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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » anybody have a good non-alcoholic substitute for rum?
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anybody have a good non-alcoholic substitute for rum?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 2276
From: The Polynesian Port of NOLA
Posted: 2012-02-24 06:02 am   Permalink

Zhena's Gypsy Tea Co makes a flavor called "Coconut Rum", which I've found has a "fruity" rum taste. I haven't yet tried brewing and cooling it for mocktails, but I'd be interested in seeing what it would do.


"If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning."
-Catherine Aird

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 2028
From: San Diego
Posted: 2012-02-24 10:06 am   Permalink

WOW that actually looks tasty! Who would have thunk?

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Marty Lush
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 25, 2008
Posts: 91
From: A Bar In Far Bombay
Posted: 2012-02-24 10:19 am   Permalink

This is really a great topic! Although I gave up Lent for Lent, I too have friends and relatives who cannot drink for one reason or another. I attended a Beachbum Berry seminar a few years back at Hukilau in which he told a side anecdote about Don Beach once mixed a cocktail with no alcohol whatsoever. His friend tasted it and swore he could pick out at least 2 different rums in the flavor.

It would seem that, for dark rum, the flavor is gonna come from cane sugar and the oak tannins of the barrel it was aged in. The bite obviously comes from the alcohol content. Some darks also have a note that reminds me of maple syrup. So maybe you could start with something that uses maple syrup (high grade of course) and some other substance that could lend a level of oakiness (is that a word?) to the flavor. Perhapse some type of bitters?

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 20, 2007
Posts: 339
From: santa rosa, calif.
Posted: 2012-02-24 1:23 pm   Permalink


On 2012-02-23 20:47, MadDogMike wrote:
Just a thought, how about heating the rum to evaporate off the alcohol? The boiling point of ethyl alcohol is 172°F, perhaps at that temp is would boil of the alcohol without boiling of the flavor or the water. You could add purified water afterwards to bring it back to it's original volume. Safety would be an issue too.

PS - no fair standing over the pan to inhale the fumes

That's what I was thinking.

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Johnny Dollar
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Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 3072
From: Columbus, Ohiya
Posted: 2012-02-24 1:29 pm   Permalink

"I gave up drinking. Now I freeze it and eat it like a popsicle!"

--Dean Martin

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1616
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2013-03-29 11:06 am   Permalink


On 2012-02-23 21:30, Trader Tom wrote:

On 2012-02-23 21:02, thePorpoise wrote:
Tom, best i can tell the Monin product is not available in US market...

I've bought it here:


They have a wide range of Monin syrups you don't commonly see at brick-and-mortar stores. It's a great place to get lost in. Sort of a gourmet cooking supply warehouse...

I used the rum syrup to make some mocktails for my 4-year-old.

Again, I'm not prepared to give up rum, but you might try it in a mocktail and see what you think.

Sorry about the double post earlier.

There is now a Surfa's in Costa Mesa. It's a great gourmet food and cookware store if you've never been. There is even a cafe.
3309 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

[ This Message was edited by: tikilongbeach 2013-03-29 15:28 ]

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Atomic Tiki Punk
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Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 7048
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2013-03-29 3:20 pm   Permalink

Hey thanks Lori, I didn't know they had opened one here
they have a nice selection of bar supplies also....

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 10, 2007
Posts: 388
From: Koala Kabana, New England
Posted: 2013-03-30 10:10 am   Permalink

Seems like alcohol free rum extract is the place to start.


