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  • Cheré Dastugue Coen

'Craft' elevates zero-proof cocktails to a more sophisticated status

New book offers recipes for lovely non-alcohol cocktails


"Craft: The Eat Fit Guide to Zero Proof Cocktails"

By Molly Kimball with Ethan Skaggs

Edited by Melanie Warner Spencer

Pelican Publishing through Arcadia Publishing, 2022


Molly Kimball works as a dietician with the Ochsner Eat Fit program in New Orleans, which collaborates with the city’s restaurants and markets to create meal options that are healthy. A regular nutritionist adviser on TV and in newspapers, and host of the weekly podcast “FUELED Wellness + Nutrition,” she is also the author of “The Eat Fit Cookbook: Chef Inspired Recipes for the Home” (River Road Press, 2020, now Pelican Publishing).


The Eat Fit program encourages people to take the Alcohol Free For 40 challenge, to give up the spirited drinks for Lent. One year, Kimball decided to try the challenge herself. She discovered the benefits within one week, sleeping better, experiencing less stress and watching markers, such as liver enzymes and inflammatory markers, drop.


“After just one week, I was stunned by the benefits I was already seeing and feeling,” she writes in her latest book, “Craft: The Eat Fit Guide to Zero Proof Cocktails.”


Kimball lives in New Orleans, a city known for a vibrant cocktail scene, not to mention arguably the birthplace of the cocktail. Was it possible to drink healthy as well, Kimball thought?

Mango Scotch Bonnet

Kimball enlisted Ethan Skaggs, a mixologist who works with Eat Fit partners in New Orleans, and Melanie Warner Spencer, an award-winning writer and editor who took the Alcohol Free For 40 Challenge and enjoyed the benefits so much, she kept going. The result is a compilation of zero proof cocktail recipes with helpful tips on everything from barware and glass types to bitters, sweetners and herbs. The authors call their creations “zero proof cocktails” because they felt “mocktail” and “virgin” were unsophisticated. “Also, we deserve flavorful drinks that rise above the typical interpretations of sugary, syrupy, juice-filled beverages,” Kimball writes in the foreword.


The recipes include examples of zero proof alcohol, no added sugars, no more than one ounce of 100 fruit juice and no syrups or sugary mixers. In other words, in addition to these being sophisticated and alcohol free, you could even lose weight!


Here’s a sample of a Posmo, what Kimball calls a “riff on the modern classic Cosmo, only it is made with pomegranate in place of cranberry juice.”


Posmo

1 1/2 ounces zero proof vodka

1 tablespoon Lyre’s Zero Proof Orange Sec

1 tablespoon pomegranate juice

1/2 tablespoon lime juice

Ice

Lime wheel, for garnish

Directions: Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker tin with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

Nutrition:

20 calories

0 fat

0 saturated fat

0 sodium

5 grams net carbs

0 fiber

5 grams sugar

0 protein


Weird, Wacky & Wild South is written by award-winning travel and food journalist Cheré Dastugue Coen, a lover of cocktails, however they are made. That's Cheré with a Ramos Gin Fizz next to the man who started it all in New Orleans. "Craft" has a unique layered Hibiscus Fizz that's as lovely as it's delicious but you'll have to buy the book to get the recipe.


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