The Art of the Mocktail

As many of you know, The Academy Awards are a pretty big deal around here.  I've been watching and predicting winners annually for as long as I can remember!

This year, The Spanish Lady and I teamed up to put on a swank affair. I headed up the mocktail bar while she.... well, she did everything else. :) Check out her blog for all the details on the bite-sized, indulgent food, glittering decor and the movie-quote photo booth!

After you've oooh'd and ahhh'd over her mad skilz, let us take a moment to examine the sorely under-represented art of the mocktail. A mocktail is a cocktail without the alcohol, and unlike some unimaginative folk seem to think, it doesn't always have to be a Shirley Temple-- although my kids love those!

Having mixed mocktails for a few years now, I can say with certainty that there is something about the interactive busy-work of making a drink that gets a party flowing and keeps it well lubricated. It's creative, it's tasty, and it's fun!

Before we get started with a few of my favorite drinks, here are some quick tips:

Have a variety of glasses available. Champagne flutes, wine goblets, martini glasses, high ball, low ball, and shot glasses are all excellent choices. It might seem like overkill, but some drinks just seem better suited to certain glasses.

The better the ingredients, the better the drink. Now is not the time to stock up on Sprite and cranberry juice. Go get some exotic flavors and high-quality sodas. Try Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or World Market. You'll taste the difference.

More is more when it comes to garnishes. Seriously, you can't have too many. Slice copious amounts of lemons, limes, oranges, and cucumbers. Put out bowls of maraschino cherries, berries, spanish olives, capers, mint leaves, rosemary, syrups, and sugar for rimming glasses. Don't forget picks and swizzle straws!

The martini shaker is not for carbonated beverages!! You'll end up with your drink fizzing all over the place. When using carbonated beverages, forget 007 and take it stirred, not shaken.

All right, on to the drinks!

The Dean Martini is a staple. It's light, dry, and refreshing. The key to this drink is the Dry Cucumber Soda, so don't substitute anything else!

3 oz Dry Cucumber Soda {see photo below}
2 oz Pellegrino
Dash of Aromatic Bitters

Speaking of Cucumber Soda, here's a drink for all those Sherlock fans out there:

The Cu-Cumberbatch:

3 oz Dry Cucumber Soda
2 oz Joia brand Lime, Hibiscus & Clove Soda
Sliced Cucumber

The Grand Budapest is sweet without being cloying:

3 oz Joia brand Grapefruit, Chamomile & Cardamom Soda {see photo below}
2 oz Pellegrino
1 oz Blood Orange soda

As you can imagine, this next one came about when we decided to mix everything of one color in a glass:

The Green Room:

3 oz Pellegrino
2 oz Bartlett Pear Soda
Dash of Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice
Sliced Lime

Another favorite! The Spanish Lady introduced this one over Christmas and we're still obsessed:

The Mocking Gin:

3 oz Bruce Cost Unfiltered Ginger Ale
2 oz Pellegrino
Dash of Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice
Dash of Aromatic Bitters
Sprig of Rosemary

We knew the kids would like this one, but were surprised at how much we all ended up enjoying it:

The Big Hero 6: 

4 oz 7UP or Sprite
1 oz Lychee Drink {see photo below}
Maraschino Cherry(s)

And lastly, our signature drink of the night:

The Oscar:

3 oz Lorina's Pink Lemonade
1 oz Bartlett Pear soda
Gold Sugar rim

Cheers everyone!


Apis Melliflora said...

Oh, those all look lovely. I wonder what the party cast voted as "Best" cocktail?!

Deserae said...

I love that you made dry/herbal mocktails too. I will have to give the Dean Martini a try. Also the Green Room sounds so tasty. I love pear. And it is so pretty in the glass.

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