The original, and most famous, non-alcoholic mixed drink (aka mocktail) is the Shirley Temple. It’s a sickly sweet mix of grenadine and ginger ale garnished with a maraschino cherry that was obviously concocted by someone with a disdain for people who don’t drink alcohol.
But an increasing amount of drinks-list real estate is being surrendered to interesting, delicious and mature non-alcoholic options.
Rare Hare, the casual bistro component of the Mornington Peninsula’s swanky designer hotel Jackalope, has a couple of good booze-free options on its menu. Sure it’s located on a winery, but being a modern kind of place in a region outside of Melbourne, it knows all about designated drivers and doesn’t want to punish them twice by having no alternative to mineral water or soft drink.
Rare Hare’s non-alcoholic drinks are named after drinks with alcohol in them, which helps. Sober One Sangria is an elegant, layered drink, based around raspberry and apple juices that are aromatically flavoured with chargrilled orange, smoked paprika, star anise and mint.
It plays very nicely with food, like the restaurant’s must-have local eggplant that’s chopped in half and topped with red miso paste before being put into the wood oven. After cooking, it’s garnished with chilli, fresh coriander leaves and furikake.
The eggplant also goes well with Rare Hare’s other ‘no-al’ mixed drink, Soaked Cherry Shiraz – grape juice flavoured with cherries and lemon.
- Rare Hare: Jackalope Hotel, 166 Balnarring Road, Merricks North. 5931 2500