Who among us hasn’t sidled up to a bar at some point in time during a pregnancy, before a big race, or simply in a stretch of clean living and asked the bartender, in a voice mixed with hope and hesitation, “Do you by chance have a mocktail?” (Well, we may not have used that word exactly, but you know what I mean.)
Now, the lazy or unimaginative bartender will demur and slide over a sweaty club soda with a sad little anemic lime floating on top. But in this moment, the intrepid bartender sees opportunity and will answer the call to surprise and delight. Such a bartender is British drinks master David Hurst.
“In my experience, creating well-balanced and tasty virgin cocktails has always taken far more ingenuity. Nonalcoholic drinks have nothing to hide behind,” Hurst says.
Here Hurst has some experience. For the 2012 London Olympics, he created 200 nonalcoholic cocktails to represent every participating country.
In his new book, From Garden to Glass: 80 Botanical Beverages Made From the Finest Fruits, Cordials, and Infusions (Universe Publishing, 2019), Hurst continues to push for a more expansive view of what a drinks menu can be. His latest gives the bar’s normal cast of supporting actors a chance to shine and mixes in fruits, herbs, and spices to achieve absolutely sublime sipping. Shake up his easy recipe for a Tropical Sparkle (below) and see if you don’t agree.
Recipe: Tropical Sparkle
- 3¼ ounces pineapple juice
- ¾ ounce lemon juice
- Juice from 1 lime wedge
- 3¼ ounces tonic water
- Pineapple wedge and leaf, to garnish
1| Pour the pineapple and lemon juices into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Squeeze in a little lime. Shake well.
2| Strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with tonic water.
3| Garnish with a pineapple wedge on the rim of the glass and float a leaf on the top of the drink.
Add a Twist: A shot of coconut rum is a great choice to pair with the pineapple flavor of this drink.
By Kirk Reed Forrester | Photography republished from From Garden to Glass: 80 Botanical Beverages Made from the Finest Fruits, Cordials, and Infusions by David Hurst (Universe Publishing, 2019)