Passing the f*ck out on your couch or worse, in the restroom of a bar after a drunk night of merrymaking, isn't cool.
And if you're one of those who has· vowed to stick to your two drink limit this year, good luck.
But you're looking to give your pub-hopping, bar-drinking routine a makeover, here's a substitute for a healthier, crazier and merrier 2018, with a twist!
The new 'IT' food trend to watch out for—Placebo cocktails
Say na-da to saccharine mocktails this year and welcome placebo cocktails that will tingle your taste buds and give you a heady taste of alcohol, without the alcohol.
Confused? Don't be.
The new breed of cocktails has been developed by bartenders, combining craft artisan recipes with herbs, roots and fresh produce. Blended with nutrient-dense fermented drinks like kefir or kombucha, what you get in a drink is the taste of your favorite whisky—without the whisky!
Overflowing with antioxidants, slurping on one of these cocktails will give your fix of health without the worry of a blackout or breakouts the next day. Giving placebo cocktails its well-deserved moment-in-the-sun, Pretty Ugly, a Parkdale, Toronto bar, is taking the invention to the next level.
Unlike most 'mocktails' which, in Pretty Ugly Bar manager's opinion, is a mock-up of alcohol loaded with soda, juice, and sugar, these cocktails could easily fool you to think it's the real alcoholic drink. But it isn't.
What is a placebo cocktail?
Everything about the placebo cocktail is like the real cocktail. The taste, texture, aroma, and intensity of the placebo cocktail will confuse you to think that it's the real deal.
But it's not an alcoholic concoction if you must know.
The cocktail came into existence after months of trial-and-error along with planning by the owner of Pretty Ugly Bar Robin Goodfellow and bar manager Evelyn Chick, who took it upon themselves to prove that the only way one can create a faux-alcoholic drink is by creating a non-alcoholic drink.
“I gave Robin the first version to try about four months ago,” Chick told The Star, in reference to her house-made 'fauxmaro'—a non-alcoholic version of Amaro that is an Italian bitter liqueur used for creating several cocktails like a delicious variant of your traditional gin-and-tonic drink.
“But we’ve actually been thinking about these flavors for a while and started experimenting the moment we started getting really good local seasonal produce,” Chick added further.
If your mind is already running with a million questions about how in the world is fauxmaro going to compete with a traditional amaro cocktail? Chick delves a little into the know-how of the secret recipe and told The Star that her faux brew is made with balanced roots, herbs, and local fruits.
What you get in the end is a tantalizingly complex but dry tonic which tastes like real Italian amaro. In addition to her clone-amaro, both Chick and Robin make a non-alcoholic aperitivo (think Campari)—a plum “wine” and a beet-vinegar base which is created according to the ancient 'shrub' technique that involves preservation of the seasonal fruit with vinegar and sugar.
When quizzed about the etymoligical origin of the name, Robin gave all the credit to acclaimed chef and now TV presenter Matty Matheson. “I was telling him I don’t want to call it a mocktail and he came up with the name right away. It’s perfect because the name gives it its own, new category,” Robin revealed.
On being asked about the inspiration behind the idea of placebo cocktails, Chick and Robin are of the opinion that there has been an increase in the number of people who opt to not drink but still wish to have a good time while hitting a pub or bar.
They opine that the whole experience of quaffing on a placebo cocktail is to open your taste palette to a gamut of tastes and flavors and experience the joy of enjoying new zings that are excitingly refreshing, albeit in a novel way.
Also, if you're looking to only 'experiment', Pretty Ugly Bar's placebo program allows people to stop being a mere observer and, instead, take part in all the revelry and fun.
For those still cynical about the idea, the placebo cocktail trend is already evoking the spirit of drinkers on social media. In fact, placebo 'alcoholic drinks' like, for instance, Seedlip, a British non-alcoholic distilled faux-spirit was launched last year in Canada that had drinkers at hello!
Watch how a non-alcoholic drink had people fumbling for answers here:
Seedlip comes in two flavors: Garden 108, that is reminiscent of dill with light floral notes-kinda flavor, and Spice 94, which manifests the baking spice flavor profile; that is blended to produce non-alcoholic gin and tonic.
With the eye on the future, Robin hopes to work on his own color-free, non-alcoholic spirit, since he isn't resting on the laurels of his current placebo menu.
“Now that we’ve figured out how to do this, we’re gonna start getting really fun with it, making the faux spirits clearer, funkier and more interesting,” Robin revealed. “This is, like, our first draft. It’s only going to get better,” he explained.
Who's excited now?
Watch what exactly is the new trend here:
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