As a mother of three, I’ve spent a good few years pregnant or breastfeeding—meaning that I’ve also spent a fair few years needing refreshments that are booze-free.
I don’t mind being sober, but it can become a little tedious when your only options are bland and lacklustre.
Whilst an orange juice now and again can be lovely, I found that there is only so much you can drink on a night out. Quite frankly, during my third pregnancy I found the teetotal options boring.
Who wants to sit all night with a bitter lemon drink or some sickly fruit juice infusion that has a shelf life of over a year?
Being fed up with the offerings of orange juice, plain tonic water, or fizzy pop, I started thinking about what makes a great drink. I decided it’s not always the alcohol. After all, there are so many ingredients in a cocktail that if we extracted the non-alcoholic ones, it could still form the basis of a great drink.
I asked myself, “What do I like about the taste of an espresso martini?” and started playing around to see if I could make alcohol-free versions of the cocktails I enjoyed. It was a fun experiment—but I also proved that it was possible to make delectable teetotal tipples.
The world of non-alcoholic drinks is boundless. Simple drinks with a dash of grenadine, a slice of lemon, hibiscus flower, and good quality tonic water in a nice glass, can be really refreshing. Rather than opting for the habitual gin and tonic, I now have to engage my imagination and come up with booze-free drinks that look, feel, and taste like great alternatives to alcohol.
I like to create sophisticated alcohol-free drinks—something grown-up and lovely looking, but also fuss-free. Drinking something in a really nice glass that is garnished makes it feel special—the aesthetic of a drink is as important as its taste.
Once armed with a collection of nice glasses, which include a champagne flute, martini glass, tumbler, and a highball; make sure you have plenty of ice in the freezer and get your taste buds ready for booze-free indulgence, as you try some of my all time favourite alcohol-free cocktails.
Handful of ice cubes
Dash of grapefruit bitters
Dash of lemon bitters
1 part chilled grapefruit juice
4 parts tonic water
1 slice lemon
Place ice, bitters, and juice in a cocktail shaker and give it a good shake. Pour into a flute, top up with tonic water, and garnish with a slice of lemon.
This is a fabulous alternative to the Espresso Martini and an excellent drink to wake you up for a night of partying.
1 shot of espresso coffee
Handful of ice cubes
Dash of walnut bitters
200ml tonic water
Firstly, get your shot of espresso brewing. Then fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Pour in the tonic water, a dash of bitters, and stir. Once the espresso is ready, pour it over the top and give it a stir. Start sipping immediately…before the frothy foam disappears.
Light and Stormy
This makes a nice alternative to the rum-based cocktail, Dark and Stormy.
200 ml Jamaican ginger beer
Sprig of fresh basil leaves
Squeeze of lime juice
Thick slice of fresh lime
Put a handful of ice cubes into a tumbler and fill up with ginger beer. Tear the basil leaves and add to the glass along with a squeeze of lime. Give it a stir, pop in a slice of lime, and enjoy.
Truly Virginal Mary
This recipe works every bit as well as its alcoholic counterpart. I promise you will love this flavoursome tipple.
Handful of ice cubes
200ml tomato juice
Pinch of celery salt
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Dash of celery bitters
Dash of Worcester sauce
2 drops of chilli sauce
¼ tsp freshly grated horseradish slice of fresh lemon and a celery stick, to garnish.
Pop all the ingredients (except the garnish and ice) into a blender and give it a quick blitz. Fill a glass with ice and pour the drink mix in. Add a slice of lemon and a celery stick. Enjoy!
With these tasty recipes, there is never a reason to be bored by non-alcoholic tipples ever again!
Author: Seren Charrington-Hollins
Image: Wine Dharma / Unsplash
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Copy Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Social Editor: Khara-Jade Warren