The problem with most non-alcoholic cocktails is simple: they sometimes don’t taste very good. That’s because you’re missing the familiar buzz of alcohol on your tongue, and because the de-alcoholisation process often messes up the flavour in some way.
Lyre’s is an Australian spirit brand that’s figured out a way to make a non-alcoholic cocktail taste exactly like its boozy counterpart.
“We knew that making a traditional spirit, then de-alcoholising it results in a flat, flavourless beverage,” says founder Mark Livings. “We wanted to pay homage to the original drinks, and match the bouquet, flavors and mouth-feel as closely as possible: in short, all of the wonderful things that make a spirit a spirit, but just without the alcohol.”
You don’t have to take our word for it. Try making these cocktails yourself: you won’t need any fancy equipment or flourishes to whip up these drinks. (Realistically, the most you’ll need is a cocktail shaker for some of these drinks — even if you don’t have one, they’re easily substituted by any spill-proof bottle or jar.)
And since they’re all non-alcoholic, it can, quite literally, be 5 o’clock any time you wish it. We’ll toast to that.
01 | For those with a sweet tooth
Drinks for dessert? Don’t mind if we do. The Clover Club might look like a girly drink, what with its cheery pink hue and silky texture, but don’t let it fool you. This classic cocktail is a Prohibition-era stalwart, enjoyed by well-heeled gentlemen and refined ladies alike — and there’s a reason why this tipple remains a nightcap must-have till this day.
The pepperberry in Lyre’s Dry London Spirit adds warmth and delivers a generous, dry finish, making it the perfect base for your Clover Club. Fill your shaker with ice, and begin with 60ml of your gin. Add in 10ml of raspberry syrup, 30ml lemon juice, 10ml egg whites, and 5ml white sugar syrup. Shake it all together hard, but briefly, and give it a fine strain. Top off with raspberries for a delightfully Instagrammable cocktail that’ll have you mixing up seconds.
02 | For intimate dinners
Sometimes, you just want to impress that special someone by showing off what you can do with your hands… and a cocktail shaker. For that, we’ve got a recipe that’s as performative as it is easy to make. This Amaratti Sour is equal parts sweet, sour, and Italian (and we all know how they fare in matters of the heart). Take 75ml of Lyre’s Amaretti and add it to your shaker, along with 5ml white sugar syrup, 10ml of egg white, and 15ml of lemon juice which, if you’d like, you can even squeeze by hand. Finish with a few dashes of aromatic bitters — if you don’t have that on hand, you could MacGuyver some of your own with pinches of spices like cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg.
Toss in some ice cubes and shake rapidly, then strain it out onto a glass filled with fresh ice. Oh, and don’t forget the Maraschino cherry as a topper — you’ll thank us later.
03 | For sunny afternoons by the pool
Do you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain? Well, maybe scratch that last part, because this is one cocktail best enjoyed on a balmy day and in close proximity to a cool, refreshing pool. Prep six fresh pineapple chunks, and squish them around gently inside your shaker — it helps loosen the fruit’s natural flavours and allows it to combine with your drink better. Then add 75ml of Lyre’s White Cane Spirit and an equal amount of coconut water to the shaker. Pour in 20ml of white sugar syrup (basically a 1:1 mixture of sugar and water that’s been simmered down over a stove), fill the shaker with ice, and shake hard. Strain it all into a glass and top it off with some crackling cubes of fresh ice.
We love the hints of marzipan and orange in the White Cane Spirit — the peppery finish of it dries the palate without overwhelming it too much. For best results, bring along a cute pool floatie for your drink.
04 | For Sunday brunch
There’s nothing more delightful on a Sunday morning than a fresh, fruity glass of punch. (And this one contains all the essential fruit groups as well, so you can count it as part of your five-a-day). This one’s a real hit amongst groups as well, so we’ve sized it up for your hosting convenience. Add 120ml of Lyre’s Dry London Spirit to a sizable carafe, then add 60ml peach juice, 150ml cranberry juice, and another 150ml orange juice — the beauty of this recipe is that even if you don’t have those specific flavours on hand, just about any other fruit juice will suffice.
Top off your carafe with soda water, and add in some slices of oranges, strawberries, and a handful of blueberries. Fill it with ice and stir till everything’s evenly mixed. Your brunch parties will become the stuff of legends.
05 | For when you’re feeling broody and poetic
We’ve all been there. It’s a dark, rainy evening, and it’s got you feeling some type of way — the kind that makes you want to stand at your windowsill, highball in hand, as you gaze out into the endless night and replay old memories in your mind’s eye. Have we got the recipe for you.
The Dark and Spicy cocktail was born in the tempestuous Caribbean waters, known for its surfeit of spicy rum and weather-beaten sailors — so it stands to reason that you can cook this one up in a single glass with just four ingredients. Start with 60ml of Lyre’s Spiced Cane Spirit, whose notes of caramel and molasses will warm you from the inside out. Add to it 15ml of lime juice, 7.5ml of vanilla syrup, and 90ml of ginger beer. Fill it with ice and stir it all together. Finally, garnish, if you’re in the mood for it, with a tangy lime wheel. You’ll be clear-headed enough to get all your thoughts down on paper later.
Lyre’s is stocked in all Market Place and select Cold Storage supermarkets islandwide.