Those who know me well know that I like a glass of wine. Those who are not British may not get the stupid pun in the title I’ll leave you guessing on that one. Life in Saudi Arabia is Sans Alcohol, Dry, (desert dry in fact). Despite having heard tell of mythical stills, back-room brewers and moonshine experts (which all brings an air of Prohibition USA to the acquisition of alcohol), I have yet to be invited to a Saudi “Speak Easy”.
The supermarket aisles are lined with sugary sweet soda and equally sugar filled juices. Restaurants sell cloying sweet mocktails which must contain a thousand calories apiece. There are many choices that suit a Saudi palate but few that suit mine, except perrier and tonic water which are dull after a while compared to a silky, smokey sauvignon blanc. The heat just calls out for Campari and Soda or even just an ice cold Coors. (I only chose Coors because of the aliteration, and not because it is my favourite beer. I think here, Sam Adams Summer Ale would be good.)
Obviously, there is not much call for a top manhattan mixologist here, so I am experimenting with potential non alcoholic cocktails. There are the ubiquitous choices, of fruit juice and soda water. But I would like to re-create the oaked cream soda that we had at WD50 in Manhattan last year. This up-market eatery has created a whole range of non-alcoholic drinks for pregnant, sophisticated wine drinkers who, because of their condition and modern puritanical attitudes on such matters, can’t drink. They brew all sorts of cordials with which to mix interesting drinks and I may contact them to try and get the recipes.
Could ‘Oryxiana’ become the first dry cocktail bar in the world? I am still trying to persuade the DH that the new compound really needs to hire a top-rated Mixologist.
Back to reality, my first attempts at non-alcoholic drinks are included at the bottom of this entry. Please add your own favourites in the comment section, and if I get a lot of replies I will create a page for drink recipes. Just remember no alcohol at all, not even Angostura Bitters.
Non Alcoholic Malt drink, aka non alcoholic beers, with ice and lime.
There is a Budweiser and Holsten version as well as Kaliber
Review: 3/10 an approximation of beery shandy, not too bad with lots of ice. Under no circumstances buy the fruit flavoured versions of this drink. They are simply disgusting.
Muddle together mint, a teaspoon of sugar, and juice of one lime then top with ice and soda.
Review 6/10. Does not have the depth of flavour because its missing the kick from the rum, but it is a refreshing drink that looks and tastes pretty good.
Tonic with Ice and Lemon
It says it all in the title
Review 4/10. Not the same without the Gin, and I have not been able to find any of the Gourmet Tonic’s that they sell in the UK and US, which taste so much better than the Shh brand. This is still too sweet for me.
Fruit Juice and Soda with Ice
Use Apple, Passion Fruit, Cranberry, Lemon or Lime and mix with ice and add either plain water or soda.
Review 7/10. These are refreshing enough, but have no real bite, or aromatics. Good as thirst quenchers, but a long way from a real cocktail.
Tomato juice with worcester sauce and tabasco and celery salt, then either shake with ice or add ice.
Review 6/10. This drink really isn’t the same as Bloody Mary, The alcohol takes away thickness of the drink. It would be much better if I could cut the tomato juice with Clamato, but have yet to find Clamato here.
Lemonade, Mint and Ice. Blend until mixed.
Review 7/10. A better sort of drink, but very dependent on the ratios of the ingredients. It can be too sugary if the lemonade is very sweet, better with homemade lemonade which is a bit of a sweat.