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Stock an Alcohol-Free Bar with These Essentials

It’s that time of year. The holiday parties begin and whether you’re taking a break from alcohol or entertaining those who don’t imbibe, it’s essential to make the alcohol-free cocktails just as important and elegant as the super-fueled versions.

These days, there’s no shortage of amazing alcohol-free options on the market from non-alcoholic (NA) beer produced by major brands to small-batch, craft spirits.

Of course, half the fun of cocktails is the ritual of making them, and that has nothing to do with alcohol.

You’ll need the following to be bartender-ready for the first gathering:

NA spirits

First, stock your bar with essential basic alcohol-free spirits. TÖST is a startlingly delicious champagne alternative made from white tea, white cranberry and ginger. This sparkling NA version is crisp, dry like real bubbly and for a NYE toast, it looks nearly identical.

For a fun twist on mezcal or vodka, Optimist makes distilled NA spirits that are flawless on the rocks or mixed with tonic or seltzer. All contain combinations of herbs, florals and fruit extracts.

If you’re looking to concoct an NA Old Fashioned, Spiritless uses oak extract to mimic the flavor of bourbon sans alcohol. Appreciate the notes of oak, smoke and vanilla as a 1:1 substitute for your favorite whiskey.

Remember to read the labels of your NA spirits and store accordingly. Some require refrigeration while their counterparts would not. Some NA ingredients have a shorter shelf life than their alcoholic counterparts.

NA Mixers

With NA mixers, variety is essential. Start with a few carbonated options like soda water, ginger beer, grapefruit soda and tonic. Then branch out with agua frescas and flavored sparkling waters and cranberry juice and OJ.

Bar accessories

Since NA cocktails can be just as complex as alcoholic ones, you’ll need all the usual accessories including an ice bucket, ice (including larger block cubes), a shaker, strainer, spoon and jigger.

And don’t forget the cheerful bar glasses in all vital styles.

Garnishes

You’ll need garnishes like lemons, limes and oranges as well as pomegranate seeds, raspberries and dried fruit and herbs.

Ultimately, don’t stress out. Use the same methods as you would with alcoholic versions of your drinks while using their NA counterparts. Just keeping your guests happy and accommodating their needs goes a long way. Happy partying.

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