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ISO non-boring, non-blended & non-alcoholic drink I can order in a classy bar

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I haven't been digging the taste of soft drinks lately, and I'm a little bored with sparkling water with lime or cranberry. Are there any non-alcholic drinks chowhounds like to order when they are in a pub, bar or lounge?
Would a bartender become annoyed if I wanted to custom-order a drink, asking him/her to muddle mint leaves for a mocktail in a place that usually only serves wine, beer & spirits?

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  1. I think if you are in a bar with any kind of class, they should be more than happy to accomodate your request for non-alc version of a cocktail.
    If you are in a simple pub, you might not have too many options for "creative" drinks, and will probably wind up with some of the simple fruit juice/club soda mixtures.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BeeZee

      I don't do alcoholic drinks these days and, since I stopped, I struggle to find something that isnt too sweet.

      As a long drink, I usually settle on lime and (club) soda - in pints.

      For something more cocktaily, I go for tonic and bitters (yes, I know bitters are alcoholic,but that's OK for me). It's sort of the classic "old English" pink gin - without the gin. Very 1920s, doncha know.

    2. People custom order mixed rinks all the time, so why wouldn't you? You should ask the bartender for a recommendation, They would be glad to help and relieved that you weren't going to be on their "babysit" list that night.

      1. The drink I actually enjoyed while pregnant and running with a drinking crowd was soda water with bitters and a twist of lime. Very common. All the Vegas bartenders knew what I meant. I still like it.

        1. there's always the Virgin Mary, which if made properly, should taste almost exactly like a bloody. I also like the suggestion of soda water with a dash of bitters and a twist.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chazzerking

            Yes, a spicy well-made Virgin Mary...with a dash of tabasco, celery seed, Worcesstershire sauce...sometimes even with Pickapeppa sauce, anise seed, or beef boullion.

            Most bartenders have developed individual specialty drinks, mostly with alcohol, but sometimes not. I'd enlist your bartender's help in concocting something creative. Maybe a mixture of juices with a dash of grenadine. Mint-muddled lemonade works.

          2. You can also do oj and cranberry juice- if you want to lighten it up some add a splash of soda water. There is also the pineapple juice with soda. Any mixed drink usually has a "virgin" version of it. Ask for some sour mix with soda and lime or sour mix and juice like pineapple or cranberry.
            Have the bartender do you a non blended virgin pina colada- delicious!

            1 Reply
            1. re: MeffaBabe

              I don't drink much, and I don't like soda, so I've been ordering juices and other "virgin" drinks in bars for years. Bartenders don't mind -- the bar is going to charge you almost as much as they would for the version with the booze and it costs them a lot less.

              I think this subject has come up before -- I know one common recommendation is an Arnold Palmer (lemonade and iced tea).

            2. how about cranberry and soda?...or any other kind of juice and soda. If the place is really classy the bartender should be able to whip up something for you.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sweetie

                I have made virgin mojitos for friends that are pregnant, they are a huge hit. Any higher end bar should be able to whip you up one....lime juice, simple syrup, mint, ice & soda water....very refreshing.

              2. how about oj w/cream over ice or blended for a creamsicle...

                1 Reply
                1. re: justagthing

                  That sounds wonderful!

                2. Thanks for all your suggestions. Will try asking the bartender for a recommendation, and see what he/she comes up with.

                  Hadn't thought of adding bitters to soda, will give that a try sometime soon.

                  Also like the idea of virgin mojitos- I've made a similar drink (more of a muddled mint limeade) at home, but haven't tried ordering one before.

                  1. There are some good ones in this link:

                    http://ask.metafilter.com/13567/

                    The link in it is extensive.

                    1. when i bartended, i would frequently make the following n/a punch for myself and the servers to drink. it was a popular request to rehydrate after a busy happy hour rush. even the diviest bar should have the stuff to make it. dubbed "frooty punch" by the hardest working cocktail waiters in msp:

                      in shaker over ice mix equal parts
                      orange, cranberry, & pineapple juices. add optional dash of grenadine for color & sweetness.

                      *shake well* and strain over ice into chilled, tall glass. if serving to a customer, garnish with fruit slice & cherry. add splash of 7-up or soda if desired. (adding a "floater" of dark rum makes it an appealing alkie drink too)

                      simple & fast. refreshing. not as much of a PITA as a virgin mary or blended drink for the bartender. any good bartender will have their own custom n/a concoction they like to drink behind the bar, just ask!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: soupkitten

                        That orange, cranberry and pineapple drink sounds great.

                        1. re: soupkitten

                          since i don't drink alcohol very much, that is also one of my favorite items to order and most servers and bar tenders are very familiar with it.

                        2. A tonic w/ lime is my fave when I'm DD.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                            I second this. I find it quite refreshing.

                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                              You might try having a dash of tobasco added; I always like it like that.

                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                tonic w/ lime is great.

                                so is tonic w/ cranberry and a muddling of mint.

                                a virgin mai tai is also (albeit quite sweet) tasty.

                                bloody mary w/ club soda and tabasco is also intersting texturally.