ALCOHOL-FREE DRINKS —

MAKING THE GRADE AT ZERO–PROOF

Who said a great cocktail had to contain alcohol? There are growing legions of people who are looking to entertain and be entertained without it. For many, it’s a matter of enjoying the taste of a cocktail without any of the potential side effects.

Creating alcohol-free drinks involves as much art and skill as does mixing with spirited ingredients. There are scores of interesting and high quality products that can be used in their creation. More importantly, alcohol-free cocktails are every bit as delicious and worthy of public acclaim as any that are spiked with spirits. —RP


ALCOHOL-FREE DRINKS AT A GLANCE

• DIFFICULTY OF PREPARATION: 4.6 OUT OF 10 — The little preparation involved making these drinks is not difficult or time-consuming. While some require handshaking or blending the ingredients, most of the drinks are made directly into the glass in which they’re served. All in all, they’re a piece of cake.

[Scale 1– 10: A drink with a value of 5.0 or lower means it can easily be prepared in one’s sleep, while a rating closer to 10 indicates that it takes several days to prepare and requires an advanced degree.]


• UP-SELLING POTENTIAL: 9.7 OUT OF 10 — When people who don’t drink alcohol go out on the town, they expect to be indulged to the same degree as others who do socialize with alcohol. That means they would likely prefer being offered a snazzy alcohol-free house specialty than a glass of tap water. Likewise, premium brands of alcohol-free beverages sell well on-premise and yield profit margins equal to those that contain alcohol. There’s considerable profit to be made marketing at zero-proof.

 [Scale 1– 10: A drink with an up-selling potential of 5.0 or higher means it’s a financial thoroughbred, a cocktail tailor-made for top-shelf spirits. A rating below 5 signifies a drink in which the brand of spirits used are of secondary importance compared to the overall effect looking to be achieved.]

• ALCOHOL POTENCY: Trust us on this, nothing can be less alcoholically potent than a drink made without alcohol.

[As a general rule, 1 1/4-ounces of distilled spirits is equal in alcohol to 4-ounces of wine and 10-ounces of beer.]


 • SEASONAL ORIENTATION AND TRADE PERIOD — There are marvelous alcohol-free drinks appropriate for the four seasons listed in Wikipedia. Warm outside? How about a snazzy drink made with lemonade, iced tea and a small scoop of lemon sorbet? If it’s not so warm outside, perhaps promote something warm and comforting made with coffee, hot cocoa, raspberries and frothed milk. We guarantee there are groovy alcohol-free concoctions perfect for your bar.

As for day parts, when the sun’s up we suggest offering your guests something tall and refreshing. If a limbo contest is on the evening’s docket, consider adding a shot or two of an energy drink into the concoction.

As afternoon gradually turns into early evening, the palate starts craving an aperitif, a light, well-balanced offering with a delicate, yet captivating flavor and delightfully effervescent. While a galaxy of combinations are possible, one of our favorite aperitifs is prepared with Finest Call Sweet & Sour, açai-blueberry juice, a few dashes of Angostura bitters and Perrier served straight up in a chilled cocktail glass.

As for what to promote after dinner, hot coffee, tea or cocoa drinks sound good to us.


• GLASSWARE OPTIONS — Alcohol-free drinks served straight up require a cocktail glass with a minimum of five-ounces in capacity. There are a wide variety of shapes and sizes from which to choose, so pick a style that best epitomizes your concoction’s personality. Serving the same cocktail on the rocks requires a glass with a minimum capacity of ten-ounces. Here again, there are numerous styles of tumblers and specialty glasses designed for iced cocktails. Choose the one that best showcases your efforts.

The largest selection of specialty glasses is reserved for blended alcohol-free specialties. The possibilities range from Fiesta Grandes, Coupettes and Hurricane glasses to mason jars, wine glasses and beer mugs. If the container is transparent and has a minimum capacity of fourteen-ounces, it’s a candidate. After all, who says you can’t serve frozen drinks in yard glasses?


