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Published July 2nd 2017
The Best Things in Life Aren't Hangovers
Mocktails with botanicals (by Magic Mountain)
It's Dry July and whether you've put down the bottle for a winter health kick or for charity, you can now go booze-free without the boredom as our best restaurants and bars have invented an amazing array of mocktails. Start with these top 5 choices to start your mocktail month in Melbourne.
Degustations, the ultimate feast for a special occasion, are best paired with a sommelier's tips for accompanying wines or spirits. At Lûmé, the culinary journey can be just as textured and delicious with non-alcoholic drinks custom blended but without the tipsy aftertaste.
Highlights include the Consider the Kernel, with cinnamon, walnut and vanilla, and Up the Range, with mango, coconut and ginger.
The 'Temperance' mocktail menu is ideally sipped with a meal of carrot honey calamari, wild caught dory and the berry pavlova.
Lûmé is open for lunch on Sat and dinner Tue - Sat.
Al Pacino chanted it in protest on a Dog Day Afternoon, but with jazz music in the background, these seasonal sips should leave you smiling as fresh fruit and veg and blended cleverly with cream for a delicious treat.
Highlights include the Cold-Smoked Granny Smith Apple, juiced with potato and cream to create the ultimate apple pie in a glass, and the Wild Hibiscus with Davidsonia, the local plum, a gourmet bushfood loved for its mild sourness and rich, burgandy-coloured flesh.
Keep the Aussie flag flying with highlights on the tasting menu of Kangaroo, Wattles and Waxflower, and Grilled Marron, the king of the crayfish family, with Desert Lime.
Don't let the name fool you. There are no wizards to avoid, alps to scale, or horses to dodge. While this hub of Asian flavour fusion sounds like an amusement park, it's real trick is an array of mocktails for only $6 each, using herbs, spices, syrups, juices and sodas.
Highlights include the Garden State, with cucumber syrup, lime, and rose lemonade, and the Colachai, with chai, cinnamon and cola.
For an appetite, grab the Chilli & Lime Chicken Popcorn for a snack or settle in with a starter of Potted Duck, Spiced Pineapple & Sweet Onion Roti, before the Fat Rice Noodles with Peking Duck, Chinese Cabbage & Green Peppercorns.
Drop anchor at the sea baths in St Kilda for a range of $7.50 mocktails as the sun slowly sets over another perfect weekend in Melbourne.
Highlights include the Nojito, certain to surprise Mexicans as the rum in a traditional mojito is swapped for layered apple juice, and the Frosty Fruit, packed with vitamin C from the oranges, mixed with passionfruit and vanilla.
Choose share plates with your tall glasses of mocktail, with the fried fish taco with spiced avocado, cabbage, vietnamese mint and the slow roasted lamb shoulder with roti bread, yoghurt, coconut & pineapple chilli jam.
Armenia's rich culture and history is bound in its cuisine and Sezar, the best of the New Armenian flavour in Melbourne, has poured out the wisdom from ancient menus, transforming non-alcoholic beverages with a contemporary flavour.
While the extensive wine, spirit (including a decade-old Armenian brandy), cocktail, and cider menu is enticing, keep focused on the best mocktails, including Yarkhushta, with pomegranate, lemon and chili, and the Once Upon a Thyme, with mandarin, cinnamon and thyme.
These refreshing mocktails are ideal with a dinner of Spinach & Feta Boreg and melt-in-the-mouth Barramundi.
Sezar is open for lunch on weekdays and dinner from Mon - Sat.
Where do you keep warm with a mocktail during Dry July in Melbourne? Please let us know with a comment.