Friday, 23 November 2012

Fabulous Friday: Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Hour

Aoife, Dublin

Before last week I'd never quite seen the point of non-alcoholic cocktails. I hate to say this and ruin my hard-earned reputation but I think I’m starting to get it. The non-alcoholic cocktails we had at 777 in Dublin were definitely the best non-alcoholic cocktails I’ve ever had. Thinking carefully, probably the only ones I’ve ever had but still. These are good. 

The "proper" cocktail list looked amazing and the waitress almost tempted us (well, me) with frozen margaritas on special offer. But, one of us was driving, it was only 12 in the day (a little early even for me) and I had already celebrated relatively enthusiastically over the previous two nights. Non-alcoholic seemed the right way to go. There are three non-alcoholic cocktails on the menu at 777 and we tried them all. All three of them (I managed not to get their names, it's just like I actually was drinking) contained complex flavours and that elusive balance of sour and sweet. A cucumber, lime and ginger based drink was exactly the kind of thing I would normally order if it had gin in it and was delightfully refreshing. My cocktail companion had two of the scorched pineapple concoctions picture below, grapefruit and lemon balancing out the sweet, caramelized flavour of the pineapple.

My favourite was the drink pictured at the top, the key ingredient of which was a jalepeno and rosemary syrup. Several months ago I had a vivid dream about a cocktail made from chillies and this warming cocktail has encouraged me to revisit that idea. I've certainly been inspired to put more effort into my non-alcoholic drinks and will be spending a few weeks experimenting. Until those experiments are complete I'll leave you with my favourite cheat's cocktail. It's so tasty it works equally well as a refreshing non-alcoholic drink.

Combine a good slosh of ginger syrup (Bottlegreen ginger & lemongrass is perfect here), the juice of half a lime and a good measure of gin (or vodka or leave out altogether for non-alcoholic version) in a heavy bottomed glass. Add a handful of ice cubes and top up with sparkling water. Garnish with a slice of lime. 

South Great Georges Street
Dublin 2

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