(This is the fourth installment of Drink to Your Health, a series of recipes for alcohol-free drinks. Each week for the month of January, we’ll feature a different drink developed for one of the various reasons that people abstain from the hard stuff.)
The renaissance of cocktail culture during the last two decades has benefitted more than just boozehounds.
Other marginalized beverage groups have also received newfound attention, both from consumers and producers. Coffee, for instance, has become a drink defined many ways. For every Folger’s household, there is a coffee shop with high-tech machinery, specialty techniques and creative applications.
More recently, that mid-century relic the soda fountain has established modern footing. No longer a footnote to milkshake history, egg creams and phosphates are back in production, and house-made sodas are beyond common on high-end restaurant beverage programs.
This is good news for the cocktail lover on hiatus. It means you have plenty of beverage options that jive with your love of good ingredients and rampant creativity. So if you’re itching to break out the jigger while abstaining, it’s time to plop yourself in The Waiting Room.
To make this inspired cocktail, you’ll need a bottle of Small Hand Foods pineapple gomme syrup, a favorite of bars like San Francisco’s Hard Water and Harlowe in Los Angeles. The syrup, which is thickened with gum Arabic, creates a silky mouth-feel similar to that of booze.
You’ll also need to grab some acid phosphate, a regular ingredient in the soda fountains of yore. The plucky liquid delivers all the acidic punch of citrus with none of the sugar typically required. Combined with a touch of allspice and heavy cream and topped off with seltzer, this mocktail might be more involved than just sipping on a ginger ale. But it’ll keep you plenty occupied until you’re back on the sauce.