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RI Archives: Food

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It’s Always Mocktail Time At Village Scoop

Lavender lemonade. And you can buy the jar.

By Jamie Larson

Village Scoop, in quaint Hillsdale, New York has been a destination for ice cream, coffee and sundry items for years. As if the well-designed parlor, with its high-quality offerings, beautiful back deck and landscaped garden weren’t enough reasons to stop by, owners Ken Davis and Kevin Draves have just added a list of signature nonalcoholic “mocktails” to the menu that they hope will give them the edge with visitors looking to relax with something new and different.

Despite the former tattoo parlor’s small size, Village Scoop offers an array of options aside from their much-loved ice cream, including an all-local cheese plate, chips and house-made mango salsa, coffees and more. But it’s the addition of these new drinks that’s garnering attention. From sweet citrusy mimosas and lavender lemonade to a blackberry mint mojito and a spicy Bloody Mary, these virgin versions of bar drinks, presented elegantly, are something new to the area. They also won’t set you back like their boozy counterparts. Even the specials are under five bucks.

“You’re fulfilling that social element; people sit and hang out longer,” says Draves, who, along with Davis, also runs Passiflora next door. “There’s a real difference between enjoying one of these and slamming back a soda. And not all of them are sweet. They pair well with a cheese plate.”

Davis and Draves, along with manager D. Curto, say by creating the first nonalcoholic bar in Columbia County, they’re filling a niche and taking advantage of a growing market. Village Scoop’s drinks have even garnered the social media attention of the Torani company, whose (cane, not corn) syrups they use.

“People are becoming more open to the idea of alcohol-free bars,” says Curto. “We are not discouraging drinking. It’s just a nice alternative.”

Curto, Draves and Davis.

For all the business sense serving mocktails makes, the bottom line is that they’re really tasty. If you’re bringing the kids for some ice cream after dinner and you’re looking for something crisp and refreshing, the scotch (that’s butterscotch) and soda is a great way to end the night. If you’re a beer lover there’s a great shandy, made with nonalcoholic beer and blood orange syrup.

Draves and Davis are also passionate about local ingredients; their cheeses are all local as is as much of their produce, appearing on the menu as fruit salads and yogurt cups. The owners are also very cognizant of the ecosystem of an economy in a really small town like Hillsdale. They didn’t see a need to offer things that their neighbors are selling. If you’re looking for a stiffer drink, the Hillsdale House is just two doors down.

“We’re stronger together,” Draves says. “We support our friends and neighbors.”

With the variety of treats offered at Village Scoop, Davis, Draves and Curto have created a sweet little oasis worth stopping for each time you’re passing through. And since they’re mocktails, even if you’re driving, it’s okay to have two.

Village Scoop Artisanal Ice Cream and Alcohol-Free Bar
2640 State Route 23, Hillsdale, NY
(518) 325-6455
Open Fridays and Saturdays, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sundays, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

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Posted by Jamie Larson on 06/06/16 at 02:05 PM • Permalink