Let's Make a Mocktail Worth Drinking

by Sara Lindquist
Tuesday, Dec 27, 2016



Non-alcoholic drinks need not be bland or boring. Use top quality ingredients and go for balanced flavors, just as you would with a traditional cocktail. (Photo: Sara Lindquist)

Whatever reason you choose not to imbibe, you deserve a delicious drink. 

Mocktails — the slightly irritating moniker for an alcohol-free beverage — have been getting more attention lately. With top-notch bars and restaurants carrying house-made syrups, infusions and fresh juices, teetotalers and those taking a temporary break from booze have come to rightly expect something made with the same care and attention as a classic cocktail.

Here, we show you how to whip up a refreshing blackerry shrub-based drink at home.  What's wonderful about shrubs (fruit infused drinking vinegars) is that they keep for weeks in the fridge and can be enjoyed with a splash of club soda, sipped over ice, or even added to a high-test cocktail. They are the perfect thing to have on hand for a party or the unexpected visitor. To really up the ante, we've included instructions for giving your rocks glass a lime-sugar rim, just like you'd find at your favorite craft cocktail bar.

The mocktail can finally be taken seriously. Now if we could just figure out a better name!

Blackberry Lime Mocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 lime wedge
  • lime sugar for rim (recipe below) 
  • 2 ounces Blackberry Balsamic Shrub (recipe below)
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 4 dashes orange bitters (Fee Brothers is a non-alcoholic option) club soda (to taste)

 

Directions:

1. With a paring knife, slice into the pulp of your lime wedge, being careful not to slice through the skin. Use the cut in the lime wedge to evenly wet the entire rim of a rocks glass with its juice. 

2. Dip the wet rim of your rocks glass into the lime sugar. Shake off excess. 

3. Carefully pour the blackberry shrub, lime juice and orange bitters into your rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice, then top with club soda. 

4. Stir gently, and enjoy. 

Blackberry Balsamic Shrub

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup white, granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

 

Directions:

1. Combine fresh blackberries with sugar in a glass or metal bowl.

2. Using the back of a fork or a potato masher, mash the blackberries into the sugar, stirring as you go to incorporate the sugar into the berry juices.

3. Cover and allow to sit for 2 hours, stirring about halfway through.

4. After two hours, add both vinegars. Stir, cover again, and refrigerate overnight.

5. The next day, using a fine mesh sieve, strain the liquid into a glass jar, pressing the solids gently to remove all the liquid. Discard the solids. Your shrub will keep for several weeks in the fridge. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest (about 1/2 lime)

 

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lime zest.

2. Stir to incorporate, occasionally pressing the mixture into the back of a spoon to release the oils in the zest. 

3. Once combined, pour the mixture into a dish that is wider than the circumference of your cocktail glass to make applying the sugared rim easier.

About the Author

Craving Boston's Sara is a Boston-based cocktail enthusiast and bon vivant. Outside of her job in real estate, she enjoys mixing drinks and entertaining for friends in her tiny Beacon Hill apartment, and eating and imbibing at restaurants and bars – and Instagramming her favorites – throughout the greater Boston region.

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