Zero Proof Cocktails – Nautical Nonsense

A spirit free taste of the tropics? That’s Nautical Nonsense!

zero proof cocktail with pineapple

Inspiration

Nautical Nonsense

Made by Jena Ellenwood

Craving a zero proof cocktail that’s a vacation in a glass? Here’s a recipe that works just as well without spirits as it does with rum! I created this mocktail version of a  tropical tipple for my cousin’s wedding, inspired by her love of Mai Tai’s and desire to have a zero proof option (I added the coconut water for extra hydration). Shrubs are a great way of preserving fruit and also adding a little bite to spirit free cocktails!

If you love this cocktail, check out our full cocktail library or our YouTube Craft Cocktail Making playlist for home mixology lessons as you make your drink. Explore our favorite spirit free cocktail books in our bookshop!

Good Drinks Book for zero proof cocktails

Let’s Get Shakin’

Serves: 1

Special Tools: Jigger, Shakers, Measuring Spoons, Knife, Sauce Pan, Strainer, Measuring Cup

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

1 oz Pineapple Shrub

1 oz Pineapple Juice

2 oz Coconut Water

Pineapple Leaf

Steps

Make Pineapple Shrub ahead of time:

  • 1 large pineapple, cubed (roughly 4 cups, may substitute frozen)
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4-1⁄4 inch pieces peeled ginger root
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • Cook pineapple, sugar, and spices on medium heat until sugar bubbles and pineapple is caramelized.
  • Add water and bring to a boil, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in vinegar and remove from heat. Allow to marinate overnight in fridge. Strain and store in fridge up to a month. Side note: the pineapple pieces are delicious!

*Divide the recipe in half if you would like to make a smaller batch/ or scale up to make more!

For Cocktail:

  1. Combine shrub, pineapple juice, and coconut water in a shaker
  2. Add ice and shake!
  3. Strain over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a pineapple leaf. Enjoy your zero proof taste of the tropics!
Suzanne making a sour face wondering if she'll like this cocktail
But will I like it?

Cocktail flavor profile

Getting to know your palate, what you like, and what you don’t like is a critical part of being a great craft tippler AND key to becoming a great home bartender as well! So before you break out that barware and buy the key ingredients, here’s a little guidance on what to expect from this cocktail so you can start to hone in on exactly what elements of cocktails you enjoy and which you’d prefer to minimize.  This helps you order new cocktails you love when you’re out on the town better as well!
  • Sweet
  • Refreshing
  • Complex/Funky/Unique
  • Tropical

Let me know what you discover, or if you would have rated it differently in the comments below…

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