Mocktail to Cocktail

mocktail cocktail

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Mocktail to Cocktail

Ramp up that fresh daytime beverage for a festive after-five imbibe

Words and photos by Libby Volgyes
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This story comes from our March 2017 issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to the magazine

It’s a delicate balance, the transition of day-to-night drinks. Even more so when you’re trying to, say, simplify your life. Of course, you could just drink Perrier during the day and do shots all night. But then again, we’ve been evolving quite a bit lately. We want more than lemon in water. More than shots of tequila. (Okay, tequila shots have their place and time but you can’t do tequila shots all night). We want cocktails. And—dare I use the word—mocktails.

What if there was a drink—a super-refreshing, thirst-quenching drink that you could batch out for a special day and sip on at the pool or beach or swank party, or just treat yo’self on any given Saturday? Then, when the sun set or the time felt right, you could add a bit of booze and transform it into the plushest, greatest cocktail ever?

Is that even possible?

To find an answer to this idea, we turned to three local bartenders. We challenged them to come up with a drink that goes from day to night, mocktail to cocktail. The only requirement was the “day” drink couldn’t include alcohol.

“People are living a very healthy lifestyle,” noted Bob Higgenbotham, beverage director at 13 American Table. “Despite what might happen when the sun sets, people are really taking care of themselves during the day throughout Palm Beach County as a whole. Look at what people eat and what people drink. I think people are a lot more health-conscious when the sun’s out.”

So without further ado—here are your drinks:
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13 American Table

Bob Higginbotham, beverage director

MOCKTAIL:

Running on Fumes Fizz

  • 2 ounces beet, apple and ginger juice blend
  • 3/4 ounce activated charcoal honey syrup
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 healthy-sized mint sprigs
  • Sparkling Water

Glass: Collins

Garnish: Mint

Combine all juices and honey syrup in glass. Slap one mint sprig and add to liquids. Fill glass halfway with crushed ice and swizzle. Top with more crushed ice and sparkling water.

Garnish.

COCKTAIL:

Purple is the New Charcoal

  • 1 1/2 ounces Hendrick’s gin
  • 1/2 ounce The Bitter Truth elderflower liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Dolin Blanc vermouth
  • 3/4 ounce beet, apple and ginger juice blend
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce activated charcoal honey syrup
  • 1 egg white

Glass: Coupe

Garnish: Cracked Five Pepper Blend

Dry shake all ingredients to foam up egg white, then shake again with ice to chill and dilute. Double strain into coupe and garnish.

“It’s got a lot of different things going on. For me, my drinks can be complicated but not by too many ingredients. It’s the process, but I keep the ingredients relatively simple. This one got away from me. I didn’t dial back but went forward.” – Bob Higginbotham

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Max’s Grille

James Longstreth, bartender

MOCKTAIL:

Blackberry Lemonade

  • 4 muddled blackberries
  • Rosemary sprig
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Soda water

Muddle blackberries and add simple syrup and lemon juice.

Top off with soda water and garnish with rosemary sprig.

TO TRANSFORM INTO:

Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade

(offered on the menu on weekends and during the day), simply add 2 ounces Buffalo Trace Kentucky bourbon.

“Here [at Max’s] we always try to do a fresh fruit as a mixer. Each one of our cocktails has a garnish and a fresh fruit modifier.” – James Longstreth

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The Blue

Jamin Stilley, beverage manager/sommelier, The Blue

MOCKTAIL:

Sobe

Muddle two limes and a handful of basil leaves.

Fill with ice.

Add 1 ounce Coco Lopez

Shake 30 seconds, top with soda water, pour into highball glass.

TO TRANSFORM INTO:

Sobe at Night

add 1 1/2 ounces white rum.

“When the sun sets, you can go for drinks that pack a little more punch, but maybe only have one or two of them.” — Jamin Stilley

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Rebel House

Hayden Gartzman, bartender

MOCKTAIL:

Snowbird Season

  • 4 grilled orange slices
  • 2 basil sprigs
  • Top with ginger beer

Muddle basil and orange

Add ice and ginger beer

TO TRANSFORM THE SNOWBIRD INTO:

Florida Winter

Simply add 1 1/2 ounces tequila to muddled step, followed by ice and topped with ginger beer. For an added kick, add 1 ounce of Ancho Reyes.

“It’s light and refreshing but still has roast-y and spicy notes to it. It’s a nice easy sipper during the day but add some tequila to get the party going. Tequila has a party reputation but it can be so much more than that. Tequila now is more mature and clean. It’s more robust.” – Hayden Gartzman

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