On Beyond Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers
July 13, 2009 3:42 PM   Subscribe

Give me yer best virgin cocktails—bonus points for ones easily ordered in a bar.

A friend of mine had knee surgery and is bummed out not only because she's less mobile, but also because the painkillers are impinging upon her social life. Now that she's up and moving around more, I want to take her out, but since she's not supposed to drink alcohol, we're going to try all manner of virgin cocktails. Give us creative things to order!
posted by ocherdraco to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
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posted by Jaltcoh at 3:46 PM on July 13, 2009

Whenever I find myself at a bar but not drinking alcohol, I usually order soda water with several dashes of bitters (Angostura or otherwise), a cherry, and a lime wedge. I don't know of any name for this concoction, but it's tasty, cheap, and soothes an aching stomach if you leave out the fruit.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 4:01 PM on July 13, 2009

Seconding the bitters 'n' soda. Fantastic way to hang out in a bar with friends and/or nurse a hangover without looking like you're just there to give someone a ride home.
posted by sportbucket at 4:08 PM on July 13, 2009

Thirding the bitters and soda. Plus it's great for nausea.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:09 PM on July 13, 2009

Best answer: solipsophistocracy: in NZ we have "lemon, lime and bitters" which is lemonade, a shot of lime juice, and some bitters. It's a standard thing to ask for, so much so that it's available pre-mixed. It's a pretty good booze-free sub for a g & t in a pinch.

I used to know someone who would order lemon, lime and bitters as every 2nd drink. When she started slurring "lllllemonalimabiddaz" it was her personal signal to go home.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:15 PM on July 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

Bitters and soda, bitters and tonic, and the Aussie classic of lemon, lime and bitters.

Also, splash of lime cordial on the rocks, top with ginger ale, stir.
posted by holgate at 4:16 PM on July 13, 2009

("Lemonade" here means the lemon-flavoured aerated drink, not the stuff you make at home from actual lemons).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:16 PM on July 13, 2009

Seltzer + juice of your choosing over ice with a twist. (Citrus or pineapple works best)
posted by contessa at 4:28 PM on July 13, 2009

Bitters does have alcohol. Not a lot, but still.

I usually get tonic water and lime or just soda. Club soda/juice mixes are pretty good, but I'm not a fan of mixes of different juice.
posted by yesno at 4:45 PM on July 13, 2009

A tasty drink I used to make for a non-drinking date was cranberry juice cocktail, half a fresh squeezed lime, soda, crushed ice, in margarita glass rimmed lightly with sugar, garnished with a lime round and, optionally, mint leaves. It was a fun drink for her at home - to look at, to hold, and to taste. Might be a little special order at a bar (bat those lashes). The tartness makes it a sipper rather than a gulper, which makes it last a bit longer than just sweet juice. With this or other virgin drinks, the key to making them fun is probably color, garnish, and a fancy glass of some kind.
posted by Askr at 5:20 PM on July 13, 2009

I usually get a club soda with lime, but I'm also partial to a spicy virgin mary if I want substance.
posted by plinth at 5:45 PM on July 13, 2009

1/2 ginger ale, 1/2 orange juice. Unbelievably tasty. No name for it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:50 PM on July 13, 2009

Best answer: The Shirley Temple is pretty yummy, and an old standard. 1/2 oj, 1/2 sprite (or whatever), dash grenadine. Shake and serve. I also like the Pink Panther - 1/2 lemonade (or bar lime), 1/2 sprite and grenadine. Virgin Marys (or Virgin Caesars) are especially great because you can't really taste the difference without the booze. The key is a fancy glass and a nice garnish. This makes your non-alcoholic drink feel much more fun.
posted by Go Banana at 7:03 PM on July 13, 2009

Whoops--just saw your title. But honest, the Shirley Temple really is yummy if made correctly. It's also good if you substitute pineapple for the oj.
posted by Go Banana at 7:04 PM on July 13, 2009

You don't shake a Shirley Temple. You don't generally shake anything that's carbonated.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:12 PM on July 13, 2009

Response by poster: Lots of great suggestions. We'll try a few, and I'll mark as best answer the ones we like best! (Lemon lime and bitters sounds delightful. I may very well make one of those for myself tonight.)
posted by ocherdraco at 7:22 PM on July 13, 2009

I always ask for club soda with a splash of Rose's Lime Juice.
posted by marsha56 at 7:26 PM on July 13, 2009

Seconding a Virgin Mary- with all of the condiments (peppers, olives, pickles, lime wedges, celery, celery salt) it's more like a meal than a drink! Bonus: Vitamin C.

My mouth is watering right now, thinking about having one.
posted by elmer benson at 8:16 PM on July 13, 2009

A really good Shirley Temple is definitely shaken--but juice and grenadine only, then topped with sprite. Sorry about that! Worst drink making directions ever.
posted by Go Banana at 8:41 PM on July 13, 2009

I always really enjoy just cranberry juice and orange juice.
posted by kristi at 8:58 PM on July 13, 2009

I once had someone comment on my bravery for ordering an Arnold Palmer at lunch on a work day. He was disappointed when I informed him that it was just iced tea and lemonade.
posted by thejanna at 6:16 AM on July 14, 2009

Response by poster: You know, I'd never had a Shirley Temple with OJ before. It was delightful. And lemon, lime and bitters will, I imagine, becom part of my permanent repertoire.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:51 PM on July 14, 2009

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