Mocktails (the beverage company) hails from the UK and has recently expanded into the U.S. with its offering of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink, well, mocktails. There are no artificial flavors nor high-fructose corn syrup in the drinks (and, of course, no alcohol), and they are certainly not shy about literally and figuratively going the distance to source their base ingredients, in their own words, “from scouring the slopes of Central Italy’s Chianti region for the finest Sangiovese grapes for our Sansgria, to searching the dense woodland of south Asia for just the right Carthamus flower for our Mockapolitan, to exploring Andean rainforests for sustainable Quassia shrub to create a delicate balance of bitter base flavours for all our secret recipes.”
Let’s give these a whirl.
Mocktails Scottish Lemonade Mockscow Mule – I will have to admit I love a good pun. As for whether this spirits-free expression substitutes for the real thing, the lemon, ginger root, and apple juice certainly make for a robust sweet-tart refreshment. To be frank, this doesn’t pass for a cocktail alternative given how straight these flavors play. I may venture that some herb infusion would have added some essence of the dryness of alcohol. But no matter, on its own, this is a full-flavored and nicely balanced beverage — and it would make a solid base for adding a splash of your spirit of choice should you want to have a little more fun. B+
Mocktails The Vida Loca Mockarita – This expression comes across a little more as a cocktail alternative than the Mockscow Mule. The lime is very pronounced and invigoratingly tart. Despite there being no mention of mint or basil, there is a strong hint of both, making it wander very close into mojito territory as well. This expression I was inclined to enjoy as a mocktail without needing to reach for a splash of tequila. A-
Mocktails Sevilla Red Sansgria – (If nothing else, Mocktails is winning with the naming of its expressions.) The color is a deep, rich purple-red. The mouthful is quite silky, reminiscent of the mouthfeel of a light and summery red wine. The flavor is very deep and thankfully tastes less like grape juice, actually hinting at red wine (without the grip and bite of the original). The alchemy is quite ingenious; the ingredients include red grape must, bitter orange, raspberry, cloves, and black carrot. Eureka. Sangria is one of my favorite cocktails and this is a very satisfying alternative indeed. (I am tempted to toss a few bottles into a pitcher and throw in a small fruit salad to get the full visual effect). A
Mocktails Karma Sucra Mockapolitan – There is a nice rosy hue to this drink. Juniper berry adds a soft sweetness against the tartness of the cranberry and lime juice base, along with carthamus flower (safflower), which probably adds the faintest floral touch to the drink. Similar to the Mule and Mockarita, this expression is more straightforward and is a lovely beverage on its own, but is too delicate to truly substitute for the spirit-heavy cosmopolitan. A-
On the whole, Mocktails are well-executed, full-flavored beverages, and the range of expressions is solid.