Mocktails vs. Cocktails ( Delta Sky Lounge Edition)

Last year I did a the OYNB year-long challenge in which I didn’t drink alcohol for a year. Some people abstain after this challenge, but I decided to continue drinking. Nevertheless, the challenge absolutely changed my relationship with alcohol and my drinking habits. Thus I would recommend the challenge to anyone who is unhappy about their relationship with alcohol and the role it has played in their lives.

This post is about another aspect of going alcohol-free: nonalcoholic drinks can be disappointing. I drank A LOT of nonalcoholic beverages and found that many of them were horrible. The nonalcoholic beverage industry has caught on to people’s desires to drink less alcohol and have exploited it. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, there are so many disgusting products that are advertised for the mere sake of appealing to the masses that have chosen to abstain from alcohol or drink less. Granted, this can be said for any beverage industry. There are trash alcoholic drinks too. The point of the challenge in this blog and complimentary vlog was to try some alcoholic drinks and their nonalcoholic counterpart to see which one was better. When I have a non-alcoholic drink I want something unique, delicious, adult, and worth my calories. I hope that this mini-challenge opens your eyes and minds to the fact that you can have a non-alcoholic drink that can be just as good if not better than it’s alcoholic counterpart. I believe in quality and I also believe in people making the right choices for their lifestyle and health. We shouldn’t be subject to wack products just because it has the nonalcoholic stamp to it.

Delta Sky Lounge

The Delta Sky lounge was one of the first places that I saw Seedlip 108 readily available in their bar. Seedlip is one of the many non-alcoholic sprits on the market. As such, Delta has incorporated Seedlip in many of their specialty cocktails. I noticed that they change these cocktails occasionally, so you may not see these offerings if you go to the lounge. Regardless if you go to the Delta Lounge of not, I’ll discuss what to look for in a mocktail for each pairing.

Hibiscus Cosmopolitan

The nonalcoholic version was made with Seedlip 108 and hibiscus juice. The drink was refreshing, but the Seedlip muted to hibiscus flavor. Unfortunately, the nonalcoholic sprits are typically light and tend to water down mixes that don’t have enough flavor. The alcoholic version was a classic Cosmo made with Vodka and hibiscus juice. The alcohol version tasted much better. You could appreciate the hibiscus flavor and the vodka added to the flavor profile instead of mute it. Overall, I would avoid mocktail versions of traditionally spirit forward with lighter flavors in the background.

Yuzu Gimlet

The nonalcoholic version was made with Seedlip 108, Yuzu citrus sour, and fresh orang juice. This was really good and the epitome of what you want in a mocktail: unique flavors, bold, refreshing, and delicious. It was sweet and flavorful enough that the Seedlip added to the flavor instead of lessen it. The alcoholic was made the same way. but with gin. Both drinks were good, but the nonalcoholic version was so flavorful and tasty that it was better overall.

Oaxacan Paloma

These drinks were made with grapefruit soda, Once again, the Seedlip muted the flavor of the delicate grapefruit soda. It was even worse that the cosmopolitan. As an aside FeverTree makes amazing mixers. These mixers are high quality and are good enough to drink without anything added.

Final Thoughts

All mocktails and cocktails are not created equally, but there are some things to take away from this challenge that can help you find the right mocktail. Finding the right nonalcoholic drinks makes a sober lifestyle even more rewarding.

  • Most nonalcohic sprits will lessen the flavor of delicate mixes. However, mixes that would be traditionally too sweet may do well in a mocktail
  • Don’t skip out on the nonalcoholic spirts because they do add extra flavor to drinks. Think of them like seasoning. Seedlip is ok, but the best I had was Optimist.
  • Spirit forward drinks don’t do as well in a mocktail as cocktails that rely on mixers or background flavors. My regulars would be nonalcoholic mojitos and margaritas.

Shameless Plug

I have designed shirts with my sober friends in mind. Whether you want to sport a cool design or trendy look with your mocktail in hand, these shirts are sure to please .

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