The Pearl Diver is a classic Tiki glass, and when I look at it, I think sugar—especially if there’s no alcohol to temper the sweetness of the juices and syrups that are part of the Tiki tradition. This drink, though, tastes more like coconut La Croix with bitters, except it has a silkier mouthfeel and fresh mint plumage. You do need some special equipment: either a spindle drink mixer or a swizzle stick to aerate the liquid. I go for a full halo of bitters, meaning I soak the top of the ice until I see a shallow reddish-brown layer. Remember, though, that some bitters contain alcohol. (Shelby Allison—Lost Lake, Chicago, Illinois)
- In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk and sugar and set over medium-low heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (It will separate; this is okay. Just shake well before using.)
- Fill a Pearl Diver or collins glass with crushed ice. Add the syrup, lime juice, and soda water. Using a single-spindle drink mixer, aerate the drink for 5 seconds. If you’re using a swizzle stick, you’ll need to work a little harder: Look for a frost to form on the glass, which should take around 20 seconds. (It all depends on how vigorously you swizzle.) Finish with the bitters and garnish with the mint sprig.
Reprinted with permission from Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason by Julia Bainbridge, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Alex Lau © 2020