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Food

Drink Me: Here’s how to make your new favorite mocktail

The Straight & Narrow mocktail from Hatchet Hall
The Straight & Narrow mocktail from Hatchet Hall.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

The days of asking for a mocktail and being handed a Shirley Temple or a tall glass of grapefruit juice on ice are hopefully behind us.

It might seem like an unlikely destination for a great mocktail, but the Old Man Bar at the back of Hatchet Hall in Culver City — the place with the serious log cabin vibe and the taxidermy birds hanging from the dark wood panels above the bar — is serving a dangerously drinkable mocktail called the Straight & Narrow.

It starts with lemon juice, a splash of orgeat and another of grenadine. The bartender then fills the tall glass with crushed ice and tops it off with soda water so that the bottom remains rose pink and the top bubbly and translucent, similar to the effect of a Rocket Pop. The final touch is a spritz or two of rose water across the top.

At first, all you taste is sour. But as you keep sipping, the flavors splinter into tart lemon, rounded almond and citrus notes, and the distinct pomegranate-tinged sweetness of the grenadine. The powerful fragrance of rose water perfumes each sip.

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The mocktail is also available in the restaurant, but we prefer it at the dimly lit bar, surrounded by knickknacks your grandpa would have hoarded.

Straight & Narrow

5 minutes. Makes 1 cocktail.

For the rose water garnish, fill a small spritzer bottle with rose water to mist the top of the drink. If you don’t have a spritzer bottle, simply add a dash of rose water to the cocktail before serving.

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce Pomegranate Syrup (recipe below) or grenadine
  • ½ ounce orgeat (almond syrup)
  • Plain soda water or seltzer
  • Rose water

Instructions
Add the lemon juice, pomegranate syrup and orgeat to a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, and shake until well chilled, 30 seconds. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass and fill with ice and top off with soda water. Spritz the top of the glass with rose water.

Pomegranate Syrup

20 minutes. Makes about 1 cup.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions
Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool completely before using. Store the syrup in a bottle in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.


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