The reintroduced alcohol ban caught many by surprise. Implemented with immediate effect, no one had time to ensure those booze cabinets were restocked. We’ve rounded up four of our favourite non-alcoholic cocktail mixes and tonics to stretch out your remaining liquor or to enjoy on their own.
THE MIX: Just Short
Molecular Bars, helmed by mixologist extraordinaire Dino Batista, has used its downtime during lockdown to launch the innovative Just Short series — a range of almost-complete, pre-bottled cocktails which are “just short” of alcohol. Stunningly packaged, each cocktail is made using fresh ingredients and ready to be enjoyed over ice with or without a shot of your preferred spirit. Try the Komodo — the best-selling of the range — which is a fiery mix of ginger and tropical fruits; The Future Mary, coined as being the drink for those who love a Bloody Mary and for those who think they don’t; or the Paloma — a gorgeous grapefruit-and-peppercorn concoction perfect for those with a drier palate.
HOW TO ENJOY
- Fill a tall glass with ice
- Add 35ml of alcohol of your choice (or you can leave it out)
- Top with a Just Short mixer
THE CORDIAL: The Flavour Company
Arguably Joburg’s most renowned mixologist and head drinks slinger at everyone’s favourite speak-easy Sin + Tax, Julian Short has just launched his own line of tea cordials and drinking vinegars. Under the banner of The Flavour Company, the non-alcoholic beverages are reminiscent of the critically acclaimed watering hole’s outstanding cocktails, and allow fans to create similar iterations at home. The tea cordial flavours include: lemon leaf & gooseberry, chamomile & passion fruit; and the drinking vinegar flavours include: pomegranate & balsamic and salted rooibos & hemp vinegar. So, if you’re missing your late-night number 9s as much as we are, then visit @the_flavourist on Instagram to find out more. All ingredients are locally sourced from a farm on the outskirts of Joburg too — local is always lekker.
HOW TO ENJOY
Best served as a double shot, topped with chilled soda water.
THE COCKTAIL: Xero Drinks
If it’s a G&T you’re longing for, look no further than Xero. The sexy new sparkling drink is an enticing twist on the favourite tipple but with an alcohol content less than 0.05% it’s still available for level three buying. Xero is available in original tonic, grapefruit, rose, and cucumber as well as a twist of lemon, ensuring no matter how you’re used to enjoying your G&Ts you’re covered. Look them up on Instagram or Facebook.
HOW TO ENJOY
Chill cans and enjoy, or serve over ice.
THE TONIC: Symmetry Tonic Essence
Produced by the Geometric Drinks Company — the masterminds behind one of SAs best gins (Geometric gin) — Symmetry Botanical Tonic Essences will make you rethink tonic as you know it. Made from just plants and water with a touch of cane sugar, Symmetry is not only alcohol free but is also free of preservatives, flavouring, colourants and extracts. The finished product contains a quarter of the sugar content of regular tonic. So much more than just another mixer, each of the three tonic essences available are carefully crafted to ensure they are as enjoyable on their own (mixed with carbonated water) as they are when mixed with spirits. Stir up with fizzy water and enjoy an unadulterated a sense of Cape floral heritage as you’ve never tasted before.
The range includes Symmetry Citrus Tonic Essence, Symmetry Spice Tonic Essence, and Symmetry Floral Tonic Essence.
HOW TO ENJOY
Without alcohol: Serve over ice with sparkling water in a 1:3 ratio or more to taste.
With alcohol: Use Symmetry to replace your industrial mixers.
Use equal parts of Tonic essence and spirit over ice, and top up with sparkling water.
• Geometric Drinks Company’s website offers suggestions of what garnishes and alcohol spirits (if you have at home) are best suited to each flavour of Symmetry Tonic Essence.