In this Article
There are a variety of reasons to drink a nonalcoholic cocktail, or mocktail, at a good restaurant. Perhaps you simply don’t drink alcohol, yet you’d prefer to try something a little more exotic than a glass of tap water or a diet soda. Or perhaps you’re the designated driver. Maybe you’re on antibiotics. Maybe you’re pregnant. Maybe you’re 10. But I can tell you one thing: Very few people order mocktails because they think these drinks are going to pair well with food.
Those people probably haven’t been to É by José Andrés in Las Vegas, Craigie on Main in Cambridge, MA, or other places that are applying cocktail-culture sophistication and a sommelier’s food-pairing savvy to the challenge of pairing mocktails with tasting menus.
- Cocktails 2010: Mocktails
- Non-Alcoholic Coolers
- Drinks for a Crowd
- The Best Mixed Drinks Recipes
- Beer vs. Wine Pairings
- 15 Rules for Great Wine and Food Pairings
- Invent Your Own Cocktail Party
It’s an interesting problem, partly because there’s no hard-and-fast rule to determine what can be in a mocktail. A mocktail can be as simple as the Ginger Rickey at San Francisco’s Wo Hing General Store—ginger syrup, lime juice and soda—or as complex as the NoGin and Tonic at Rogue 24 in Washington, DC, which involves handmade botanical syrup, lime juice, rosemary, juniper, star anise, orange peel and tonic water. Mocktails, like cocktails, can be sweet or not; sour or not; bitter or not; foamy or not; on ice or not; spicy or not. Or they can mix any or all of those characteristics, plus 10 or 20 more.