• ALCOHOL-FREE OPTIONS: 10 OUT OF 10 — These cocktails are prepared Finest Call Lime Juice, Sweet & Sour, Lime Sour Mix and Finest Call Triple Sec and Blue Curaçao, all of which are fundamental building blocks of creating delectable alcohol-free concoctions. The mixes are delicious blended with ice cream, fruit purees or various types of tropical juices. They also pair well with flavored syrups and many of the other prominent drink mixes in the Finest Call portfolio.

[Scale: The rating of 10 out of 10 indicates that preparing alcohol-free specialties with Finest Call Drink Mixes are plentiful and easily crafted.]


CREATING ALCOHOL-FREE MAGIC

There’s a world of choices for people who entertain with alcohol, but what fun awaits people who don’t drink alcohol? They’re in the majority, after all. What options do they have when it comes to what to drink?

So go ahead and serve your guests a thick, rich milkshake, a tall glass of bubble tea, or perhaps a raspberry-flavored lemonade. Maybe they’d rather sip on a caffé latte or mug of hot cocoa with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream. Whatever their personal preferences may be, the creative possibilities are endless.

At Finest Call, we’ve developed a range of products designed to help you shake up some alcohol-free magic behind the bar.


• FINEST CALL FRUIT PUREES — Created to deliver a concentrated blast of fresh fruit flavor, Finest Call Fruit Purees are indispensable when creating alcohol-free magic. An excellent example is the FROSTED STRAWBERRY MANGO PUNCH. It’s prepared with both Finest Call Strawberry and Mango Purees, while the BANANA CRUSH is constructed with Finest Call Banana and Raspberry Puree. Finest Call Passion Fruit Puree is at the heart of the sumptuous MAI TAI ICED TEA.

Our purees are made entirely of premium varieties of fruit picked at their peak ripeness. Having done nature one better, shelf-stable fruit purees allow you to fully deliver on the promise of fresh without the attendant hassles.

Finest Call’s unbeatable range of premium purees includes FINEST CALL RASPBERRY PUREE, FINEST CALL STRAWBERRY PUREE, FINEST CALL BANANA PUREE, FINEST CALL MANGO PUREE, FINEST CALL PEACH PUREE and FINEST CALL PASSION FRUIT PUREE.

The all-natural mixes are featured in these alcohol-free libations:

Banana Crush (Finest Call Banana and Raspberry Puree)

Frosted Strawberry Mango Punch (Finest Call Strawberry and Mango Purees)

Huckle Raspberry Lemonade (Finest Call Raspberry Puree)

Mai Tai Iced Tea (Finest Call Passion Fruit Puree)

Peanut Butter & Jam Shake-Up (Finest Call Strawberry Puree)

Pomegranate Raspberry Shakedown (Finest Call Raspberry Puree)

Prickly Peach Lemonade Freeze (Finest Call Peach Puree)

Raspberry Squeeze Iced Tea (Finest Call Raspberry Puree)


• FINEST CALL SWEET & SOUR MIX — There are more cocktails and mixed drinks made with lemon-based sweet & sour than all other drink mixes combined. FINEST CALL SWEET & SOUR MIX is a blend of all-natural lemon, orange and lime extracts. Sweeteners are added to throttle back some of the citrus exuberance, resulting in a delectably flavorful drink mix.

The naturally tart mix provides the foundation for the following alcohol-free libations.

Banana Crush (Finest Call Sweet & Sour)

Frosted Strawberry Mango Punch (Finest Call Sweet & Sour)

Twisted Orange Iced Tea (Finest Call Sweet & Sour)


• FINEST CALL FLAVORED SYRUPS — Sometimes a splash or two of flavor is all that’s necessary to propel a drink into the extraordinary range. To that end, we’ve created a line of flavored syrups perfect for alcohol-free cocktails and mixed drinks.

