Zero-proof cocktails are by no means boring. In fact, they’re often more complex than their alcohol-based counterparts. If you’re looking for an example, try this non-alcoholic take on the classic cocktail known as the Corpse Reviver, compliments of Guest Bartender Robert Björn Taylor.
For those who aren’t familiar, a Corpse Reviver is a style of drink that you’d enjoy as a way to get over a hangover, and there are few different kinds out there. The Re-Animator is a spin on the Corpse Reviver No. 2 with a few key substitutions, the first of which is zero-proof gin. If you need some of that, here’s our guide to The Best Zero Proof Spirits.
Robert recommends Ritual Zero-Proof Gin for this drink, but if you can’t find that, any other non-alcoholic gin will do the trick. Other than that, you’ll need to make a couple of syrups - but don’t let that deter you. The syrups are about as easy as they get, and you can stick any leftovers in your fridge. Add them to seltzer to make some homemade soft drinks, or swap them into any recipe that calls for plain simple syrup for an effortless upgrade.
Looking for something that requires even less effort? Check out our guide to 12 Booze-Free Cocktail Alternatives To Pick Up For Dry January.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
Makes 1 Re-Animator
Coupe or Martini glass
1 oz. Ritual Gin Elixir
.75 oz. Orange Simple Syrup
.25 oz. Fennel Simple Syrup
.75 oz. Lemon Juice
For The Orange Syrup:
1 cup water -1 cup white sugar
1 zested whole orange
4 orange Peels
1 star anise
For The Fennel Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
8 oz. Fennel (stem, leaves, and bulb)
Step One: Orange Syrup
As mentioned, you’ll need to make two syrups for this cocktail, and we’ll start with the orange one since it needs to sit in your fridge overnight. Grab a saucepan, add one cup of water, one cup of white sugar, one whole star anise, four orange peels, and the zest of a whole orange. Bring this to a boil, stirring intermittently. Once it’s boiling and the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let your syrup cool before placing it in the fridge overnight. Finally, strain out the solids, and put .75 ounce orange syrup into your shaker.
Step Two: Fennel Syrup
Next, we need to make some fennel syrup. (It’s easy.) Measure one cup of water, one cup of white sugar, and eight ounces of fennel (a mix of stem, leaves, and bulb), and throw all of that into a blender. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh strainer. Store it in your fridge, and this will keep for one month. Add .25 ounce fennel syrup to your shaker.
Step Three: Lemon Juice
Just like a Corpse Reviver, the Re-Animator calls for lemon juice. The best way to get this is (unsurprisingly) by juicing a lemon. Once you’ve squeezed one of those, pour .75 ounce lemon juice into your shaker.
Step Four: Ritual Zero-Proof Gin
Can’t find Ritual Zero-Proof Gin? Try another good non-alcoholic gin alternative like Monday Gin or Seedlip Grove 42. Or, as a last resort, use some coconut water. Your drink will be delicious either way. Pour 1 ounce zero-proof gin (or coconut water) into your shaker.
Step Five: Shake
Despite the fact that there’s no alcohol in this, you still need to shake it. That’s how you make a well-chilled and appropriately diluted drink. So add roughly five ice cubes to your shaker, put the top on, and shake for about 20 seconds.
Step Six: Strain
Finally, strain your cocktail into your glassware, and garnish with a cherry (or three). Just keep in mind that some fancy cherries are packed in alcohol, in case that’s something you’re looking to avoid. Once your cocktail is garnished, you’re good to go. If you need something to watch while you enjoy your delicious zero-proof beverage, consider the 1985 cult-classic comedy horror film Re-Animator.