As we are in the middle of Dry-July, it only makes sense that we should be looking at a cocktail from the first bricks and mortar, non-alcoholic bar, in New York.
Getaway has been open since April and it’s become quite a fixture in it’s Greenpoint neighbourhood. Regina Dellea believes that it’s popularity is based on the same reason the bar was opened in the first place.
“If you’re not drinking, it’s tough to find somewhere to hang out with friends at night. Until now, it’s been hard to find any nightlife options that weren’t centred around alcohol. Coffee shops tend to close, and you could go for dinner, but that’s a different atmosphere.
As the name suggests, Getaway really does allow you to escape from regular bars and provides a safe, non-alcoholic environment. And the drinks will let your taste buds take flight.
Dellea describes their Small Bluff cocktail as being surprisingly light, with a little bit of sweetness which comes from the shrub. “It has multiple flavour profiles going on. You can taste the Seedlip spice, which I think is part of what gives it that refreshing kick,” she said.
“It’s a very sippable drink, mainly because of the shrub and the vinegar in it, so it’s not something you down really quickly. It’s a drink that you kind of sit with and sip.
“And so I think the Nick and Nora glass just really works for that type of drink,” Dellea continued.
The cocktail was created by drinks consultant Jen Yoon, who has worked with a variety of high-end bars and done a lot of non-alcoholic beverages.
“Initially we were using fennel syrup instead of a fennel shrub,” said Dellea, “but then as we were already worked on the shrub menu, we tested it with the shrub. Ultimately, we thought the vinegar added a nice kind of kick to the drink that the syrup didn’t necessarily have.”
What makes this cocktail is the Fennel Shrub and as Dellea points out, it’s straightforward to make.
“You take the fennel bulbs, and you cut them up, then combine them with sugar in a quart container. The sugar pulls all of the juices out of the fennel, which takes about 48 hours.
“Once the juices have been released, you combine them with apple cider vinegar and let it sit for about two weeks. It’s one of those things that gets better with time.
“While making the shrub might be a little time consuming, there is nothing about this drink that’s difficult,” said Dellea.
Even the bitters are non-alcoholic in this bar.
“We use glycerine based bitters. So whereas most bitters would be like anywhere from 30-50% alcohol, we use ones that have glycerine for that process rather than using alcohol. For most of our bitters, we’re using a company call Dram, but as they don’t have a celery bitter, we’re using Fee Brothers celery bitters right now.”
Leading the pack in the world of non-alcoholic spirits is the English company Seedlip, so it’s not surprising that their Spice expression plays such a prominent role in this drink.
“The Seedlip Spice brings all of the flavours together. I think at certain times the shrub could be a little bit overpowering, but everything just sits together nicely because of the Seedlip.”