For inspiration on what’s creatively possible, check out the following recipes:


Cherries Bluebilee (Finest Call Cherry Syrup)

Frosted Strawberry Mango Punch (Finest Call Cherry Syrup)

Huckle Raspberry Lemonade (Finest Call Huckleberry Syrup)

Iced Cherry Chocolate Mocha (Finest Call Cherry Syrup)

Iced Almond Latte (Finest Call Orgeat Syrup)

Mai Tai Iced Tea (Finest Call Pomegranate Syrup)

Peanut Butter & Jam Shake-Up (Finest Call Cherry Syrup)

Pineapple Upside-Down Shake (Finest Call Orgeat Syrup)

Pomegranate Raspberry Shakedown (Finest Call Pomegranate Syrup)

Prickly Peach Lemonade Freeze (Finest Call Prickly Pear Syrup)


• FINEST CALL DRINK INGREDIENTS — We’ve made it our business to develop the finest, highest quality drink fixings possible. As a result, our products have tremendous versatility. For instance, the PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN SHAKE gets its identity from a dose of Finest Call Piña Colada Mix. Other recipes calling for a splash or two of flavor include:

Key Lime Colada (Finest Call Piña Colada Mix and Lime Sour Mix)

Mai Tai Iced Tea (Finest Call Mai Tai Mix)

Pineapple Upside-Down Shake (Finest Call Piña Colada Mix)


• FINEST CALL BLUE CURAÇAO — There is something intriguing about sipping on a blue drink. Maybe they remind us of a Star Trek episode. Whatever the reason, blue drinks are like a weekend pass to Funsville and FINEST CALL BLUE CURAÇAO is the surefire way to get there.

Blue Curaçao and Triple Sec are quite similar in taste and aroma. Both have delightful, semi-sweet orange characters. Yet the Curaçao brings something singularly compelling to the table that Triple Sec can’t muster even on its best day.

We’ve devised two alcohol-free recipes that feature Finest Call Blue Curaçao. The CHERRIES BLUEBILEE is a gorgeous crowd-pleasing lemonade, while the POMEGRANATE RASPBERRY SHAKEDOWN is an ice cream shake made with raspberry puree, pomegranate syrup and Blue Curaçao.

Cherries Bluebilee (Finest Call Blue Curaçao)

Pomegranate Raspberry Shakedown (Finest Call Blue Curaçao)

Twisted Orange Iced Tea (Finest Call Triple Sec)


MARKETING AT ZERO PROOF

Alcohol-free products are the fastest growing category of beverages in the country. Alcohol-free menus should be developed with the same production value as your regular specialty drink menu. A poorly conceived menu will undermine your efforts and make it appear to both staff and clientele alike that you are merely going through the motions.

Your alcohol-free menu should be as diversified as the clientele. It should be easily read in low light and present a balanced offering of selection — from non-alcoholic beers and bottled waters to specialty coffees and herbal teas.

These products should be priced in-line with the bar’s other menu items. If priced too low, the staff may consider them to be lesser products. Price these beverage and drinks too high, your clientele will rightfully conclude that they’re being gouged.

Alcohol-free specialty drinks have the potential to be as delicious and sophisticated as those containing alcohol. To be successful, however, they should be presented with the same appeal and flair as your bar’s other house specialties. In addition, consideration needs to be given to glassware selection and garnishing. Every effort should be made so that your alcohol-free signature drinks look and taste exceptional.

Getting your staff to fully support the program is essential to its success. Attitudes are changing toward the marketing of these products. Long gone are the old stigmas and stereotypes surrounding alcohol-free beverages and the people who order them in bars. Servers need to identify opportunities to market these products. For example, up-selling a bottled water to someone who requests a glass of water, or an alcohol-free drink to a person reluctant to order another drink with alcohol. Servers need to believe in the quality and basic appeal of alcohol-free beverages and drinks to be successful selling them.

Risk-free profits make these no octane beverages one of the most significant beverage trends to hit the restaurant business in years. Stock up and ride the wave.


