by Chris Onstad
...But non-alcoholic drinks are the order of the day when I'm on the clock. If a restaurant has a serious cocktail program then of course I taste, but review dinners are sober affairs, and I'm typically stuck with just water or the dreaded, "Diet Pepsi? Of course! And how about some crayons for Mr. BOO BOO BEE BEEEE [pinches cheek]?" It's tiresome, so I'm putting the call out for restaurants and bars where the request for an interesting, well-crafted non alcoholic adult beverage is met with enthusiasm and good cheer (and the beverage in question). Fever Tree ginger ale on the rocks won't cut it. Simple syrup with lemonade and club soda won't cut it. Bitter anise shrub? House-fermented tamarind-kola nut soda? I'm listening. How about something with a nose, with spice or an herbaceous finish, with texture and personality? Who is doing that? Where can I spend money on that?
Please suggest likely spots in the comments, and let restaurants know the non-alcoholic cocktail isn't just a money-losing oxymoron!