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We Can’t Believe That’s Not a Cocktail!

Several restaurants and bars are putting serious effort into their mocktails—handcrafted, non-alcoholic beverages that would otherwise have us fooled.



Frothy from whipped egg white, The Continental’s Maine Harvest features a blend of lemon juice, cranberry juice, house-made blueberry-sage syrup, bitters and a single sage leaf for an elegant finish.

 

Sometimes summer just calls for something refreshing. Or maybe you want to lose an extra pound or two and know that booze is a slippery slope. Or perhaps you just can’t drink on medical grounds. Raise your glasses, all expectant mothers—and anyone else who wants to sip something sophisticated but not have the accompanying alcohol. Several places in Naples are now offering thoughtful teetotal numbers going way beyond coffee and tea.

Winning the prize for most intriguing is The Continental (damicoscontinental.com). The restaurant on Third Street South has built a reputation on its bar program, and if you’re observant enough, you’ll see a small section on the revised cocktail menu labeled “Prohibition Legal”—the four drinks, all $8 a piece, are noticeably missing wine, beer or spirits—but the quality of the ingredients and attention to detail are just as enticing as any of the nearly two dozen boozy options above. There’s Count Philippe’s Soda, with a salt rim and sunset hue from blood orange soda, mixed with grapefruit, agave nectar and jalapeños; or the Maine Harvest, which features a house-infused blueberry-sage syrup blended with cranberry and lemon juice and topped with frothed egg whites.

And last, but certainly not least, True Food Kitchen (truefoodkitchen.com/naples), the expansive Waterside Shops restaurant that is as beautiful and sunny as its food is healthy, has no fewer than 10 “Refreshers and Teas” to choose from. Our favorites? The pomegranate-chia limeade, irresistible because of the bit of crunch from the two types of seeds; the Hangover Rx, because it does what it advertises with the help of antioxidant-rich coconut water and citrus juices' and the Kale Aid, because it’s a slightly sweet, slightly tart and highly sippable mélange of the green superfood, ginger, apples, celery and lemon.

Read Hot Dish Tuesdays and Thursdays on gulfshorelife.com and subscribe to the Hot Dish newsletter. 

 
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