“Sharing a drink with other people is like sharing a meal,” says Natasha David, author of “Drink Lightly.” Her low-alcohol cocktail creations appeal to the social aspect of imbibing and community. She finds that dilution with a good slug of seltzer or water is key to keeping alcohol content low.
On her first menu at her bar Nitecap, she created the drink Pinkies Out as an homage to her mother’s white wine spritz. David tops her version with sparkling apple cider. The formula for an easy, low-alcohol cocktail is a bit of wine, some flavor, and bubbles. “There is always something in the fridge that you can throw together,” she says.
Based on classic cocktails, David’s approach is to give lower proof alcohol the spotlight. In her cocktail Giggle Fit, she combines Lillet Rosé, aquavit, lemon juice, carrot eau de vie, honey, and pomegranate grenadine — her take on a French 75. The Lillet Rosé has tart strawberry notes while the aquavit serves as a “disrupter,” with its savory wrinkle taking those partaking on a journey.
Garnish: ½ strawberry
- ½ strawberry
- 1 ounce Lillet Rosé
- ¾ ounce Amaro Ramazzotti
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
- ½ ounce Simple Syrup
- Bubbly water, to top
- Lightly muddle the ½ strawberry at the bottom of a shaker.
- Add the Lillet Rosé, Ramazzotti, lemon juice, and syrup to the shaker.
- Add ice and shake.
- Fine-strain into a highball glass with cubed ice.
- Top with the bubbly water. Stir to incorporate all ingredients.
- Garnish with the remaining strawberry half. Serve with a straw.
“Reprinted with permission from Drink Lightly. Copyright © 2022 by Natasha David. Photographs copyright © 2022 Kristin Teig. Illustrations copyright © Andrés Yeah. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.”