my knowledge bitters are considered non-potable, allowing them to be sold without the same restrictions as spirits. I beleive when Regan was working on his no.6 bitters he had trouble because they were considered to be "potable" a number of times.

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here is the quote

  despite numerous problems with the ATF who kept kicking back the formula saying it was too "potable." (In order to get approved as a bitters which, in the USA, makes it a food product despite the 45% alcohol by volume, the bitters must be deemed to be non-potable by the ATF.)
from this post.
Edited by M.X.Hassett (log)

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Is it not possible to extend the license to spirits for additional monies?? Is there some sort of zoning issue involved?? Seems silly to have a "liquor" license and then not be able to serve the largest revenue producing items. Might as well go BYOB.

It is a zoning issue -- the town has a limited ordinance which only permits the sale of wine and beer. It is a high end restaurant -- not a bar -- so the majority of the alcohol served will be wine (which has a fairly substantial markup as well) but we are looking for a few innovative options. We are also considering going the Keller/Trotter route with no pre-dinner drinks but wanted to explore the options first. Thanks much for the suggestion so far.

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We are also considering going the Keller/Trotter route with no pre-dinner drinks but wanted to explore the options first.

I will note Keller does serve cocktails at per se and both bouchon locations...

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I would recommend not making "cocktails" per se, but rather that you offer house-created aperitifs. House made ratafias, for example, might be a good idea (a specialty of 'Tafia in Houston). You could also experiment with infusing or flavoring vermouths, or even making your own.

But without distilled spirits, I don't think there's likely to be much interest in the "shaken or stirred" kind of cocktail.

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I would recommend not making "cocktails" per se, but rather that you offer house-created aperitifs.  House made ratafias, for example, might be a good idea (a specialty of 'Tafia in Houston).  You could also experiment with infusing or flavoring vermouths, or even making your own.

I was wondering about this last night.

Most recipes for ratafias or vermouths call for some percent of liquor. At what point does it become illegal to serve? Is it an ingredient or a percentage thing?

Could you, for example, create essenses of ingredients using high proof alcohol, and then use them to flavor sake? This would make something like a gin-like sake drink possible.

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I will note Keller does serve cocktails at per se and both bouchon locations...

As Keller said . . . New Yorkers "require" cocktails. So true.

I like the aperitifs idea (and champagne of course) and I am intriqued by the ratafias -- which is keeping with seasonal emphasis that the restaurant will have (it will be housed on an organic farm). The portonics sounds great as well. I think we are limited by ingredients but I am not certain about that. Thanks again everyone!

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I am looking for cocktial recipes that can be served in a restaurant that has a liquor permit that is limited to wine and beer.

If your zoning allows sake, maybe it also allows Soju/Shochu, at up to 48 proof? That's the way it is in some states. It's a Korean liquor that's lightly flavored but essentually a neutral spirit - the taste would be lost in most cocktails, anyway. Use a chilled bottle (so it needs less ice/dilution) and use it in cocktails as a replacement for vodka or light rum.

Plus Soju will become super-trendy sometime in the future - I have predicted it.

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About a year ago we were attending a dinner party where the aperitif was simply vermouth bianco (sweet white) combined with tonic water in a cocktail glass. It was surprisingly tasty and will probably work with dry white vermouth if bianco feels too sweet. Note that it was not stirred with ice, so you may want to use chilled glass, vermouth and tonic.

Also, if Campari is not out of question, Americano [1] is good or if you can get Suze [2], try Suze with tonic for something different.

[1] Combine Campari and sweet red vermouth over ice in a tall glass, top with fizzy water and garnish with a slice of orange. See e.g. Cocktaildb for the recipe or Paul Harrington describing the drink more throughly.

[2] Cocktaildb's listing about Suze


Edited by Heikki (log)

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