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Mocktails, an abbreviation for “mock cocktails", are festive, non-alcoholic party drinks. Mocktails are often offered for designated drivers, pregnant women, or any party guests who choose not to drink alcohol. Although many drink recipes can be prepared without alcohol, some are especially popular. Mocktails come in many varieties: frozen, hot, fizzy, non-fizzy, and cream-based recipes.
A Shirley Temple is one of the classic mocktails, often served to children. Named for the child actor, it contains lemon-lime soda, ginger ale, and a dash of grenadine, with a maraschino cherry for garnish. The Roy Rogers is another of the traditional mocktails, this one named for a straight-laced singing cowboy; it is made with cola splashed with a bit of grenadine and is also garnished with a maraschino cherry.
Any flavor of Daiquiri can be made into a mocktail. For a raspberry non-alcoholic version, blend ice, raspberry puree, and lime juice; pour into a glass with sugar on the rim and garnish with fresh raspberries. To create a Seabreeze mocktail, mix cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, and a little lime juice. Using a chilled highball glass, pour the mixed juices over ice.
A Nada Colada contains all the ingredients of a regular Pina Colada except the alcohol. Blend pineapple juice, cream of coconut, rum extract, and crushed ice in a blender until smooth. Serve garnished with a pineapple slice. The Cajun Clamato is a mock bloody-Mary type drink made with Clamato juice, a dash each of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco, salt and pepper, horseradish, and a celery stalk for garnish.
Mocktails are popular alternatives to alcoholic drinks and allow everyone to enjoy the spirit of a celebratory occasion in a responsible manner. Most mocktails are blends of fresh fruit juices and syrups, and some contain cream, herbs, or spices. Since mocktails contain no alcohol, people of all ages can enjoy them. Hot mocktail recipes include non-alcoholic wassail. Easy to prepare in a crock pot, this drink contains apple cider, unsweetened pineapple juice, and tea, seasoned with cloves, allspice, and cinnamon.
Back in the day, most of the restaurants I frequented only offered real cocktails or soft drinks to customers. It wasn't even possible to order a mocktail, unless you specifically ordered a "virgin" drink. I think some bartenders were willing to serve a basic mocktail like a Shirley Temple, which was ginger ale and grenadine served over ice.
Now, I've been in restaurants that offer both mocktails and cocktails right on the menu. The list of mocktails is often very impressive, not just cocktail recipes made without alcohol. When my wife was pregnant last year, one restaurant had a list of suggested mocktails for pregnant women. The prices were also adjusted accordingly, since they didn't contain a relatively expensive ingredient.
I wish more bars would lower their prices for non-alcoholic mocktails, since there are designated drivers and teetotalers who also like to have a "drink" with friends.
To be honest, there are many times when I prefer a mocktail over a cocktail, even though I do enjoy wine and spirits. If I'm at a party, I'm not always interested in becoming intoxicated or even slightly tipsy. I may have to go home early, for one thing. A well-made mocktail satisfies my craving for a complicated beverage, but without the burn or bite of certain alcohols. I think mock margaritas made without tequila taste better, since I'm not a big fan of tequila anyway.
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