These may be the best mocktail images I’ve taken in Abu Dhabi. Nay! The Beach House, the most lavish local seaside mocktail paradise I’ve found, may be host to the most beautiful zero-proof cocktails ever.
Park Hyatt’s The Beach House spotlights the traditional Mediterranean flavors near Abu Dhabi’s seaside. Sweet mango with vibrant blackberry purée. A grapefruit and lavender spritz. A great sounding lineup, but not what you’d think of when talking about the middle east.
Abu Dhabi uses its proximity to the Arabian Sea for exportation. So many of these “traditional” ingredients come from far-off lands. With the world’s offerings to pick and choose from, these flavors also happen to be some of the most visually pleasing, especially presented as a mocktail.
The Seaside Mocktail Paradise of Abu Dhabi
I found The Beach House at Park Hyatt during a tour of zero-proof bars with high local praise in the Abu Dhabi metropolitan area. In finding the best of the best, you always trust the locals!
Emiratis have good taste. But to speak honestly, many of the recommendations paled in comparison to here. The Beach House is a true mocktail lover’s promised land.
When I first came here, I was taken aback by the colors and even the light. The palm trees were greener than green. The pool was bluer than blue. I got a pleasant whiff of the strongly scented, well-kempt floral decor.
Either this was heaven, or someone snuck ketamine into my morning tea. Seriously, ask someone to imagine a paradise. This is what comes to mind.
It really is a fitting title: the “Seaside Mocktail Paradise.”
As I walked into The Beach House’s lounge, I was greeted by an eagerly enthusiastic mixologist excited to show me her drinks. Aali, a friendly ex-pat who frequented the hotel, joined me for the tasting as I got settled. He was the one to recommend this place and also the one who chose the lineup.
As our mixologist for the day brought over this drink, I could see the prideful grin on her face. That’s a good sign.
The Berrylicious takes on a simple, common form for mocktails—a sweet fruity flavoring with club soda and ice, lots of ice. It’s known as the collins build. But any format, no matter how basic, can be mastered and refined.
The Berrylicious is a ginger, berry medley and lemon juice mixture. A refreshing item labeled by Aali to be the best mocktail for seaside affairs.
Well, the sweetness of the berries (and likely added sugar crystals) are cut by the lemon juice. And the ginger adds a fresh flare.
Something this ice-cold fairs well in the blisteringly hot sun of Abu Dhabi. A great mocktail for the beach.
It’s all maintained and professional. But the vibrancy of the red awakens an attitude––delicious and slightly pretentious. I think this drink is the embodiment of me.
Out of every mocktail I’ve ever photographed, the B Mango was top tier.
B Mango’s pure yellow body was perfectly contrasted by the bright red and off-gray ice. The way the light catches the rich blackberry syrup and nearly crystal clear crushed ice. And the mint leaf is, literally and figuratively, the cherry on top.
As I showed a preview of this image to our mixologist and Aali, I saw wide grins passing their faces. They loved it, but it didn’t feel right to take credit. The B Mango was the beauty here. I just took the shot.
But looks aren’t where it ends. Like most mango-flavored beverages, the B Mango was light and sweet. Mango isn’t particularly middle eastern in my books, but it does carry a sense of class with its warm pastel coloration. And class fits anywhere.
A great analogy for this drink is with Cuban sandwiches. The best Cuban sandwich doesn’t come from anywhere in Florida. As a Florida native and having eaten hundreds of these, my favorite Cubano was from New Jersey.
Cuban sandwiches are best when coming from non-traditional locations. They have something to prove. I’ve tried Mexican mango mocktails, but the faraway desert of Abu Dhabi has them beat.
I hate to end on a bitter note. But this one was special to Aali, so I had to include it.
Aali had great stories to tell about the difference between life here and back home in the UK. Being a fellow person abroad, we shared wavelengths during our talk.
One of those wavelengths was on spritz mocktails. When you see the word “spritz,” you immediately think “depth of flavor.” Or, in other words, bitterness.
You see, spritzes have become sort of a game of social order. The more bitter the drink is, the classier and more sophisticated it is. In reality, they’re just making mocktails that taste like Nintendo switch cartridges––remember that trend!
What’s even funnier is that spritzes were originally––and really still are––low-quality aperitifs.
But the Mediterranian Spritz doesn’t taste bad. It’s a pousse-cafe with a house-made grapefruit soda and jasmine-lavender syrup. No need for bitters when it’s already in the fruit!
Aali and I mutually agreed that this was the best balance of bitter and sweet we’ve seen. It is pretty bitter like any other spritz, but you also have a sweet yet deep flavor from the jasmine-lavender syrup that balances everything. The bitterness is justified, and its presentation is solid.
Our mixologist was happy to hear our kind words.
The Beach House is an Abu Dhabi Must
Take this as a shortcut. The Beach House is a mocktail paradise, perfect for a seaside getaway. At just a hop and a skip from the Park Hyatt’s rooms, the real question here is “why not?”
You have a lot of options throughout Abu Dhabi, and the locals I talked to brought forward many standout recommendations. But this, this is where it’s at. A melting pot of traditional, non-traditional ingredients mixed in unconventional ways all to get these beautiful, classy cocktails. This is a stop worth your time. Take it.