Imbibe 75 Person to Watch: Adam Fournier - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Imbibe 75 Person to Watch: Adam Fournier

Why should the one non-drinker out of a party of six be snapped toasting a celebratory moment with a Coke and a sad lime wedge? Los Angeles bartender Adam Fournier—the 2021 World Class Bartender of the Year, NoMad LA alum, and bar director of Fellow restaurant—wanted to fix that, and create the same thrill for that person receiving a spirit-free drink as someone served an Instagram-worthy cocktail. For him, offering no-alcohol options was an exercise in hospitality, especially with the growing number of sober-curious drinkers. “Approaching nonalcoholic drinks as mindfully as full-spirit cocktails was something I knew I wanted to do right from the start,” he says. “And not only in terms of a flavor, but also in terms of presentation and the ritual that goes along with them.”

Drawing inspiration from Alinea chef Grant Achatz’s book, Zero: A New Approach to Non- Alcoholic Drinks, Fournier’s spirit-free options include a zero-proof Margarita as well as a watermelon drink with holy basil seed, rose, and mint. For imbibers looking for a zero-ABV option for celebrations, he created an alcohol-free cherry-rose “champagne,” mixing rose petals, sakura, and verjus, and then carbonating it. Currently, it’s available by the glass, but Fournier plans to serve it in large-format bottles that can be popped like Champagne. But his best-selling no-alcohol drink on the menu is his Zero Fashioned, which uses mashbill syrup—made from a tea of toasted rye, barley, and wheat—and zero-ABV whiskey barrel–aged bitters to re-create the classic’s flavor profile. “It’s definitely a drink for people who are normally drinkers who are not drinking right now,” he says.

He hopes to evolve the restaurant’s spirit-free program to go beyond creating alcohol-free versions of recognizable drinks. “You can start playing around with different flavor profiles, and bring in some of those techniques to make cool nonalcoholic experiences that live outside that classic-cocktail tradition.”

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