#41 – Mocktails for a New Year

#41 – Mocktails for a New Year

This is Recipe Roundup Episode 41. 

By now you’ve made it through the holiday haze of too much good food. Most of us have made some resolutions for this new year –  and often at least one of those resolutions has to do with health.  Whether you are hoping to cut down on alcohol or the sugar content of your drinks, experimenting with mocktails is a fun way to bring some pizzazz to your beverage, without sacrificing your health. These recipes are kid-friendly and can be great for expecting mothers who still want the mirth of a fun drink with friends!

Before we get to a few mocktail recipe examples, let’s talk about the common tools of the trade! 

The Number one factor that will take any mixed drink to the next level is bubbles! Soda water – which contains added minerals- and seltzer – which does not – are must haves in your mocktail arsenal. Seltzer comes in many different flavors which can add another dimension to your creation. I’ve even had some that are cola and cherry cola flavored if you are REALLY missing soda pop, but want nothing to do with artificial sweeteners. But of course, you won’t go wrong having an unflavored version on deck. 

The second most important factor is your mindset! You can spruce up regular juice with seltzer on any old day…but it’s time for a MOCKTAIL. Fancy yourself an artist! The most bowler-hat-wearing, moustache-twirling, cocktail-history-quipping hipster bartender you can imagine – that’s your goal. In other words, we are pulling out all of the stops. In material terms this means fresh herbs, fresh fruit, and high quality juices. If there was ever a time to seek out 100% juice with no added sugars, this is it. Fresh squeezed juices will yield an even more exciting result. Anything you can do to make this mocktail feel special will go a long way. 

If you have fancy glassware, go ahead and put it in a safe place in your freezer at least 30 minutes before you are planning on making your cocktail. Personally, I don’t add ice to many of my beverages on a normal day – but a mocktail day is no ordinary day. Have some ice ready for your finished drink. 

If you like your drinks on the sweeter side, I like to use liquid stevia drops to get a sweeter final result with no added sugar. Agave syrup and honey are also options, but make sure to thin them with water so that mixing them in is easier!

Here’s a few recipes to get you started! Each recipe is for a single serving

The Freshest Zen

1 tbs Lemon Juice (half a lemon)

½  tbs Lime Juice (half a lime)

1 oz  Tart Cherry Juice

Fresh Basil Leaves

Seltzer – Cherry, Berry, or Plain Flavored

Sweetener to taste

 

Cut your basil leaf into thin strips and place in a tall glass. Muddle your basil leaf with the lemon and lime juices with a spoon until you can smell the hint of basil above the glass. Mix in your Tart Cherry juice and sweetener – combining completely. Add ice and fill the rest of the way with seltzer. Garnish with a lemon wheel, cherry, and/or basil leaf. 

 

Mango No-jito

2 oz of mango juice or 1-2 tbs of mango puree

1 tbs of lime juice 

Fresh Mint Leaves

Ice

Seltzer – Mango, Lime, Lemon, or Plain Flavored

 

Muddle your ice with several mint leaves – if you don’t have a muddler, use a blender and pulse until the ice is roughly crushed and the mint is spread throughout. If all else fails, roughly chop the mint, rub it into a glass with ice, and mix. In a separate glass, combine the mango and lime and then pour over the prepared mint ice. Add seltzer and stir gently to combine. Garnish with mint leaves. 

 

Berry Sunrise

5 Raspberries

1 oz pomegranate juice

4 oz orange juice

Seltzer – Orange or Plain flavored

 

Muddle or blend the raspberries with pomegranate juice until completely combined and pour into a tall glass. Place ice on top of this mixture. In another cup, combine orange juice and seltzer to your flavor preference. Slowly pour the orange seltzer mixture over the back of a spoon into the glass with the pomegranate-berry mixture and ice, creating two distinct layers. Garnish with an orange slice.

 

With those three examples as well as the tools we discussed before, I hope this episode has given you an introduction to Mocktail Making. Please send your reviews and pictures to sage@amrmail.org.

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