A wonderful thing happened during the current cocktail revolution. While mixologists were carefully crafting, their enthusiast spirits spilled over and booze-free drinks have gotten a whole lot more interesting.
I’m pretty high on the shrubs, tonics and house-made sodas showing up on drink menus. I’m sweet on sours. And, especially this time of year, I’m a sucker for a good old-fashioned lemonade.
Here are my five favorite drinks that are way too cool to be called mocktails:
The pretty pink Rhubarb Shrub at Serious Pie has got some pucker power; the vinegar-spiked sipper is perfectly balanced with just the right kiss of sweet. It’s mighty fine alongside the roasted asparagus and morel mushroom pie.
Bar Sajor’s kombucha on draft isn’t the typical bottled fermented tea drink that to me tastes like stinky socks. It’s light and bright and has a nice spritz. If that tap runs dry, hit up the huckleberry sour or one of the drinking vinegars.
At Shultzy’s the busy kitchen crew juices gobs of lemons everyday for the spot-on citrus-y drink that’s mixed to order, served either still or sparkling. The bubbly version is like a glass of sunshine, no matter what the weather’s doing outside.
Oh, chill, creamy horchata: thanks for putting out the fire of my hot sauce shower I graciously add to the dynamite pork pastor tacos from the Los Agaves stand at the Queen Anne Farmers Market. (The market opened yesterday and is held every Thursday from 3 to 7:30 p.m. until October.) Los Agaves is also at the Sunday Fremont Farmers Market and has a permanent spot on Post Alley at Pike Place Market.
As much as I love the Rainier Smash (bourbon, lemon, mint and beer) at Golden Beetle, the house-made orange vanilla chamomile soda is pretty darn delightful. Double aww alert: It comes in an adorable bottle.