By Nina Baratti, SNJ Today Reporter
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Thirty-two Jersey Shore bars and restaurants are going head to head in a creative challenge.
Non-alcoholic “mocktails” are popping up all over the Jersey shore, giving designated drivers a chance to drink something fun while keeping others safe.
“They’re non-alcoholic, and they have fun names like ‘Mint to go Home,’ and ‘Plum Crazy,’ ‘Sunset Beach,’ but they each taste great so the designated driver can be part of the party,” says Bill Elliott, CEO of the John R. Elliott Hero Campaign. “In fact, we think the designated driver is the life of the party.”
The HEROtini Mocktail Challenge is being run by the campaign, which started in South Jersey and promotes designated driving to prevent drunk driving, which claimed the life of John R. Elliott 17 years ago.
“I’m, like, not the biggest drinker, so I really like the idea of the whole Herotini Mocktail Challenge, I think it’s really cool,” says Alyssa Gilley, of Quakertown, Pa.
“It was interesting, a lot of different flavors going on here,” says Doug Smith, of Quakertown.
We think the designated driver is the life of the party.”
With 32 clever concoctions in the running, the goal is to promote designated driving, toasting those staying sober and responsible.
“Doing these mocktails, just trying to show people you can go out, have a refreshing beverage without alcohol, have a good time, and be the responsible one to be sure your friends and family get home safe,” says Kevin Donahue, a bartender with The Deck at Golden Nugget.
The campaign and challenge hits home for Donahue, who lost his own brother because of a DUI related accident.
“So, I know the affect it has on families,” says Donahue. “[It] really tore my family apart as well as the other families involved, so you know, it’s so important to get this message out.”
Donahue was pouring drinks with a few other bartenders today on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, showing off his Strawberry Lemon Drop.
From Atlantic City to Cape May, the safe sweet, sour, and spicy drinks will be available for anyone to enjoy.
“This is amazing and it actually has no liquor in it, but the lime kind of kicks it up,” says Annette Paolini of Mays Landing. “It’s great for a designated driver, or someone that can’t drink, or doesn’t even like to drink.”
To find where you can sample some of the mocktails for yourself, or to vote for your favorite non-alcoholic drink, bartender, and restaurant or bar in the running, visit the John R. Elliott Hero Campaign’s website.
The Top 10 favorites will make their way to the finals after Labor Day, when celebrity judges will pick the winner of the HEROtini Challenge.