By Stasia DeMarco
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Handcrafted cocktails--with or without alcohol--are the latest craze in Philadelphia, and now another Rittenhouse Square hot spot has added them to the menu.
Vernick Food and Beverage is serving up "mocktails," cocktails without the alcohol, as well as specialty sodas (including one of the tastiest Shirley Temple's in the city) year-round.
Manager Vincent Stipo says the concept behind the new, alcohol-free, seasonal drink menu was a no-brainer: "It's just a composed cocktail made purely with non-alcoholic ingredients."
Both Stipo and Chef Vernick have an extensive background in cocktails -- especially with syrups and purees, which are the perfect ingredients for these hip and healthy drinks.
Listen to Vincent Stipo talk about how fresh ingredients in the kitchen were easily put to use in the seasonal drink menu:
When asked about the target market for these drinks, Stipo points out it sure helps to keep underage family members entertained. "I had come from other restaurants where my younger sister would visit fairly often and demanded creativity in non-alcoholic drinks."
But Stipo emphasizes mocktails are the perfect for pregnant women, too.
The selection of house-made sodas and mocktails includes:
Fresh Ginger and Lime: ginger syrup and fresh lime juice blended with sparkling water
Raspberry and Basil: muddled raspberries and raspberry puree with sparkling water served in a high ball glass rimmed with basil salt
Cucumber Smash: muddled lemon and mint with cucumber water and sugar
Vernick Punch: fresh-squeezed juices with house grenadine
The house-made sodas and mocktails will change, both to complement the food menu and to capitalize on the freshest herbs and produce of the season.
And while Vernick has yet to launch a a happy hour, never fear--the drinks are always affordable, averaging around $5.
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