Flavour of the Month: Nine of the City’s Best Mocktails

best-mocktails-toronto

1. Pirate’s Grog

The Sailor’s Delight at Drake One Fifty is a scurvy-fighting, high seas mash-up of muddled rosemary, fresh cranberry juice, apple cider, ­Jamaican ginger beer and a spicy-sweet dash of cherry–chai masala bitters. $6. 150 York St., 416-363-6150.

 2. Not Quite Sake-tini

JaBistro’s Spicy Celery Lime is an ideal pre-sushi aperitif for those who don’t like their cocktails sweet. Ginger syrup and celery bitters evoke long-brewed, none-too-sugary iced tea with a sharp hit of lime. $7. 222 Richmond St. W., 647-748-0222.

3. Teetotaller’s Tom Collins

Muddled berries, fresh fruit juices and a sprig of lemon thyme in E11even’s Sussudio create a refreshing, herbaceous sip that’s smoother than a Tom Collins’s juniper spike. $4.50. 15 York St., 416-815-1111.

4. No-Rum Flip

The Virgin, the Serpent and the Apple at Splendido is perfect at brunch. It’s a frothy mix of house-made apple cider, egg white and almond syrup topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and tastes like homemade pie. $6. 88 Harbord St. 416-929-7788.

5. Could Be a Daiquiri

The Temperance cocktail at DEQ is an adult take on the nostalgic snow cone. A mix of muddled strawberries and aloe water is poured over crushed ice, then finished with soda, basil and a dusting of black pepper. $9. Ritz-Carlton, 181 Wellington St. W., 416-585-2500.

6. Dark and Stormy in Disguise

Sidecar packs surprisingly complex flavours into its three-ingredient Something Stormy. The ginger beer has a strong, clean bite, its sweetness balanced by muddled mint leaves and lime juice. $5. 577 College St., 416-536-7000.

7. Cider Cipher

At Ki, cinnamon-spiced mulled apple juice is carbonated in-house for a gentle take on hard cider. The drink has the light quaffability of French brut, without any of the morning-after regrets. $6. 181 Bay St., 416-308-5888.

8. Almost Caesar

Rock Lobster is on artsy Ossington, but its virgin caesar has an air of Bay Street decadence. Half a Nova Scotia lobster tail towers over a stein of Tabasco-kicked Clamato rimmed with savoury steak spices. $9. 110 Ossington Ave., 416-533-1800.

9. As Good as a G&T

The Savoury Limonata at Momofuku Nikai recreates the crisp, bittersweet flavours of a gin and tonic with a beguiling mix of rosemary, fresh lemon juice and a black pepper tincture. $5. 190 University Ave., 647-253-8000.

For the rest of this story, please see the February 2014 issue of Toronto Life magazine.

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