What’s So Difficult About “Hold the Vodka?”

grumpette.jpg Blasphemous as it sounds here in Sin City, I avoid the hooch. But every now and then I like to treat myself to a frilly and fully garnished virgin beverage. Most bartenders, however, seem to have conspired to mock block me, refusing to make non-alcoholic versions of their specialty cocktails. I scan their menu, approach them with a smile and ask, “Is there anything on here you can make without booze?” Then I watch them twitch their eyes, shrug their shoulders and pour a tall glass of “Umm, no.” And just like that, my dreams of sipping a classy mocktail wilt like mint sprigs. Now, I understand that mixology is a science and that removing or adding ingredients might throw off the balance. But if you were to hand me a glass of just cranberry juice with a splash of lemon-lime—it does taste good, I assure you—I’d still put down $14 for you to shake it up, sprinkle something on the rim, maybe create a smoke effect. Sure, I could settle for a soda, but I can’t stick my pinky out the same way when I’m holding a glass of Coke. That’s all I really wanted to do anyway.