Craft cocktails are what’s on the menu at most mixologist-led bars today. Think complex mixtures of spirits, house-made juices and other ingredients such as fruits, herbs, bitters, froths and flowers. However, the biggest trend in mixology continues to grow — mocktails. Those who might normally go for a Pellegrino are now ordering a more sophisticated drink, thanks to bars offering an array of intricately prepared libations from zero-proof, spirit-free recipes.
Of course, there’s an art to preparing a flavorful and balanced nonalcoholic drink. At Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, bartenders use their considerable skills to prepare and serve mocktails worthy of sipping and savoring.
RASPBERRY LYCHEE BELLINI
Famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, himself, approves every new beverage, according to Denny Sprenkels, the restaurant’s general manager. “There is a lot of passion behind our mocktails,” Sprenkels says. “They deserve the same time and love from our bartenders as the alcoholic versions do.”
More than just juice and soda water, the mocktail selections—and the entire menu—are aligned with the seasons and feature the best seasonal produce and organic ingredients, such as the Raspberry Lychee Bellini.
Sprenkels also points to the Pineapple Mint Iced Tea, made from select black tea and carefully infused with sprigs of fresh mint and muddled pineapple. After being shaken, it’s double-strained (so there are no mint leaves or pineapple pulp) and served on the rocks in a crystal Collins glass.
Garnishes are also above par: The piquant Ginger Lime Soda is topped with candied ginger made by the in-house pastry chef and is cooled with a custom-formed block ice cube bearing the Waldorf Astoria logo.
These mocktails are available throughout the property and at The Rooftop by JG — one of Beverly Hills’ most popular restaurants.
Book your stay at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills to sip mocktails from the rooftop.
THE LEMONADE STAND
Located centrally above the sensational Las Vegas Strip, Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas is the city’s only non-gaming, stand-alone luxury hotel providing a respite from the 24/7 action below.
The updated menu at the all-day-to-night Zen Kitchen emphasizes seasonal American fare—with a playful set of mocktails to match. Its new drinks list is built around the idea of a very grown-up lemonade stand.
Think sparkling rose lemonade, fresh lemon, tarragon and agave nectar in an almost magical potion called The Flamingo Lemon Elixir. And since it’s Vegas, with a celebration or big win possible at any moment, there’s also a suggested spirited boost for each Zen Kitchen mocktail.
Still, consumers are increasingly more conscious of their alcohol intake, and many diets do not mesh with liquor, beer or wine. Natural sweeteners like agave replace simple syrup at the restaurant. For example, Green Valley Ginger Ale provides a caffeinated kick via matcha green tea, while candied ginger garnish adds texture.
Zen Kitchen’s chefs and bar staff were all involved in developing the mocktail program, and, almost instantly, the lemon-based drinks became guest favorites, according to Tracie Sakane, food and beverage operations manager.
“The mocktails are a mix of ideas, which pair nicely with the restaurant’s menu of fresh American cuisine,” Sakane says. “And when it gets hot here, the lemonade stand is a cool, refreshing concept.”
Book your stay at Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas to sample Lemonade Stand favorites.
The low-cal drinks’ continuing popularity comes as no surprise to Andrew Pittard, director of food and beverage. With so much natural beauty at Grand Wailea and with so many physical activities to choose from, guests often ask for more healthful, nonalcoholic choices.
To meet their requests, he says the resort creates mixology-inspired, zero-proof drinks with unique flavor profiles that deliver a tasty punch without the effects of alcohol.
Take the tropical, bright orange Pineapple Punch. A combination of pineapple, ginger ale, orange and grenadine, it’s like a Hawaiian vacation in a glass, a refreshing splurge all around.
Even better, most all of the juices and produce come from local Hawaiian farms and suppliers. The menu at Bistro Molokini gives credit to many area farmers and purveyors who contribute to its diverse offerings.
“Similar to cuisine, the sophisticated flavor profiles of our mocktails are achieved through balance,” Pittard says. “When they’re executed correctly, sugar and acidic flavors play well with each other and can offer a perfectly balanced flavor.”
Book your stay at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort and savor the Pineapple Punch.