You always should include a few staples on your beverage menu: a beer list, a wine list — even seasonal cocktails should be listed. Yet, if you aren’t showcasing alcohol-free drinks, you’re missing out on more than just satisfying your client’s varying tastes. Without alcohol-free options, your bar or club is neglecting a large group of clientele willing to spend money for innovative alternatives. What’s more, alcohol-free drinks have evolved from sticky-sweet to sophisticated. Simply by infusing waters or sodas, adding fresh fruits and vegetables and mixing in premium syrups and juices, your alcohol-free options will intrigue guests, creating an alluring (and profitable) addition to an already-great menu.
Melon Agua Fresca
On the menu at Cactus in Alki, Kirkland and Madison, Wash.
3 1-inch chunks of honeydew melon
1 ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce agave syrup
½ ounce Monin Rock Melon Cantaloupe Syrup
3 ounces soda
¼ pint full of loose fresh mint leaves
Lightly muddle the fresh mint and honeydew melon. Add mint and melon to pint mixing glass. Add liquid ingredients. Fill glass with ice and shake vigorously for 6 seconds. Fill with soda after shaking. Garnish with a straw.
Created by Lisa Ash, Beverage Innovation Director for Monin Gourmet Flavorings.
½ ounce Monin Hibiscus Syrup
1 ounce Monin Peach Fruit Purée
Edible flower, for garnish
Fill a serving glass with ice. Add remaining ingredients. Stir gently and garnish with an edible flower in a 16-ounce glass.
Recipe adapted from “101 Blender Drinks” by owner of Liquid Architecture Kim Haasarud.
1 cup fresh watermelon chunks
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1½ ounces Monin Watermelon Syrup
2 basil leaves
Watermelon wedge (or three watermelon seeds), for garnish
Combine the fresh watermelon, lime juice, Monin Watermelon Syrup and one basil leaf in a blender. Blend for five seconds, then add about ½ cup of ice and blend until smooth (about 10 seconds). Pour into a cocktail or Margarita glass. Garnish with the watermelon wedge/seeds and the remaining basil leaf.
Candied Lemon Drop
Courtesy of Torani.
1 ounce Torani Vanilla syrup
2 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
3 ounces sparkling water or club soda
Build over ice in a highball glass. Stir and garnish with a lemon twist.
Created by Dana M. Bruner for The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley.
2 ounces Perfect Purée Beverage Artistry Raspberry, thawed
1 ounce Perfect Purée Beverage Artistry Strawberry, thawed
1 ounce Beverage Artistry Cranberry, thawed
2 ounces club soda
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake gently and strain into a chilled glass. Serve.
Strawberry Cilantro Soda
Created by MarkeTeam Corporate Mixologist Brad Horner.
2 ounces strawberry purée
1 ounce agave nectar
½ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
10 to 12 cilantro leaves
In a mixing glass, muddle cilantro with lemon juice. Add agave nectar and strawberry purée. Shake with ice and roll into a beverage glass. Top with Sierra Mist. Garnish with cilantro stalks.
Skinny Lemon N’ Mint Sparkling Seasonal Soda
Created by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen.
2 to 3 chunks fresh seasonal fruit or 4 to 5 berries
3 sprigs fresh mint
2 ounces housemade skinny lemon sour with agave*
5 to 6 ounces chilled soda water
Lemon wedge and mint sprig, for garnish
Drop the fruit into a cocktail shaker and add the mint. Muddle lightly to release flavors. Measure in the sugar-free lemon sour. Fill shaker with ice, cap and shake vigorously. Add soda water and then pour into a tall glass. Garnish with lemon wedge and mint sprig. If serving “up” you can decrease the sour to 1½ ounces and add a big splash of soda.
*Housemade Skinny Lemon Sour with Agave
3 cups fresh lemon juice
1 cup Monin Sugar Free Triple Sec Syrup
1½ cups Monin Sugar Free Sweetener
½ cup Monin Agave Nectar
Mix all ingredients together. Label, date and store refrigerated for up to five days.
On the menu at Trader Sam’s a