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Mocktails: Rockin’ the mock

Photography by Brent Holmes

Pouring a convivial spirit — without the spirits

When Juyoung Kang was a child, she desperately wanted to try Orangina. One problem: her mother wouldn’t let her have it. Despite Kang’s attempts to prove Orangina was booze-free, her mom stood firm. So Kang came up with a solution: Sprite and orange juice. It was sweet, fizzy, tart, and, in retrospect, the first of many drinks she’d mix.

Today Kang is the lead bartender at The Dorsey, a craft cocktail bar at the Venetian that specializes in seasonal drinks made with fresh juices. The bar has a couple of mocktails on its menu at any given time, and Kang helps dream them up: melon in summer, pomegranate or cranberry in fall. The Garden Party is a perennial favorite, a zingy green apple and cucumber juice, souped up with mint, lime, sugar, and soda. It’s poured over a hand-carved ice cube and garnished with thinly sliced apple, fanned out over the rim. “It’s about being inclusive and having something for everyone,” Kang says of their mocktail-friendly menu. Here’s the Garden Party recipe for when you want to take the party home.

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Photo courtesy of The Venetian.

Garden Party from The Dorsey

2 oz fresh green apple juice

1 oz fresh cucumber juice

.5 oz fresh lime juice

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.5 oz simple syrup

10 mint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Add club soda and strain ingredients over fresh ice. Top off with club soda. Garnish with three to four half-moon slices of green apples, and serve in a Collins glass.

Kristy Totten is a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada. Previously she was a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, and has covered technology, education and economic development for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.