So, last month’s exploration of classic cocktails was cut a little short. We decided, with very little notice, to undertake a major house renovation project, the complete redo of our only full bathroom. Over the holidays. Yeah, we’re smart people. Anyway, we’re back this month to do something we’ve never done before: spend some time trying out mocktail recipes. Yup. This January is now Dry-uary. Let’s start with a mocktail version of one of our favorite Tiki drinks: A Mock Tai – Andrew
A Mock Tai
Fill a highball glass with crushed ice and add the shrub, orgeat, juices, and cordial. Top with ginger beer. Gently slide a barspoon into the glass, then twirl it between your hands while moving the spoon up and down to swizzle the drink. Garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy!
Dryuary is a real thing, sort of, a semi-serious annual tradition of taking a month off from drinking in order to reset your relationship with alcohol. Or something along those lines. I decided to give it a try this year, to start the year refreshed and to have some time to thing about which cocktails I’d like to write about for the rest of the year and to finally give myself some time to seriously try out some mocktail recipes.
I’ve given mocktails short shrift, and I wish I hadn’t. Some people don’t drink, and sometimes people who drink don’t want to drink or can’t drink, and they still deserve well-crafted mocktails with the same depth of flavor and texture as a cocktail, just without the booze. So: Dryuary.
This Mock Tai is inspired, of course, by the tropical flavors of a Mai Tai. It doesn’t seek to mimic or emulate a Mai Tai; there’s no way you can really do that without rum. It combines a brightly tart, fruity shrub (a vinegar-based syrup) with creamy, rich orgeat – the quintessential Mai Tai ingredient (after that rum). Throw in some sweet and tart citrus, a bit of floral sweetness, and ginger beer’s peppy zip, and you have something that has a Tiki drink’s depth of layered flavors without parodying them
And it’s pretty tasty, too.
(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we’ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)
Glassware by Liquorary
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper