Sipping an elegant classic cocktail is like releasing a big sigh after a long day. But as Dorothy Parker observed: “One Negroni, two Negroni, three Negroni … floor.”
The good news: the non-alcoholic “spirits” market is booming.
“They’re adult drinks made to mimic alcoholic products,” says Julian Holland, a partner at H2 Craft Spirits, makers of Spiritliss Non-Alcoholic Gins. “They appeal to cocktail enthusiasts,” he says, noting that H2 makes a canned Hibiscus Non-Alcoholic Gin & Tonic that, at about $2.50, is an accessible way to taste the trend.
Or try Sobrii 0-Gin from Ontario (which also makes 0-Tequila) and Lumette London Dry from B.C. (makers of LumRum).
Back to that dangerously good weeknight Negroni: You could make an entirely non-alcoholic cocktail or, for a balanced option, substitute one or two of the traditional Negroni components (a 1:1:1 ratio of gin, Campari and sweet red vermouth) with placebos, for a lower-proof drink.
1 oz. non-alcoholic gin
1 oz. non-alcoholic red bitter
1 oz. non-alcoholic red vermouth
Stir in a mixing glass or the bottom half of a cocktail shaker 2/3 full of ice for at least 1 minute, until flavours are combined and drink is thoroughly chilled. Pour into an old-fashioned tumbler over a single, large ice cube; garnish with an orange twist. Makes 1 drink.
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Wine Proxies from Ontario’s innovative Acid League (makers of “gut-friendly gastronomy” products) aren’t the sad, flabby de-alcoholized wines you’ve tried in the past. They’re complex blends of spices, bitters, botanicals, juices and teas with some of the mouthfeel, food-friendliness and aromas and flavours of wine — with no alcohol. For a $60 monthly sub-scription, you can have three stylish, wax-sealed bottles delivered with tasting notes and suggested pairings. acidleague.com
Try these Canadian online sources for non-alcoholic spirits: