Ever wanted to try your own mocktail recipes? Perhaps you hadn’t given it much thought, but after all the festive indulgence, have you decided to make healthy tweaks to our lifestyle? Is choosing to cut down on alcoholic drinks or abstaining altogether for Dry January part of your plan? At The Mixer, though they love their classic cocktails, can’t help getting excited about the growing mocktail trend that offers a delicious sipping experience, minus the alcohol.
Their expert mixologists have put together some useful advice on making mocktails; whether you are going sober or just keen to try something different, non-alcoholic mocktail recipes are a great way to build out your drink-making repertoire at home.
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How to Turn your Favourite Cocktail into a Mocktail
When you’re building a cocktail, it’s all about the balance. Your tastebuds register five flavor profiles — sweet, salty, sour, bitter and the umami. An alcoholic spirit can offer a few of these profiles, but how do you get by without? The trick is to include a few key ingredients that can transform your drink:
Balance your sweet and sour: For your sweet, keep a simple syrup to hand. It’s easy to make at home and blends well in a mocktail. If you like, you can add additional flavor profiles to your simple syrup, like orange zest or rosemary. For the sour part, add some freshly squeezed lemon, lime or grapefruit juice, some cranberry juice or even just a dash of vinegar.
Bitters: If you’re a fan of an aperitif like a Negroni or an Old Fashioned, then adding that bitter element is a must. Adding a dash of bitters does technically mean that you’re adding alcohol but it’s a fraction, about the same as adding vanilla extract into a cake. Alternatively, if adding bitter is not an option, then brew some black tea for longer than usual, resulting in a tannic bitter liquid. Add a zest of orange and a dash of this mixture can sub in for your bitters.
Texture: By texture, we mean bubbles, club soda, seltzer or tonic water, which often includes a faint hint of saltiness too. Adding texture to a mocktail makes it “thicker” on the palate and helps to slow down one’s sipping. Blending or muddling fruit can also add texture. Take a Mojito: when you muddle mint and sugar with lime zest, it gives the drink its classic texture.
The Best Alcohol Substitutes
When you ditch the booze in a cocktail, you’ll need to make sure you add in the kick of flavor and texture that spirits give. Here are some of our favorite substitutes for creating your own mocktail recipes:
The fizz: Adding unsweetened club soda or seltzer is an easy swap that gives the all-important texture and savory profile.
Tangy soda: A ginger beer or lemonade are ideal substitutes that give the palate a kick. If these are too sweet for your taste, tone it down with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a top up of soda water or sparkling water.
Kombuchas and bitter ice teas: Look out for unsweetened teas and kombuchas, which add a serious amount of acidity, and some have a good fizz too. Kombucha is a fermented drink that will add a serious depth of flavor to your mocktail but, watch out as some can have marginal alcohol content, so check the labels before you buy.
Non-alcoholic spirits: A trendy product that’s a great switch for a spirit is a non-alcoholic spirit, flavored with botanicals like gin. You’d mix this classically instead of gin, but they work for vodka too.
The Mixer’s Top Three Mocktail Recipes
Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri
If you love serving a refreshing cocktail, but want to steer clear of alcohol, this Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri recipe is one of our favourite mocktail recipes that is sweet, tart, cool, and delicious. You can tailor it for daytime shindigs, baby showers, and big lunches.
Ingredients per person
- 2 large strawberries, hulled
- 0.25 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 0.75 cup chilled lemon-lime soda
- 4 cubes ice
- In the container of a blender, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon-lime soda
- Add the ice and blend until smooth
- Pour into a pretty glass to serve
This not-too-sweet fizzy cocktail is minty and super refreshing. Make a good one with this recipe and no one will miss the rum!
Ingredients per person
- 12 large mint leaves, thoroughly washed
- 2 limes, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons simple syrup
- 0.5 cup club soda or ginger ale,
- a slice of lime to garnish
- Add mint leaves to a jug or mason jar with the sugar syrup and freshly squeezed lime juice
- Muddle them briefly until fragrant and tip into a highball glass with a handful of ice
- Stir briefly to chill and top up with club soda or ginger ale. Garnish with a slice of lime
Grapefruit & Rosemary Mocktail
This zesty and refreshing mocktail is perfect to enjoy over brunch with friends.
Ingredients per person
- Juice of 1 freshly squeezed grapefruit
- 6 Deseeded cherries
- ½ Oz Simple syrup
- Club soda
- 2 Rosemary sprigs
- Add the cherries and simple syrup to a highball glass, and muddle with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the grapefruit juice and fill the glass with ice
- Top with soda and garnish with rosemary
For more drinkspiration please visit: https://www.themixer.com/en-uk/