How to embrace the ‘Mocktail Movement’ in 2021.
By Nafisa Singhsachathet and Ashima Sethi
During celebrations, being Indian often means you’ll find us wherever the booze is, and as we wrapped up 2020 with more bubbly than was necessary, it’s now officially Dry January, also known as the time of year where we hear friends and family talking about how much they need a break from alcohol. For those who genuinely want to cut down on their drinking, whether as part of their 2021 resolutions or even just in a bid to change their habits, Masala has compiled some fun facts about the growing mocktail movement as well as some of Bangkok’s must-try non-alcoholic refreshments.
Benefits of Cutting Down on Alcohol
Weight Loss: A standard drink has around 150 calories so being mindful of how much alcohol you’re consuming can actually help you lose weight without compromising on the nutrients your body needs. Boozy beverages add liquid calories, which don’t fill you up the way food calories do, and since alcohol has a dehydrating effect, it can also make you bloat!
Clearer Skin: As a diuretic, alcohol will make you go to the bathroom more often than water. This makes it harder for the body to stay hydrated, which can cause dry, lusterless skin. Alcohol also increases blood sugar, oestrogen, and cortisol levels, a recipe for breakouts!
Immune System Boost: Being intoxicated can acutely suppress immune function, making you more vulnerable to pathogens, while chronic drinking can lead to inflammatory reactions throughout the body.
Some of Bangkok’s must-try mocktails:
SEEN Restaurant & Bar atop Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel has two recommended non-boozy refreshments. One is the Virgin g + t (THB 280), made from pink grapefruit juice, homemade juniper berry syrup, and topped with grapefruit tonic, perfect for an afternoon wind down. The restaurant also does a fun spin on a Mai Tai called the May in Thai (THB 280), crafted using orange juice, orgeat syrup, citrus, rock candy, and ginger ale.
One of the newest openings on the list, Stella at Capella Bangkok offers several bespoke mocktails. For coffee lovers, the Tiny martini (THB 280) is a beautiful balance of chocolate cordial, vanilla syrup citrus, and sparkling coffee. If you prefer something fruity, the Second secret (THB 280) comprises of grape juice, cherry juice, sweet and sour cordial, and pineapple chunks dipped in non-alcholic bitters.
Skip the booze with one of Vertigo and Moonbar at Banyan Tree Bangkok‘s signature mocktails, such as the Virginal botanical (THB 300) with kiwi puree, kaffir lime syrup, pineapple, lime, and peppermint kaffir lime foam. Just as tempting, the Horizon (THB 300) is a refreshing drink that showcases Thai flavours through its combination of watermelon, passion fruit, kaffir lime, butterfly pea, and pandan.
At Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok‘s Bar.Yard, the city’s ‘backyard in the sky’ the menu boasts several signature cocktails minus the alcohol. For example, the Mock-scow mule (THB 150) has everything but the vodka, while the Mock-jito has everything but the rum (THB 150), or opt for one of their unique mocktails like the Passion-less fruit (THB 190), made using passion fruit, lime and ginger (THB 190).
If you find yourself in central Sukhumvit and are in need of a spritz, the Lobby Lounge at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park has an array of non-alcoholic refreshments. Some of their non-boozy mixes include the Pink grapefruit collins (THB 155) comprising of grapefruit syrup, lime juice, elderflower syrup and soda; and the Elderflower spritz (THB 155), a revitalising combination of cucumber syrup, elderflower syrup, lime juice, and tonic, served with a dehydrated orange slice.
At Peruvian-inspired hot spot, Above Eleven, their recommended mocktails put tropical ingredients centre-stage. For fruity flavours, the Bongo (THB 120) combines pineapple with mango puree, Giffard grenadine, coconut milk, and orange and lime juice. If you’re brave enough, the bar also offers the Spicy tango (THB 120), a piquant amalgamation of Aji Amarillo chillies, passion fruit puree, pineapple and lime juice.
