In recent years there have been two parallel trends in drinking habits: a return to keen interest in cocktails... many retro and many brand new... and their non-alcoholic cousins the "mocktail". Chef Jerry Pellegrino is down with this and can tell us what this is all about.
The mixed drinks that the hippie generation shunned are now back in style, as if "Mad Men" has opened our eyes to the joys of a good Old Fashioned. Today's younger generation (now that the hippies are grey-haired geezers) are fascinated by the endless possibilities promised by a well-stocked bar.
Moving in parallel to this is the emergence of non-alcoholic spirits that mimic the flavor of our traditional basics. A company called Free Spirits makes mock gin, bourbon, milano and tequila. That'll get you started.
Seedlip Non-Acoholic Spirits makes a large variety of pre-mixed zero-alcohol "mocktails" that can play to a large audience. They include standards like a "Highball", a "CosNoPolitan", a "Margarita" and a "Ginger Toddy".