Mocktails to Try at Long Island Restaurants
Mocktails have evolved far beyond the Shirley Temple or the Virgin Mary. This new frontier of social drinking is about meticulously crafted beverages, usually comprised of “zero-proof” botanical alternatives that add flavor and intrigue without the buzz. Bartenders and mixologists (many of whom cringe at the term “mocktail”) know they have to strike the most important balance between sweet and sour and add some complexity with herbs or spices, sometimes under the form of vinegar-based or homemade shrubs. bitter. Here are some stellar examples right here on Long Island, and guess what? No designated driver is needed.
150 E. Main St., Bay Shore; 631-665-1256, thelinwoodbayshore.com
Linwood’s cocktail list at Bay Shore is as fine as the menu, and the non-alcoholic beverages are no exception. Most ABV-free drinks (“abv” is short for “alcohol by volume”) spin seasonally and riff on classic cocktails using Lyre’s non-alcoholic elixirs and fresh fruit juices. Here you’ll find The Amal Coast, which mimics a Strawberry Negroni with Lyre’s Rosso Aperitif, Italian Orange and Dry Aperitif, topped with a fresh strawberry. Tortuga, a twist on an Old Fashioned rum, combines cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander with Lyra’s Dark Cane Spirit, spicy demerara and non-alcoholic bitters. That pink beauty in the coupe is La Casablanca, which combines Lyre’s dry aperitif and dry orange with a watermelon-mint shrub and cranberry juice. The Espress-No Martini showcases Lyre’s Coffee Originale, amaretti and espresso. Finally, the Cinque Terre is a version of the Aperol spritz using Apéritif Rosso de Lyre, Italian orange and ABV-free prosecco for a refreshing but not intoxicating summer sip.
ENDLESS SUMMER TEA HOUSE
4217 Merrick Road, Massapequa; 516-795-0945, infinitesummer.com
Endless Summer, which opened this spring, evokes rustic brick-lined bar vibes. Its well of non-alcoholic mixed drinks includes iced matcha, oat milk, and CBD lemonade green teas on tap. Chief among the ingredients is kava, a root grown in the South Pacific that can be steeped in water to be used as a sedative or anti-anxiety tincture. At Endless Summer’s bar, you can sample three versions of kava – White Sand, Wow and Stone – a cloudy flight topped with pineapple. (If you’re new to kava, research its potential side effects before using it.)
Locations in Huntington, Plainview and West Sayville; intheshed.com
This brunch-to-dinner spot serves an ornate Bloody Mary, but the bar also keeps non-drinkers in mind, with nice mixed but spiritless drinks. Passion Flower blends passion fruit juice, citrus juices and ginger for a refreshing, spicy twist on a cosmos, while the cleverly named Air Quotes Sangria gets its boost from a blend of fresh fruit juice (peach, citrus, cranberry and grape) mixed with agave syrup. Finally, the Revenge of the Pink Panther is the abv-free version of The Shed’s most popular cocktail: grapefruit, peach and lemon juices with elderflower essence, but without vodka.
474 W. Lake Dr., Montauk; 631-668-8344, lafinkitchen.com
Now in its second season, La Fin brings an urban, French twist to Montauk’s beach cuisine while remaining hyper-aware of its patrons’ healthy eating and drinking habits. The cocktails here lean heavily on fruit juices and herbs, and the rock-solid menu takes that spirit up a notch in virgin territory. La Bicyclette, for example, marries freshly squeezed lemonade with strawberries and a little white balsamic vinegar, while the blueberry-cucumber No-Jito relies on freshly squeezed lime juice, agave for the sweetness and sparkling water for a satisfying texture.
OCEAN CODE HANDLING BAR
227 Old Country Road, Place Carle; 516-544-6199
Wedged between a red lobster and a giant trattoria, this place is iconoclastic as can be: a room-length sushi bar is pretty much the only place to sit, and the succinct menu focuses almost entirely on Japanese rolls and small bites. Although there are no cocktails, a range of chilled lemonades – flavored with lychee (pictured above), strawberry or citrus yuzu – are so refreshing and beautifully garnished they can make you forget thirst for alcohol.