What does a Virgin Martini mean?
A Virgin Martini is a version of a classic Martini cocktail that is prepared without the use of alcohol. The story goes that the first time the term ‘virgin’ was used to refer to a non-alcoholic cocktail was when a Virgin Mary (the more virtuous counterpart of the Bloody Mary) was shaken up. From there, the term was adopted for the zero-alc versions of various other iconic cocktails, including the Martini and Daiquiri.
Learn more: What is a mocktail?
What is the non-alcoholic substitute for vodka?
You gotta love living in the era of sober-curiosity! Thanks to a marked upswing in drinkers choosing that non-alc life, drinks brands are coming up with all sorts of amazing cocktail ingredients that have all of the spirit but none of the alcohol.
This is a great vibe for non-drinkers and sometimes-imbibers alike. After all, even if you aren’t completely teetotal, there are occasions when you’re up for a fun get-together with great drinks that don’t come with a tricky morning-after.
So, if you’re looking for something that looks like vodka, but walks in a straight line, there are a variety of contemporary non-alcoholic vodka alternatives available that feature exciting flavor profiles like pepper, coriander and cucumber. You just need to shop around a bit.
Read next: Are mocktails healthy?
Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for gin?
Yes, there are non-alcoholic substitutes for gin that you can try. The key flavor in gin comes from juniper berries, so you can look for other beverages or ingredients that have a similar flavor profile. Here are some options:
- Non-alcoholic gin. There are various brands of non-alcoholic gin available in most countries these days.
- Juniper berries. You can infuse juniper berries in water or another non-alcoholic base to create your own gin-like flavor.
- Herbal infusions. You can create your own herbal infusions using ingredients like coriander, citrus peel, and other botanicals that are commonly found in gin to create a gin-like flavor.
- Aromatic bitters. Adding a few drops of non-alcoholic aromatic bitters to a non-alcoholic drink can give it a similar flavor profile to gin.
Keep in mind that while these substitutes may provide a similar flavor to gin, they may not have the same complexity or depth of flavor as actual gin.
More inspiration: What is the best mocktail?
What else is in a Virgin Martini?
While there are different schools of thought regarding the Virgin Martini, we like to keep things simple. As such, we use a non-alcoholic vodka alternative, and combine it with non-alcoholic dry white wine, a splash of verjuice, and a dash or two of orange or grapefruit bitters.
TIP: Alternatively, you could also build a completely spirit-free Virgin Martini by combining apple cider vinegar, cloudy apple juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
More mocktails to try if you love a Virgin Martini
Looking for other easy mocktails to try at home? Here are a few of our favorites to DIY when we feel like something light, yet inspired:
Pro tip on making mocktails
When it comes to mocktails, treat your drink creation process like jazz. Be real with yourself from the start and know that the flavor profile of the non-alcoholic version of an iconic cocktail like the Martini is not always going to hit all the exact notes the original would have. However, this does not mean it has to be lackluster, friend, not in the least.
You are standing on the shoulders of cocktail-shaking giants here, and you get to create something brand-new and completely amazing. So, experiment until you get the recipe to your liking, and you know what, if it doesn’t even resemble a Martini any longer, so be it.
Lean into your creation, give it a cool new name, and serve it with swagger. After all, there are all kinds of martini that veer from the original recipe – just look at the Champagne Martini! Have fun – you got this.