Skip to main content

The Best Alcohol-free Drink - Ipanema

Usually I call them [out of laziness] mocktails - but really I never liked this denomination.
As "mocktails" are usually long drinks, it is even twice wrong, to connect them to a cocktail [which is technically a short drink with alcohol]. 

Apart of this, I am not a big believer in mocktails. Sodas can be fantastic [home made grapefruit soda is fantastic, or homemade ginger ale, ginger beer or any other odd ingredient sodas]. Juices - fine.
Lemonades - yes, refreshing and good. And iced teas - can be absolutely amazing. Hence you don't need sickly sweet syrupy juice mixtures.

But yes - there are few good ones.

Most of them a mimicking drinks with alcohol. You can make a pretty good alcohol-free Planters Punch, Hurricane or Mojito, if you are using Caribbean Syrup. Or you can use a juniper syrup for some alcohol-free gin drinks.

A drink which I got to know long time ago, very early in my career, is a bit a different beast [well - you cannot call an alcohol-free drink a beast really, but you get the point]. I worked in an American bar and restaurant, called Louisiana and this was one of the most popular drinks without booze.
It was...

The Ipanema

Truth has to be told - the Ipanema is also mimicking [at least a bit] an alcoholic drink: the Caipirinha - however it doesn't substitute the cachaça with a booze-tasting ingredient - it just goes into a complete different direction adding the exotic passionfruit.

1 piece         lime
1.5 piece      passion fruit
2 bar spoon  sugar [or 2 leveled bar spoons of fructose]
30 ml            fresh orange juice
Ginger ale to fill up [home made would be the best!]

Scoop the seeds and fruit flesh out of one passionfruit and add to a glass.
Roll the lime under your palm until it gets softer. Cut the lime into 8 pieces [first half the lime and then quarter the halves] and add to the glass. Add the sugar.
Muddle until really juicy and the sugar is almost dissolved.
Fill up the glass with ice [full of ice] - cracked ice is fine as well as crushed ice - only big ice cubes don't work here.
Add the orange juice and stir.
Fill up with ginger ale and stir again to retain the carbonation.
Garnish with a passionfruit half and lime wheel.

This is my [contemporary] recipe. The original @ Louisiana used passionfruit nectar, which you cannot compare at all with fresh passionfruit [fresh is so much better]. However I had to add fresh orange juice, as the fresh passionfruit is stronger [more acidic and much more concentrated] as nectar - and you can't use that much. 

Anyway - the drink is so good, that I featured it on all bar menus, I have written since then [and these are quite a lot]. Is it as good as an alcoholic drink?
You cannot compare tofu to a ribeye steak - can you? It is just different.

But as alcohol-free option, besides of a properly prepared iced tea, lemonade, soda [...] it is definitely fantastic. Much better than your usual mixed fruit juices or sickly sweet juice mocktails.

Try it - you will be pleasantly surprised!


  1. This sounds absolutely delicious!

    Glad you're putting an effort into posting non alcoholic drinks!

  2. It does sound good. Big fan of ginger ale and lime - it's my AFD drink of choice. Dare I say, sounds like it would also taste good with vodka in it? ;)

  3. Thanks for commenting guys! Actually I was a bit strained, due to the whole F1 circus in Abu Dhabi [and in my hotel].

    @Arwa - I am actually drinking very less - however I usually don't put a lot of effort into what I drink [it is pretty easy and effortless to open a bottle of Coca Cola]. Professionally mocktails are so different than cocktails [it sounds funny - but you have no base, you are building your ingredients around].

    @The Hedonista - the perfect match would be cachaça [Sagatiba of a+e is very nice and available here in the UAE or a bit more traditionally Germana - I think of MMi] - which would highlight the tropical notes - you don't need orange juice then, because you will have enough liquid. Or - different but not as nice as the cachaça would be dark rum. Gosling [MMi] is amazing - and you can always make an authentic Dark n'Stormy - but even Old Monk would be great.

  4. This alcohol free drink recipe is really amazing. I love this recipe and drink it. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks. Home Plix

  5. I found some great deals on a Don julio on this website


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How to use citric acid - and why you might not want to use it anyway!

To be honest, I shied away of this topic, because I think, people can misinterpret this - big time. I don't want to be part of the problem - I want to be part of the solution!  But when Chris, over at A Bar Above  discussed this subject- I literally could not resist to join into "the discussion". Here is the video: I - however take a bit slower approach than Chris. What is citric acid? Chemical Compound Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the formula C6H8O7. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks. Wikipedia Formula: C6H8O7 Molar Mass: 192.124 g/mol Melting Point: 153C Density: 1.66 g/cm3 Boiling point: 175C Soluble in: Water Why is it controversial? In my "mixology world" it is controversial, as citric acid is the stuff, which makes the nightmarish sour mix [ preferably in powder form ] sour. Yeah - citric acid is the main ingredient in one of the most

Fentiman's - part deux

You might already know [otherwise just read my last post ], that Fentiman's Botanical Tonic Water taste great. And I mentioned, that I am not totally convinced of the other flavours... Let me now and here explain why. First to the great ones: Rose Lemonade is really nice... however I have to come across one rose drink, which doesn't taste really good. A couple of years I have reviewed [and tried] Sence - also a drink which is based on Bulgarian roses - and it was lovely. Fentiman's Rose Lemonade is not different - maybe slightly too acidic. Anyway - it is just great [however also very simple to replicate - citric acid, sugar syrup, carbonated water and rose water is all what you need...]. The Curiousity Cola is also nice - it is a bit more standalone and unique as other cola sodas- but hit the right spots. Only problem still is: the original just taste better and - well like the original. Cherrybark Cola - is another good soda. While I've expected it to taste

What is the best cranberry juice in the bar?

A good friend of me "whatsapp'ed" me today and asked for my expertise: "What is the best cranberry juice?" I would loved to just let him know the brand - however it is not that easy. What do we understand of cranberry juice? One of the biggest [maybe the  biggest producer] of cranberry products is Ocean Spray. And: it is well regarded. Problem is: it is not a juice! Wait - what? Ocean Spray doesn't produce a juice - they produce a juice cocktail - which translates into a lot of water, a lot of sugar, some taste-balancers as citric acid [nothing against this really] and a minuscule portion of juice - usually around 3%. Yes they have something which is called 100% juice. Which is on one hand true, on the other the biggest deception ever. Because you don't get 100% cranberry - you get a mixture of juices of concentrate - most of the time apple and white grape and a bit of cranberry. There are also some other brands around, which might feature a h