If it’s your turn to be the designated driver, you’re pregnant, or are just keen to cut back on your alcohol consumption, why not try an alcohol-free cocktail? Delicious and easy-to-make, mocktails can be a great alternative to the real deal.
The benefits of cutting back
Many of us like having a drink now and then, but it’s important to remember that alcohol is a drug, and affects how we think and feel. For some people, drinking alcohol can also negatively impact their health and wellbeing. There are a myriad of reasons to take a break from drinking, even for a little while, including saving money, improved sleep, lowered stress levels and better relationships.
However, for those of us over the age of 18, it can sometimes feel like alcohol is a required part of having a social life. Meeting friends at bars and pubs, or even having a glass of wine over dinner, can be difficult to navigate if you’re trying to cut back. It helps to be aware of these challenges, and plan in advance whenever possible. Ask the venue if they can make a mocktail for you, or even have friends over to try some recipes at home.
Looking for some inspiration for alcohol free drinks? Here are our favourite mocktail recipes for every kind of taste.
Said to have originated in Cuba where vast quantities of mint, lime and sugar were readily available, the mojito is a classic cocktail for a warm summer evening. Here’s how to make a rum-less mojito that everyone can enjoy.
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 small bunch of mint
- 3 limes, juiced
- Soda water, to top up
- Using a mortar and pestle or the end of a rolling pin, muddle the sugar and mint leaves.
- Using tall glasses, add a handful of crushed ice in each.
- Add the mint mix and lime juice to the glasses.
- Top up with soda to taste.
While often served as a sugar-bomb with extra sweeteners, the daiquiri is best enjoyed with fresh fruit and little added sugar. Strawberries are a great option, but experimenting with other fruits like pineapple and peaches, and adding herbs like mint and basil can also make for a fun and delicious twist.
- 2 cups of frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup of lime juice
- 1 cup of apple juice
- 5 – 6 ice cubes
- A punnet of fresh strawberries
- Place all ingredients into a blender.
- Blend on the highest setting until well combined.
- Pour into glasses and top with fresh strawberries for garnish.
Always a crowd pleaser, there are many ways to prepare a punch. Refreshing and familiar, this recipe mixes fruit juices, fruit sodas and fruit pieces.
- 100ml of cranberry juice
- 500ml blood orange juice or soda
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 limes, cut into thin wedges
- 2 oranges, cut into thin wedges
- 1 bunch of mint
- A bottle of sparkling apple juice
- Combine the cranberry, orange and lime juices in a large jug.
- In each glass, place a wedge of lime and orange and a mint sprig, add 50ml of the fruit juice mixture and top up with sparkling apple juice to taste.
It’s easier than you think to mimic the botanical flavours synonymous with gin, without the need for alcohol. This non-alcoholic cocktail recipe calls for five different herbs and spices to bring this drink to life.
- 5 cardamom pods
- ½ cucumber
- 1 chamomile tea bag
- ½ bunch mint leaves, plus extra to garnish
- 1 strip lemon zest
- 5 cloves
- ½ bunch rosemary
- Tonic water, to top up
- Lightly crush the cardamom pods and thinly slice the cucumber lengthwise.
- Combine the cardamom pods, cucumber, chamomile tea bags, mint leaves, lemon zest, cloves and rosemary into a large jug and top up with half a litre of cold water.
- Leave the jug in the fridge to infuse for 2-4 hours, depending on your taste preference.
- To serve, strain 50ml of the infused water into your glass already prepared with ice. Top up with tonic water to taste.
- Garnish with fresh mint leaves to your liking.
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