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Saturday, December 24, 2022

ZERO PROOF DRINKS & MORE; 100 recipes for mocktails & low-alcohol cocktails (Robert Rose, 2021, 224 p. $29.95 soft covers)

After that post-holiday glow begins to disappear, you might want to consider some low or no alcohol beverages, as concocted by Maureen Petrosky...

ZERO PROOF DRINKS & MORE; 100 recipes for mocktails & low-alcohol cocktails (Robert Rose, 2021, 224 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0675-2, $29.95 soft covers) is by Maureen Petrosky, an entertainment and lifestyle writer currently living in Pennsylvania. These are mindful concoctions devoted to socially-distanced happy hours at home. While Spring is the official season of the mocktail, it reminds us of better times. Lo-al (low-ABV) drinks are the obvious choices for the hotter climate of summer and the harshness of winter. As she says, "Today's zero-proof cocktails are complex and nuanced, worlds away from their sugar-saturated predeccors such as the Shirley Temple. She's got the basic preps for syrups, shrubs, aperitifs, and spritzers. No real extra set-ups are needed since most kitchens/bars have the basics anyway to handle alcohol. Mocktails are best as a day drink followed by lo-al happy hours. She's also got thirty pages of punches and pitcher drinks for that high volume party -- fourteen great recipes including spicy margaritas by the pitcher, sparkling peach punch, strawberry cucumber tonic, and jalapeno and honeydew sangria. Anything that reduces our alcohol consumption is a good necessity, such as the Michelada from Mexico. Most drinks can be tweaked upwards or downwards in quantities of add-ons. And every mocktail can have as much alcohol (if you need it) as you can pour into it – simply by topping up with a bland white wine. Key bottles of lo-al include Campari, Aperol, elderflower, Pimm's No.1, Amaretto, vermouth, and sherry. This is an infinitely expandable book once you have assimilated the basics. She's got easy ways to mix up flavours. Trendy titles include Bloody M, Rosemary Pear Bellini, Grilled Pineapple Mint Mojito, Lemongrass Cilantro Highball, and Grapefruit Radler. Certainly much better than a premixed non-al pretender bottle such as a gin clone, a bourbon clone, a tequila clone, which retail for $40 or more. Just use stuff like juniper berries and rum flavouring at home. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Apart from the punches and pitchers, drinks are for one person. Quality/price rating by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures Writing: 91.
Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada

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