Seriously Good Mocktails

Drink recipes and tips from a master of the virgin cocktail.

"Overlooking cocktails—with or without alcohol—is akin to overlooking vegetarian options", so is the advice Natalie Bovis-Nelsen, editor of the LiquidMuse and author of Preggatinis™: Mixology for the Mom-to-Be (she trademarked the term) has for both restaurants and their patrons. A longtime cocktail enthusiast, Bovis-Nelsen began experimenting with non-alcoholic drinks when friends started getting pregnant; today, she frequently consults and lectures on the topic (a recent gig included this year's Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans, where she led a virgin drinks seminar) and her creative concoctions have a fan base extending well beyond expectant mothers.

According to this maestro of the mocktail, the biggest mistake novices make is removing the liquor from an Natalie Bovis-Nelsenexisting alcohol-based cocktail recipe. Case in point: the sickeningly sweet virgin pina colada. Rather, for Bovis-Nelsen the same rules and holistic principles of regular mixology hold true in the virgin realm so that "a well balanced drink (with or without alcohol) is created from the ground up [with the bottom line being] to serve something that not only shows off one's creativity but also tastes great." Below are two of Bovis-Nelsen's recipes, including one for the Sassy Southern Belle, the official non-alcoholic cocktail at the 2009 Tales of the Cocktail.

Sassy Southern Belle
½ ounce Perfect or Boiron peach puree
¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ ounce mint tea-infused simple syrup
2 ounces Fre alcohol-removed White Zinfandel
1 ounce Fre alcohol-removed Brut
Pour peach puree, mint tea-infused simple syrup and Fre white zinfandel into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well, then strain into a julep cup filled with crushed ice. Top with Fre brut. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a straw.


Preggie Provençe (Rocks or Wine Glass)
As featured in Preggatinis™: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be by Natalie Bovis-Nelsen. Reprinted with permission.
2-3 white grapes, halved
¾ ounce homemade lavender-rosemary syrup
½ ounce lemon juice
2 ounces organic lemonade
1 1/2 ounces lavender flavored soda
1 lemon wheel
1 sprig of rosemary
Muddle cut grapes in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add lemon juice, lemonade and lavender-rosemary syrup then shake well, with ice. Strain into an ice filled glass. Top with lavender soda and garnish with a lemon wheel and sprig of rosemary. 

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