ALCOHOL-FREE — TIPS FOR PROS

More than a passing fad, these alcohol-free is now part of the dynamics of our industry. Today, people are more predisposed to socializing without alcohol. There are numerous reasons why, including stricter DWI laws, health concerns, caloric content and personal preference. This trend has propelled alcohol-free products into a multi-billion dollar industry, and the fastest growing category of beverages in the country.

In addition to increased consumer demand, another reason to market alcohol-free drinks is that they usually command profit margins equal to their more potent counterparts. Also, it incurs no third-party liability and precipitates no service-related problems. From a management standpoint, incentives for selling alcohol-free beverages are rife.


• LEMONADES — Delicious and thirst quenching, lemonade is a natural for alcohol-free duty. Adding flavored syrup to lemonade is a simple, yet effective maneuver, as is splashing in some effervescence ginger ale or sparkling cider.

Too tame? If so perhaps you’re ready for the LEMONADE FLOAT, a tall dessert-like treat prepared by adding a scoop of lemon sorbet to a 3/4 full glass of lemonade. Of course there’s no reason to limit oneself to a solitary flavor of sorbet when so many exist.

• ICE CREAM DRINKS — Tempting guests with irresistible, dessert-like libations is a “can’t miss” proposition. It appeals to the child within all of us, and whether they admit it or not, people are attracted most to the instant gratification of taste.

Consider pairing chocolate ice cream and Mandarin oranges with espresso coffee. Then again, who said anything about being limited to using ice cream? Imagine combining fresh kiwis with lime sherbet, or papayas with lemon sorbet.

Another option is creating a swirl, a drink that tastes as great as it looks. A swirl is made by combining two different ice cream drinks “swirled” together in the same glass. Choose two drinks with complementary flavors, but distinctly different looks.


• AWESOME KIDS’ DRINKS — Why not offer the kids a few special drinks as well? Why make them suffer with the usual selections of sodas and juice? Special to a kid means a great tasting concoction that mom and dad wouldn’t normally let them drink.

Kids’ drinks also need to look spectacular. When appropriate, serve these drinks in tall, yet durable specialty glasses. Perhaps coat the inside of the glasses with chocolate and caramel syrup. Frozen blueberries (slightly thawed) or grenadine are great ways to add a splash of color. A few dashes of vanilla extract will give the drink an irresistible aroma. The coup de grace is snipping the ends off red licorice sticks and using them instead of straws.

Have fun and think like a kid—you’ll do great.


• SMOOTHIES — Smoothies may well be the best of all things. They’re blended drinks with fruit, non-fat frozen yogurt, sherbet or sorbet. Many feature such highly beneficial things as supplemental vitamins, minerals, fiber, herbs, amino acids, soy protein and phytonutrients. There are smoothies designed to do everything from providing a boost of energy or fight a cold, to bolster one’s immunity or to help shed a few unwanted pounds. All this and they’re sumptuous too.


FINEST CALL ALCOHOL-FREE DRINK RECIPES

BANANA CRUSH

Collins or bucket glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an iced blender canister

2 oz. Finest Call Banana Puree

2 oz. Finest Call Raspberry Puree

2 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour 

2 oz. cranberry juice

1 banana, peeled

Blend thoroughly

Garnish with fresh berries and a banana slice


CHERRIES BLUEBILEE

Collins or bucket glass, chilled

Build in glass

1 oz. Finest Call Blue Curaçao

Fill with crushed Ice

8-10 oz. lemonade

Float 1 oz. Finest Call Cherry Syrup

Garnish with a maraschino cherry


FROSTED STRAWBERRY MANGO PUNCH

Sugar-rimmed pint glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an iced blender canister

