Mocktails have as much history as their non-mocked namesake the cocktail. For as long as people have drunk in bars, the bartender has been adequately equipt to provide libations for the guy who’s driving, the pregnant girl and health kicker. We then move into prohibition where if bartenders didn’t become real estate agents and stockbrokers, they moved on to being ‘soda jerks’. Bars and hotel lobbies were transformed into soda fountains dispensing countless flavours of carbonated beverages and was the only thing keeping the dead trade of the bartender alive through ‘the great experiment’.
While the mocktail gets a bad rap, even it’s name leads a fairly guilty feeling of somehow cheating when ordering at a bar, it firmly has it’s place and it should be strongly advocated. Why should you miss out because you’re carrying a baby or driving a car, or both!
There is a host of substitutes for normal drinks and the category is big enough that we have new categories, such as the ‘Pregatini’ and ‘Near Beer’ cleverly emerging to snap the edges of the market. Spins on classics such as the ‘Nada Colada’ and ‘The Bloody Shame’ (Virgin Bloody Mary) have clearly had more thought put into their name than their reduced ingredients.
Here’s a couple of suggestions to wrap your lips around next time you find yourself in the driver’s seat: