Barfly: ‘Smash’ fresh strawberries for extra flavor in this non-alcoholic cocktail

Barfly: ‘Smash’ fresh strawberries for extra flavor in this non-alcoholic cocktail

Strawberries are the main influence behind this week’s installment of #MocktailMondays, ever since a container of them from Costco showed up in our fridge last weekend.

Muddling the fruit with some rock salt plum syrup and a teaspoon of turbinado sugar helps create the flavor base for this drink. I like how the plum’s taste pairs well with Kentucky 74 non-alcoholic bourbon, while adding a bit of Lyre’s non-alcholic American malt whisky gives it some necessary balance.

Of course, fresh fruit and fresh juice is always preferred, but don’t feel bad if you need to go the bottled route. Just realize the user experience is different when it comes to fresh versus preserved, and your mileage may vary… and it will be more pronounced due to the fact you’re not using any actual alcohol in the cocktail.

Not feeling the low-ABV lifestyle? This one will pair nicely with some regular octane rum or vodka and turn into a nice punch-like drink; if you stay in the whiskey lane, make sure you find a sweeter bourbon to pair with the flavors used here.

Strawberry Smash

  • 1 1/2 ounce Kentucky 74 NA bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce Lyre’s NA American malt whisky
  • 1/4 ounce Giffard’s aperitivo syrup
  • 1/2 ounce Harder’s rock salt plum syrup
  • 5 strawberries
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 1/2 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 4 dashes smoked barrel bitters
  • 4 dashes tiki bitters
  • Club soda

In a mixing tin, muddle four strawberries with rock salt plum syrup and turbinado sugar. Add NA bourbon and whisky, aperitivo syrup and lemon, pineapple, orange and grapefruit juices, and smoked barrel bitters.

Add ice to tin and shake vigorously. Strain into highball glass and top with club soda. Garnish with last strawberry.

Note: After adding the club soda, stir the drink for an evenly balanced sip throughout. Don’t stir first and you’ll get a nice, light strawberry flavor that builds in intensity as you sip from the top. Or add a straw and alternate sips for another fun way to enjoy this one.

Jason Genegabus has written about Hawaii’s cocktail, beer and wine scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at barflyhawaii@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.