The California Cup Mocktail is a quick, fruit-forward non-alcoholic beverage inspired by this weirdly alluring vintage chilled soup recipe. Tomato juice and cranberry juice pair surprisingly well, and I’ve added some citrus to increase the depth of flavor. The original California Cup recipe is decidedly a summer affair, but the citrus makes this an autumn drink.
As a mixed fruit drink this is perfectly satisfying, but if you’re looking for more depth I recommend a splash of Seedlip Grove 42. Seedlip is a non-alcoholic distilled spirit and will add some of the warmth and complexity of an adult beverage. The Grove 42 variety is citrus-forward with a hint of ginger reinforces the oranginess of the tangerine juice. It’s not meant to be a non-alcoholic approximation of an orange liqueur or any traditional spirit; it’s simply an alternative starting place for building a cocktail. It’s priced like a fine spirit and may not be practical for all circumstances, but it makes things feel extra fancy.
- Cut two thin center slices out of the tangerines and reserve for garnish. Juice the remaining halves and reserve.
- Add tomato juice, cranberry juice, and tangerine juice to a shaker with ice and shake several times. Strain and divide evenly into two small glasses. Add 1-2 dashes orange bitters to each glass, and top with soda. Garnish with tangerine slices and serve.
Ocean Spray brand Cran-Tangerine would work well here, also, but I have a devil of a time finding it these days.
For a lighter option, strain into a larger glass over ice and top with tonic water.
If you’re feeling extra, straining the tomato juice through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter will improve the appearance of the final product. It’s not at all necessary.