Nestled on top of the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit, Spectrum Lounge & Bar have mocktails as tempting as their alcoholic counterparts. Their signatures include Nana passion (THB 260) a zesty refreshment comprising of guava juice, passion fruit, lime juice, elderflower, and egg white; and the Mango tango (THB 260), a perfect fit for those who like it hot, which combines chilli infused mango puree with elderflower, lime, more chilli, and salt.
At Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit’s Belga Rooftop Bar & Brasserie, beverages go beyond just beer as the restaurant also offers enticing mocktails like Love herb (THB 220), a Thai-inspired drink made from ginger, basil, honey, lime juice and ginger ale; and the Smile land (THB 220), another concoction inspired by the Land of Smiles that combines passion fruit juice with rosemary, blue hawaii, orange juice, and lime juice.
The Up & Above Bar at The Okura Prestige Bangkok specialises in floral mocktails. Their signature, the Rose de mon coeur (THB 220) is perfect for a hot day as it combines Monin rose syrup, lime, ginger, strawberry puree, lemonade, and soda. Equally rejuvenating, the Cucumber mint splash (THB 220) is a zesty mixture of cucumber, mint, lime, and soda water.
Michelin-starred restaurant nahm have just launched their new mocktails, which include the Ginger raspberry (THB 220), a tangy combination of fresh ginger, raspberry puree, and ginger ale. Just as refreshing, the Tea punch (THB 220) comprises of orange, lemon, and Earl Grey tea.
For Indian-inspired tipples:
- Punjab Grill: Meetha patta paan mojito made from paan patta, gulkand, mint syrup, lemon, and fizz (THB
195); and the Guava mary (THB 195), a spicy potation made from guava juice, tabasco, rock salt, and lemon.
- Rang Mahal: Thaidian (THB 220), crafted using tamarind sauce, Thai basil syrup, cranberry juice and an array of Indian herbs; and Sukhumvit 18 (THB 350) where flavours of jackfruit and jasmine are combined with aloe vera juice and butterfly pea tea to create an invigorating drink.
- Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology: Bombay butterflies (THB 200), a colourful layered drink made from fresh lime, homemade butterfly flower syrup, crushed mace and cloves, egg, soda, and rose water; and the Pure potential (THB 200), featuring Indian pomegranate, fresh pineapple, lime, and rosella syrup.
- Maya Restaurant and Bar: a tangy twist on a pina colada, the Maya colada (THB 220) is crafted from mango puree, strawberry, pineapple juice and coconut cream. Also fruity, the Pine frappe (THB 220) mixes together strawberry, raspberries and blueberries with pineapple juice and a touch of rose water.
- Indus: the revitalising Tub thim (THB 200) created using pomegranate, honey, lemonade, mint, and ginger; and the Shikanji (THB 200); a zesty mix of mint, rock salt, soda, and lime (THB 200).
If you’re a beer drinker, here are some non-alcoholic options available in Thailand:
- Heineken 0.0
- Erdinger Lemon Non Alcoholic
- Erdinger Weissbier Non Alcoholic
- Prostel Ginger, Lemon, Raspberry or Apple flavour
- Bavaria 0.0% in flavours like lemon and strawberry
- Bitburger Drive
- Krombacher Weizen Non Alcoholic
- Krombacher Pils
- Mikkeller Drinkin’ in the Sun
- Paulaner Hefe Weissbier (alcohol free)
If you want to stay in and DIY:
- Ingredients: 4-5 slices of cucumber, 1 oz honey syrup, 1.5 oz mango puree, 1.5 oz fresh lime juice, 1.5 oz ginger beer, and ice.
- Instructions: Muddle cucumber and honey syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the mango puree and lime juice and shake with ice vigorously. Strain into a copper mug. Top with ginger beer and stir.
Rosemary Blueberry Smash
- Ingredients: 7-8 blueberries, 1 stripped rosemary sprig, 1 oz honey syrup, 1 oz fresh lemon juice, strained, 4 oz sparkling mineral water, and ice
- Instructions: Muddle blueberries, rosemary leaves, and honey syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add lemon juice, cover and shake well with ice for 10 seconds. Strain through a mesh strainer into a tall glass of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir.