cover image Zero Proof: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking

Zero Proof: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking

Elva Ramirez. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22 (256p) ISBN 978-0-358-21191-4

Ramirez, a former producer and reporter for the Wall Street Journal, offers a (non)spirited case for imbibing without alcohol, with help from some of the world’s best bartenders, in her fantastic debut. Prefaced with a condensed history of how “colonial Americans wove drinking into the fabric of socializing,” the recipes presented are part of the recent movement to normalize sobriety by applying the same care and craft to nonalcoholic beverages that’s given to boozy cocktails (to start: 86 the term mocktail). While some drinks, such as Ramirez’s GT&C (“gin, tonic, and cordial”), call for Ritual Zero Proof’s alcohol-free gin as a spirit substitute, most recipes—like the cucumber-forward Half Day or Ginger and Mint Swizzle—let the flavors of fresh ingredients do the talking. To replicate the sensations of a full-bodied red wine, New York bartender Eamon Rockey calls on beets, apples, and oolong tea for the earthy, acidic, and leathery notes in his Better Ave. Wine. Specialty ingredients necessary for the book’s syrups, cordials, and infusions—including nettle leaves, cascara, and tonka beans—add excitement to the mix via mouth-puckering sensations and velvety, chocolate flavors. For serious home bartenders, more involved projects—concocting nonalcoholic amaro or gin hydrosol—will impress and satisfy. This makes going dry anything but a dry affair. Agent: Leigh Eisenman, MacKenzie Wolf. (Apr.)