The Rise of Luxury Mocktails

As tastes and attitudes change, so does the social landscape. The days of everyone drinking to excess and – God forbid – jumping in a car to drive home, are definitely dwindling. Getting blind drunk or even too tipsy is even less fashionable than it once was, and the crowd that goes out at night is looking for alternatives.

Cutting back the alcohol in your life brings multiple benefits. You’ll lose weight, sleep better and your level of concentration will increase. Beyond that, you’ll save money, as alcoholic beverages cost more than “soft” drinks.
The market has recognized that changes are afoot and is reacting appropriately. Gone are the days of only sparkling grape juice and non-alcoholic beer being available as an alternative. A lot of money is being invested in the industry of luxury products that bring the flavor without the buzz.

Seedlip

Marketing is certainly a strong suit of this product out of the U.K. Using a mix of spices, fruit extracts, herbs and vegetables, the Seedlip distilled, non-alcoholic spirits are presented in beautiful bottles with an ingredients breakdown that would make anyone want to buy them. Not only are they devoid of alcohol; they are also sugar-free, calorie-free and sweetener-free, have no artificial flavors and no allergens.

A bottle of Seedlip Spice 94The recipes and images on their website look for all the world as though they are promoting cocktails, and yet there is not a drop of booze in any of them.

International bars, restaurants and hotels have sat up and taken notice, which is why Seedlip products are served in many of them, including Michelin-starred establishments.

Ben Branson, CEO of Seedlip, came up with the idea for the company after being served a horrible mocktail at a bar. He wondered why there weren’t any decent drink alternatives for adults who didn’t want to consume alcohol.
With a 17th century book about distilled spirits in his hand, he bought a copper still and started experimenting.
Despite a complete lack of support from many with whom he shared his plan, he persevered. About two years after he began his journey, he was ready to offer his creations to the world. He got his first order from Selfridges in London, and after selling 800 bottles in three weeks, any questions as to whether this was a good path to take were quieted.

Seedlip has taken off since then, and although Branson appreciates that the timing didn’t hurt, there is no doubt as to the popularity of his product.

Seedlip will be available in the Cayman Islands in the coming months. Expect to see it on the shelves in retail stores and at some of your favorite bars.

Seedlip Recipes

Espresso MartiniEspresso Martini

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Seedlip Spice 94
  • 2 ounces Sandows Cold Brew Concentrate
  • ½ ounce sugar syrup
  • Garnish: 3 x coffee beans

Method

Shake and double strain

Garden Sour
Garden Sour

Ingredients

  • 1⅕ ounces Seedlip Garden
  • 1⅕ ounces Cloudy Apple Juice
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • ⅕ ounce cider vinegar
  • Sprig of rosemary and thyme
  • Dash of sugar and egg white

Method

Shake

Nogroni
Nogroni

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Seedlip Spice 94
  • ⅘ ounce non-alcoholic bitter aperitif
  • ⅘ ounce non-alcoholic sweet vermouth
  • Garnish: orange twist

Method

Build and short stir

Skarlet Private Reserve No.1

A bottle of Skarlet Private ReserveSorrel and the Caribbean go together like pie and ice cream, sausages and mash, and ackee and codfish. Sometimes referred to as Jamaican sorrel or Caribbean sorrel, it is the common name given to the sepals of a hibiscus plant and is not to be confused with the leafy green herb of the same name.

You may have seen some deep red beverages being served at Christmas in Cayman; chances are, those were sorrel drinks which are very popular in the Caribbean, particularly in the festive season.

The Skarlet Beverage Company, founded by Dean and Alecia Dennis, is bringing the tradition of sorrel drink to the world, courtesy of secret family creations. They credit a book from the early 1900s, written by their grandparents, full of alcohol-free recipes.

Although the company produces a collection of artisanal, non-alcoholic grape-based drinks, including the Glistening Burgundy and Spumante, its crown jewel is its Skarlet Private Reserve No.1. A heady blend of spices, juices and other magical ingredients, the Private Reserve is beautifully bottled and would easily be at home on the shelves of five-star resort bars. Its warming qualities give the whole experience of sipping on a finely distilled and aged alcoholic beverage, just without the alcohol. It is marketed as “The finest zero-proof infusion.”

We at What’s Hot had the chance of tasting some of this product and are happy to report that Jacques Scott will be selling it at its Fine Wines stores in Galleria Plaza and on North Sound Road. Grab a bottle while you can.

Skarlet Recipes

Skarlet Mojito
Skarlet Mojito

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Skarlet Private Reserve No.1 Infusion
  • 12 mint leaves, or spearmint
  • 6 tablespoons of juice from a fresh-squeezed lime
  • 4 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 20 ounces Fever Tree Indian Tonic Water
  • 4 slices lime

Method

Place ice in beverage shaker, pour in the Skarlet Private Reserve No.1, 8 muddled mint sprigs, lime juice and sugar. Shake well and serve over ice in a high ball glass. Top off each glass with the Fever Tree Indian Tonic Water.

Garnish each with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint. Serves 4.

The Jovita Sangria

SangriaIngredients

  • 750 ml bottle of Skarlet Private Reserve No.1 chilled
  • 1 cup 100 percent pineapple juice
  • 2 granny smith apples sliced
  • 1 large navel orange sliced
  • 1 lime sliced
  • 1-2 cups blueberries
  • 2 cans raspberry spritzer chilled

Method

Add all fruit except blueberries to pitcher and slightly muddle. Add Skarlet Private Reserve No.1, pineapple juice, and blueberries. Chill mixture at least 1 hour. Before serving add spritzer (pour toward side of pitcher as not to lose carbonation). Serve with lime or orange wedge. Serves 6-8.

The Orchadia

The OrchadiaIngredients

  • ¾ cup Skarlet Private Reserve No.1
  • ¾ cup almond Milk
  • ¼ cup coconut Milk
  • 3 tablespoons cashews (preferably soaked at least 2 hours)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves

Method

Place all ingredients in blender and mix. Chill mixture in refrigerator and serve. Serves 4.