Hold the booze, keep the class: Mocktails make their way through York County
There are plenty of reasons why someone might want to keep away from the booze. Maybe you're the designated driver for a group of friends. Or perhaps you've chosen a life of sobriety. Or maybe you're like this journalist, who has sworn off the stuff for nine months thanks to my developing offspring.
Whatever the reason, there is no good excuse for staying home to watch reruns of "Game of Thrones." Get out on the town, enjoy a good meal and order one of these delicious mocktails from York County bars that still want their sober patrons to have a good time.
Look past the classic cocktail section on the menu at Otto's Kitchen and Cocktails in York to find a separate mocktails list. Here, three tasty mocktails are a fun, classy alternative to soda or juice, said bartender Rachel Gibson.
Star Stuff Mocktail: A sweet drink option, the Start Stuff Mocktail is made with lemon juice and fermented, seasonal shrub. This time of year, it's the seasonal peaches that give the drink its fresh taste.
Fourth Dimension: A house made vanilla-jalapeño pacer makes this a drink one for the adventurous. The interesting hint of spice isn't overwhelming thanks to some help from lime juice and ginger ale.
Billions and Billions: The date night mocktail, this orange, ginger and lime concoction packs some spice but it's well rounded enough to accompany a meal.
Jim Switzenberg, director of operations at John Wright Restaurant in Wrightsville, wanted to serve something other than iced tea or soda to the patrons who frequently requested non-alcoholic options at the bar.
Two mocktails are served regularly to entice customers so they feel that they, too, can kick back and enjoy the night.
Blueberry Crush: Featuring muddled blueberries, ice and Sprite, this beverage is often changed up with the seasons to offer different berry flavors.
Ginger Apple: Break out your coziest sweater for this one. This mix of Gosling's Ginger Beer, local apple cider and a lime wedge garnish make this mocktail a seasonal treat.
The Offcenter Grill has a regular list of non-alcoholic drinks to serve to customers, said Amanda Rohrbaugh, food and beverage service manager at the Yorktowne Hotel. While many change with the seasons, some remain classics. These can easily be recreated at home, Rohrbaugh added.
"We enjoy being creative so we are able to make a variety of mocktails based upon the flavors our guests prefer," she said.
Apple and Hazelnut Iced Tea: Combine apple juice, hazelnut syrup, fresh lime wedges and lemonade in a shaker. Mix them all together and pour the mocktail over ice. Garnish with an apple slice.
Sriracha Bloody Mary: For those who like a little spice, combine tomato juice, two dashes of Sriracha sauce, a dash of pepper, celery salt, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a splash of lemon juice. Combine, shake and strain over ice. Garnish with a jalapeno, mozzarella and celery.
Blue Orange Margarita: Add blueberry simple syrup (which can be made at home by combining 1 cup water, 1 cup blueberries and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and cool) to a glass of sweet and sour mix with a splash of orange juice. Build over ice and garnish with blueberries and orange slices.