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Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1860
From: San Diego
Posted: 2013-04-01 1:06 pm   Permalink

Marijuana, Heroin, Cocaine should all work as a substitute.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 797
Posted: 2015-03-17 11:09 am   Permalink

It's baby time again for the wife and I, and I've been looking for NA cocktail alternatives. I will be getting some missing ingredients from the virgin drinks listed in the Jeff Berry books but I was wondering what other alternatives might be used in place of (particularly) rum. A dark cola, soda water, or even apple juice are all in the running for turning traditional drinks virgin. Particularly I'm thinking a NA Painkiller - sure I could just remove the rum and say its virgin, but then she's just drinking juice and coconut cream. What else can I consider to complicate the result and taste more?
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Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2461
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-03-17 11:22 am   Permalink

That can be a tough assignment, converting existing drinks to NA... You can consider taking an easier route, temporarily foregoing what you know and love, and temporarily just look at smoothies and other juice drinks. There are some books out there which focus on this, but then also continue to check your favorite cocktail books and see if they have sections on NA drinks. The big surprise is that there is a whole world of NA stuff to explore, including teas and coffees and even flavoring plain soda water. As previously suggested, rum extract may be helpful, which reminds me that I have personally had a mock Mojito once which surprised me but I never followed up to learn how to make it.

Congrats on your upcoming baby!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2013
Posts: 797
Posted: 2015-03-17 11:59 am   Permalink

Thanks dude! Yeah upon the first kid I bought this book and after going through it was kind of disapointed. While the drinks can be complex, the overall thought is that any drink w/o alcohol is therefore a mocktail. The complex drinks require ingredients that are harder to find then some bar ingredients. I think lemonade is the first recipe listed. I can 100% guarantee that if I'm drinking a Lapu Lapu and she's drinking a lemonade...she ain't gonna be happy because she wants to a least feel slightly fooled. That's why I think virgin Piña Coladas are rubbish. Virgin margaritas (using lemonade, ironically) tends to be a hit but we all know what's missing.
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Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2461
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2015-03-17 12:31 pm   Permalink

Interesting book, Keith. I had some more thoughts, what if we consider ditching the whole "syrupy juice drinks and smoothies" world and head in the direction of drinks made with flavors based on teas and bitters and extracts and herbs? These would be NA drinks with potential for pleasing aromatic blends of "adult" flavorings mixed into sodas, tonic water, etc. and garnished with mint, basil, nutmeg, etc. For example, what would you mix with muddled blackberries or strawberries to offset but also complement the sweetness of the fruit? Where we use a spirit and citrus juice and simple syrup today, what would we replace the spirit with? Tonic water for flavor and soda water for fizz and texture? Super-strong coffees and super-strong teas made with whole new and unique blends of herbs?

I'm thinking that it may only be a matter of time before someone does some real magic with the herbs/teas/extracts/bitters thing as bases for some good NA drinks. This could become a whole new category of mixology. I don't have a lot of time right now, but I sure would like to try and come up with something. If I do, then I'll post it here for others to try. It would keep me out of jail and more behind my bar... heh...

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 2346
From: Home of the best rum collection in NC
Posted: 2015-03-17 2:00 pm   Permalink

I would suggest getting a good carbonating device. I have a Soda Stream that I love. The Soda Stream can only be used to carbnote water (don't trust the YouTube videos experimenting with other liquids, I also killed mine with apple juice), but you can then add any sort of liquid flavoring to create the carbonated beverage of your choice. I like to add ginger syrup to mine for an inexpensive ginger ale. Passion fruit syrup also works well, or any of the BG Reynolds syrups. Once you have a tropical flavored soda, you can add other things to make a cocktail. One thing I've noticed is that people often experience the "bite" from ginger as "heat" from alcohol. I noticed when I made ginger rum balls (with extreme amounts of ginger, but not a lot of rum) I heard a lot of people say, wow those are really strong. So they were getting that from the ginger.

Another thought is that a lot of the darker "sipping" rums still have that strong molasses flavor that doesn't get distilled out completely in the process. Molasses is sold in most grocery stores in the baking aisle. I would think a combination of molasses, ginger, and a decent imitation rum "extract" would come pretty close to fooling a lot of people.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 16, 2013
Posts: 630
From: Wolverhampton, UK
Posted: 2015-03-17 2:55 pm   Permalink

Congrats to you & yours!

My partner drank lots of virgin Missonarys Downfalls & Sumutra Kulas when she was pregnant - the Missionary's Downfalks were good without rum or peach brandy (you could experiment with peach bitters), the Sumatra Kulas are good virgin (but if your partner doesn't mind you adding bitters they can be better)

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