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Belly Up: Mocktails

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Belly Up: Mocktails
Written by Lia Grabowski | Photos by Scott Suchman

Fake It to Make It

Travelers' Tonic

Move over virgin coladas: The craft cocktail movement has found its way to mocktails. They have a dedicated spot on the menu at Henley in Nashville, Tennessee, where head bartender Jon Howard keeps a rotating roster of boozeless options. When Howard’s wife, a former bartender herself, was pregnant but didn’t want to feel out of place at the bar, he realized his beverage program could be more accommodating. “Our mocktails look and drink like cocktails,” Howard says. “They make people feel included.” When crafting them, he looks to bright and familiar flavors. His Travelers’ Tonic combines juniper with herbaceous notes of rosemary, thyme, and celery for something akin to a gin and soda but without the alcohol burn. The refreshing Swizzle and Drive is a riff on an island cooler with acidic verjus (a juice made from pressing unripe grapes; find it at specialty markets or online) alongside fresh mint.

Travelers’ Tonic 

Swizzle and Drive