I’m always on the lookout for a good nonalcoholic beverage; one that I can sip at a party instead of gulp in one or two slugs. I don’t know how it is for extroverts, but introverts like me can use a good cocktail “comfort object” to clutch as we navigate the crowds.
Seltzer is a good choice, but after I add the cranberry, it becomes gulp-able. Sparkling juices? Too sweet. Gingerale? It disappears too quickly.
What I really crave is a bracing nonalcoholic beverage, one that will simulate a vodka drink, which demands sipping because of its slightly medicinal edge. This is why I was intrigued when I heard about a new beverage, 12 Noon to Midnight, a fizzy, tea-based drink marketed as the “intelligent alternative for every occasion.”
Developed by chefs David Burke and Alfred Portale, 12 Noon to Midnight is created in a base of organic white, green and black teas with a mix of herbs, spice and citrus essence.
I decided to do a taste test, and bought two bottles at my local Mrs. Greens–one original, peachy apricot flavor, which looks a lot like champagne, and one Rouge, a pomegranate and red grape flavor. The bottle is beautiful, which is a plus–frosted glass instead of the usual workaday clear plastic or glass. Why should pretty bottles be reserved for alcoholic beverages? The festive bottle and packaging enhanced its special-occasion feel, and when I opened it, bubbles shot up to the top, just like when you open champagne.
And the taste? Pretty good, especially since there was only a hint of sweetness. I preferred the Rouge, but I liked the original, too. Both taste slightly spicy, almost like nonalcoholic Jagermeister, and demand to be sipped instead of gulped. The calorie content—60 calories per 8 oz. serving—is less than half that of a glass of red wine (which has 150 calories per 8 oz.). So you can avoid the hangover and drink up.
Not ready to give up your buzz? You can always add booze, and make a creative cocktail out of it, but that’s another story.
We want to know…what’s your favorite nonalcoholic drink to sip at parties? Why?