2 oz. Finest Call Strawberry Puree

2 oz. Finest Call Mango Puree

4 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour 

Blend thoroughly

Splash lemon/lime soda

Float 1⁄2 oz. Finest Call Grenadine or Cherry Syrup

Garnish with a lime wheel and a fresh strawberry


HUCKLE-RASPBERRY LEMONADE

Collins or bucket glass, ice

Build in glass

10-12 oz. lemonade

1 oz. Finest Call Raspberry Puree

Float 1 oz. Finest Call Huckleberry Syrup

Garnish with a lemon wedge


ICED ALMOND LATTE

Collins or bucket glass, ice

Pour ingredients into an iced blender canister

2 oz. Finest Call Orgeat Syrup

6 oz. coffee or espresso

3 oz. whole milk

Shake and strain

Garnish with whipped cream


ICED CHERRY CHOCOLATE MOCHA

Collins or bucket glass, ice

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 1⁄2 oz. Finest Call Cherry Syrup

1 1⁄2 oz. chocolate syrup

6 oz. coffee or espresso

3 oz. milk

Shake and strain

Garnish with whipped cream drizzled with chocolate syrup and a maraschino cherry


KEY LIME COLADA

Crushed graham cracker-rimmed Collins or pint glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an empty blender canister

3⁄4 oz. Finest Call Lime Juice

4 oz. Finest Call Piña Colada Mix

4 oz. Finest Call Lime Sour Mix

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Blend thoroughly

Garnish with whipped cream, crushed graham crackers, a pineapple spear and a lime slice


MAI TAI ICED TEA

Pint glass (16 ounces), chilled

Place an orange slice, lemon slice and cherry into pint glass before adding ice

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

6 oz. iced tea

1 ½ oz. Finest Call Mai Tai Mix

1 1⁄2 oz. Finest Call Passion Fruit Puree

Shake and strain

Float 1⁄2 oz. Finest Call Pomegranate Syrup

Garnish with a paper umbrella


PEANUT BUTTER & JAM SHAKE-UP

Collins or bucket glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an empty blender canister

3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

4 oz. Finest Call Strawberry Puree

4 oz. milk

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Blend thoroughly

Coat inside of chilled glass with Finest Call Cherry Syrup

Pour the blended drink into the glass

Garnish with whipped cream, a fresh strawberry and crushed peanuts


PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN SHAKE

Brown sugar-rimmed, Collins or bucket glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an empty blender canister

4 oz. Finest Call Piña Colada Mix

1 oz. Finest Call Orgeat Syrup

1 oz. pineapple juice

3-5 maraschino cherries, stems removed

4 oz. milk

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Blend thoroughly

Garnish with whipped cream, a pineapple slice and a maraschino cherry


POMEGRANATE RASPBERRY SHAKEDOWN

Collins or bucket glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an empty blender canister

1 oz. Finest Call Pomegranate Syrup

1 oz. Finest Call Blue Curaçao

2 oz. Finest Call Raspberry Puree

4 oz. milk

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Blend thoroughly

Garnish with whipped cream drizzled with Finest Call Pomegranate Syrup


PRICKLY PEACH LEMONADE FREEZE

Collins or bucket glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an iced blender canister

1 oz. Finest Call Prickly Pear Syrup

2 oz. Finest Call Peach Puree

8-10 oz. lemonade

Blend thoroughly

Add approximately 1 oz. lemon/lime soda

Float 1 oz. Finest Call Prickly Pear Syrup

Garnish with a lemon slice


RASPBERRY SQUEEZE ICED TEA

Collins or bucket glass, ice

Build in glass

10-12 oz. iced tea

3 oz. Finest Call Raspberry Puree

3⁄4 oz. Finest Call Lime Juice

Garnish with a lime wedge


TWISTED ORANGE ICED TEA

Collins or bucket glass, ice

Build in glass

10-12 oz. iced tea

1 1⁄2 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour

1 1⁄2 oz. Finest Call Triple Sec

3⁄4 oz. fresh lemon juice (optional)

Garnish with an orange slice and a lemon wheel

Difficulty of
Preparation

Upselling
Potential

Alcohol-Free
Options