Miss Mojito recently returned from a short trip to the great commonwealth of Massachusetts, where the skies were blue, the seafood was plentiful, and the cocktails were a change of pace.
Massachusetts introduced me to a new concept: the 10-month liquor license. I can’t figure out the rhyme or reason, but some restaurants have two separate licenses: a 12-month license for wine, beer and cordials, and a 10-month license for liquor.
That means that the 10-month license holders have to get creative with their cocktail mixing for two months of the year. How do you make a liquor-free cocktail? Good question – and one that Massachusetts restaurants have tried to answer using their most imaginative mixology methods.
Wine or sparkling wine typically provide the base of these liquor-free cocktails, while club soda adds the fizz and fruit juice and cordials give some oomph to the flavor volume. Also known as liqueurs, cordials are sweetened spirits flavored with anything from fruits and herbs to roots and leaves. To make a cordial, you start with an alcoholic base – brandy, rum, or whisky, for example – which you then either distill, infuse, macerate or percolate to change the flavor profiles.
The kir would be a classic example of a liquor-free cocktail: white wine mixed with a dollop of creme de cassis, a sweet, blackcurrant flavored liqueur. (Sub champagne for the white wine and you have yourself a kir royale).
For a cocktail that’s a bit more modern and on-trend, look no further than Domaine de Canton, the ginger flavored liqueur. I’m thinking a mix of Cava, a healthy splash of Canton, a good squeeze of lime and some candied ginger for garnish would hit the spot.
Miss Mojito wants to know: What are your favorite cordials for cocktail mixing? And can anyone shed some light on the Massachusetts liquor licensing laws for me?
Posted by Miss Mojito.
I have never run into this problem, where exactly were you?
I was in Salem. The resulting cocktail menu was very interesting!
I hope the no liquor law isn’t in effect when I visit Boston next month to work our conference. After that’s over I’m going to need a big gin and tonic – or gun and tonic as my blackberry used to auto-correct it.
I’m pretty sure you have nothing to fear, CQ – I believe my case was the anomaly!
Mr. S&C, the smart man he is, surmises that the 10-month liquor license may be related to seasonal establishments (i.e. those coastal spots that may be closed in the dead of winter)?