SUMMER 2018 – While you likely have known them as mocktails, virgin cocktails or non-alcoholic drinks, a movement is afoot to change the perception of the sometimes-maligned category. Bartenders at top restaurants and bars around the country, including Cindy’s at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, have realized the importance of having well-made, thought-out drinks for people who either don’t imbibe or may not want to drink something with alcohol. Spirit-free drinks, the new preferred way to refer to these tasty libations, have really started to gain popularity.
Here are Cindy’s, beverage manager David Mor has turned his attention to the category and really stepped up the spirit-free offerings. While Mor takes inspiration from his global travels and fresh, seasonal local ingredients for his cocktails, he does the same with those without booze — and he finds his guests appreciate the effort.
“At Cindy’s, we find that our guests enjoy savoring their cocktails regardless of alcohol-content,” Mor says. “We offer cocktails with low-ABV content and also composed drinks with no alcohol, which guests find so warm and hospitable. We really take pleasure in providing an inclusive experience for all.”
When creating spirit-free drinks, Mor uses different teas, coffee, distilled non-alcoholic beverages and more. So next time you pop up to Cindy’s and want something to quench your thirst that doesn’t include alcohol, think about ordering a Rabbit vs. Mule with carrot juice, lemon and ginger; a Pea’s No Knees with the distilled n/a drink Seedlip Garden 108, verjus blanc, sugarsnap pea, honey and lemon; or a Matcha Latte with Shizuoka matcha, honey and almond milk, which you can order iced or hot.
“Getting to offer non-alcoholic options on the menu is a necessity for me,” Mor continues. “It provides myriad options that are approachable, refreshing and exciting, while keeping the guests in mind who want to monitor their alcohol intake. It is an intentional approach to being hospitable and modern.”