How to be a better (alcohol-free) home bartender: Part I

 Almost anyone who has ever had a well-crafted cocktail, whether it’s with alcohol or alcohol-free, has probably had a passing thought about recreating similarly artful concoctions at home. Fortunately, making great non-alcoholic cocktails doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right tools and ingredients (plus a little sense of adventure) you can take your home bartending game up a notch. Here are some tips for getting started.

Invest in the right tools

While you can certainly mix up a decent drink by winging it with whatever tools you have on hand in your kitchen, it’s worth starting to build a proper home bartending kit if you’re planning to make cocktails at home regularly. Additionally, the process of mixing up the perfect non-alcoholic cocktail can be as equally enjoyable as actually drinking it, and having the right tools can enhance your experience.

These are a few tools to consider adding to your home bartending kit:

  • Cocktail shaker: A Boston shaker, which is a two-piece cocktail shaker consisting of a glass tin and a metal tin, is the standard shaker of choice for most bartenders
  • Jiggers for measuring
  • Strainer: A Hawthorne strainer, which uses a metal coil and perforated holes to strain shaken drinks, is a good all-purpose option
  • Barspoon: A long-handled spoon for stirring drinks
  • Muddler: A blunt tool that’s used like a pestle to mash herbs and fruit

Stock your bar cart with high-quality ingredients

The reason a cocktail ordered at a bar or restaurant tastes so amazing often comes down to the quality of its ingredients. Sobrii non-alcoholic gin is made from natural botanical distillates and extracts with no sugar, no sweeteners, and no artificial flavours. Mixing Sobrii with other equally high-quality ingredients is one of the easiest ways for you to take your non-alcoholic cocktails from good to great.

Here are some ingredients to consider adding to your home bar cart:

  • Tonic water: For a no-fuss alcohol-free home bar cart, all you need is Sobrii and a few kinds of high-quality tonic water. We’ve outlined some of our favourites here.
  • Shrubs and flavoured syrups: Shrubs and flavoured syrups offer another way to add dimension to non-alcoholic cocktails. There is a huge range of flavoured syrups on the market that can bring citrusy, floral, gingery, or dozens of other notes to your drinks. Shrubs, also known as drinking vinegars, can be mixed in when you want a boost of tartness.
  • Bitters: A few dashes of bitters can add a little something extra to even the most basic cocktails. Keep in mind that most bitters do contain alcohol but, when used in small amounts, they are generally considered to be non-alcoholic.
  • Fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs: Fresh produce is a simple way to add flavour and colour to your non-alcoholic cocktails. Muddle them into your drink or use them as a garnish for visual appeal.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and share your recipes

Once you have the basic tools and ingredients, the only thing left to do is start playing with flavour combinations. We’ve compiled a few recipes here to help get you started making cocktails.

One of the joys of making (and drinking) top-notch non-alcoholic cocktails is sharing them with friends and family, so don’t be afraid to show-off your burgeoning bartending skills. You might get some helpful feedback that you can use to level up your cocktail recipes further, and you might even surprise your friends with just how good a non-alcoholic cocktail can taste.



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