Holiest Roller

"When I come up with mocktails, the challenge is to keep the flavors 'adult' and spirit-like," says John deBary. For this revamp of the brandy-based Holy Roller, he amps up nonalcoholic beer with assertive ingredients like cilantro, jalapeño and lime. Recipe from Food & Wine Cocktails 2015 

Total Time:
5 mins


  • 3 cilantro sprigs, plus 1 cilantro leaf, smacked, for garnish

  • 3 seeded jalapeño slices

  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

  • 3/4 ounce Fennel Syrup (see Note)

  • Ice

  • 4 ounces nonalcoholic beer, such as O’Doul’s

  • 1 lime wheel, for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cilantro sprigs with the jalapeño, then add the lime juice and Fennel Syrup. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well. Fine-strain into a chilled, ice-filled collins glass, stir in the beer and garnish with the lime wheel and smacked cilantro leaf.


Fennel Syrup: In a saucepan, boil 4 ounces of water. Remove from the heat, add 1/2 cup cubed fennel (1/2-inch pieces cut from 1/2 small bulb) and let steep for 6 minutes. Remove and discard the fennel. Add 1/2 cup sugar to the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until dissolved. Remove from the heat, let cool and transfer the syrup to a jar. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 6 ounces.

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