By The Anand Market
— Guests imbibe at Overstory, in Manhattan.
Begin with a classic Martini, and then switch to a non-alcoholic or lower-alcohol option, such as the El Presidente cocktail, available at Sunken Harbor Club in Brooklyn.
Aligned with its maritime motif, Sunken Harbor Club's cocktails are categorized by their alcohol content, labeled as “On Dry Land” for low-alcohol options, “In the Shallows” for moderate levels, and “The Abyss” for more potent concoctions.
When crafting cocktails at home, create a harmonious mix by combining high-proof spirits with lower-proof components, like Sherry or vermouth—a technique known as “splitting bases” in bartender terminology.
The 50/50 Martini, with equal parts gin and vermouth, exemplifies this method, but the concept can be adapted for a variety of cocktails, from daiquiris to Manhattans. The Pink Tuxedo, a modern, lower-alcohol variation of the classic cocktail, showcased at Overstory in Manhattan, is a prime example of this approach.
There is a wide array of non-alcoholic (N/A) spirits available, designed to mimic everything from gin to whiskey. These can be utilized not only as stand-alone replacements but also mixed with high-proof ingredients to reduce the overall alcohol content in a drink.
For premium non-alcoholic beverages, seek out bars that excel in crafting them. For instance, The Perfect Illusion at Leyenda in Brooklyn employs an earthy, herbal amaro substitute to create a slightly bitter and aromatic variation of a sour cocktail.
There's no need for grand declarations about the contents of our drinks. And let's move away from terms like “mocktail” and “spiritless.” After all, we're all just looking to have a good time.
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