Don't Knock The Mocktail: Kansas City Bartenders Branch Out
Sometimes, it’s just not the right time for an alcoholic drink.
The mixology movement has picked up over the last few years, and as a result mocktails — cocktails without the booze — have become increasingly available, more popular and without a doubt, more tasty.
Many places around town boast a staff of knowledgeable bartenders at the ready to craft any beverage you could fathom, but it is hard to find an actual mocktail menu. The Brick, a restaurant, bar and live music venue located in Kansas City's Crossroads district, has one.
On the menu, you'll find a virgin Bloody Mary — called the Bloody Shame — and the simple, but ever-popular Ginger Snap, basically a non-alcoholic Moscow Mule with a twist — ginger beer, lime juice and pear juice.
Off-menu, The Brick offers bartender Christi Brunner's creation, called Springtime, made from muddled cucumber, elderberry syrup, soda water and a hint of orange. With fresh ingredients like fruit purees, herbs and flowers, it's easy to craft a mocktail on the fly.
Sheri Parr, owner of The Brick, said it is the fresh and slightly more complex ingredients that distinguish a mocktail from a simple juice or flavored soda.
"I think cucumber and mint, elderberry, violet, lavender … All of those are adult flavors," Parr said. "I think there's a layer of notes when you build a cocktail."
Here are a few mocktails that bartenders across the city have built and are proud to call their own:
- Mock-YEAH!-ing-YEAH!-bird: ripe strawberries or raspberries, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, ginger juice, thyme syrup, sparkling water — Courtney Crockett, bartender at The Brick
- Backyard Cooler: sprig of dill, watermelon juice, cucumber juice, lemon juice, spicy ginger syrup, sparkling water — Erik Mariscal, bartender at The Jacobson
- Yogi: lemongrass tea (lemongrass, chamomile, rhubarb, bitter orange peel, lime zest), lemon juice, agave nectar, sparkling mineral water — Valdez Campos, bar manager at BLVD Tavern
- Rosy Palms: housemade grapefruit and rose shrub (grapefruit peel, rose petals, sugar, apple cider vinegar), soda water — Margot Thompson, bar manager at The Farmhouse
- Powell and Friends (named after George E. Powell of Powell Gardens): watermelon, peppermint leaves, lemon juice, lime juice, vanilla bean simple syrup, sparkling water — Brandon Cummins, managing partner of Liquid Minded Concepts
- Summer Cooler: housemade strawberry basil soda, celery bitters, lime juice, grapefruit juice, soda water — Jenn Tosatto, bartender at The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange
- Ginger Refresher: Kansas City Canning Co. blood orange and ginger shrub, grapefruit juice, earl grey tea syrup, lemon juice, ginger beer — Justin Richardson, head bartender at Julep