Here’s the predicament: you’re meeting friends at a hot new bar and you want to partake — but you also have a 6 a.m. workout and an 8 a.m. meeting tomorrow, and it’s a Tuesday, for Pete’s sake.
The solution? Low-proof cocktails — made with all of the decadence and significantly less of the hooch.
These lighter libations are concocted just like traditional varieties — balancing sweet, sour and bitter elements. But rather than delivering a full blow, low-alcohol drinks pack only the punch one might get from a glass of wine or a beer because they don’t contain high-percentage hard liquor. Instead, vermouths, liqueurs and wine create the full-flavored foundations.
“Low-alcohol cocktails didn’t exist a few years ago,” says Tattersall Distilling founder Jon Kreidler. “But you can make a really good drink without the booziness of hard liquor. And people are starting to realize there is a market for that.”
The trend is cropping up in restaurants and bars all around the Twin Cities — striking a graceful balance between abstaining and overdoing it in an era in which more people are trying to consume less, but still want to hit the town.
“A lot of times it’s not the first drink people order, but maybe it’s the second or the third,” Kreidler says. “It’s just people wanting to hang out longer but also be responsible.”
Check out these three low-proof options:
Tattersall Distilling, tattersalldistilling.com, $8
Take high tea to the next level with this oolong-infused beauty on tap — an earthy medley that unites a pair of rich vermouths with the floral brew, and can be mixed with any other liqueur or sipped on its own.
The Bee’s Needs
Heirloom, heirloomstpaul.com, $8
Nothing says spring like sparkling wine and fresh herbs. Satiate your urge for sun sipping with bubbly stirred with a spicy toasted black pepper syrup, fresh lemon and a sprig of thyme.
Vermouth Old Fashioned
Alma Cafe, almampls.com/cafe, $9
Love Old Fashioneds but not the old hangover? This play on the classic — using a blend of vermouths as the base and incorporating Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters for depth — will do the trick.