The secret to making satisfying mocktails
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good quality glass of clean crafted wine or a top shelf cocktail but in general I don’t consume a lot of alcohol and my husband doesn’t consume any alcohol at all – he just never liked it. So we have incorporated some fun mocktails into our repertoire so I want to share some of those with you and push myself to try some new ones.
Never heard of a mocktail? It’s just a crafted cocktail without the alcohol. Sound boring? I promise, it is not! The secret to making satisfying mocktails (non-alcoholic beverages) is using a combination of flavors and textures to stimulate your palate. We’re disguising the fact that the drink has no alcohol yet we still want it to be fun, exotic, and satisfying.
We’re going to use colors, textures, and different viscosities to make the drinks look beautiful and tease your taste buds.
Still not sold on the idea of mocktails over cocktails? Try these reasons on for size:
- You can drive immediately after having a mocktail – or you can drink a mocktail WHILE you are driving. It’s fun to have a refreshing beverage in the car.
- Alcohol impairs your body’s ability to synthesize muscle and burn fat. Mocktails don’t.
- Alcohol can leave you feeling “hungover”
- Alcohol can zap your energy leaving you sleepy and unproductive.
- Freshly masticated or long-lasting juices retain many of their vitamins A, C, D, E and B so you can use refreshing mocktails to give a boost of micronutrients and energy any time of the day.
- An excess of alcohol disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm (you’re body’s internal clock that helps you get good sleep) resulting in sleep disruption. There is a BIG difference between passing out and getting a good night’s sleep.
- Mocktails are less expensive than alcoholic drinks.
Ready to learn the basics? Here are a few simple techniques you should know before diving into the world of mocktails.
For those who enjoy sweeter mocktails, you’ll want to learn the technique of making a simple syrup. It’s a simple way to sweeten a beverage and infuse some fantastic flavor. It’s equal parts sugar and water and any flavor infusion you like. I’m going to give you a recipe for ginger simple syrup but go ahead and change that out for anything you like – fresh herbs, mint, thyme, lemon zest, lime zest, rhubarb stalks, strawberries, etc… I’m using
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup filtered water
1″ knob of peeled fresh ginger, cut into slices
Add everything to a small saucepan and stir, simmer and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved; you will notice the syrup starts to thicken after about a minute.
Pull the pot off of the heat and set it aside until it cools naturally
Use what you need for your beverage and store the rest in a glass jar in the refrigerator. It will stay good for months; though you will likely use it up before it goes bad.
If you need a larger batch of syrup, just double or triple up the recipe while maintaining equal amount of sugar and water.
Could you substitute honey or a sugar substitute? Honey is a definite yes – I have done that. I haven’t tried sugar substitutes like monkfruit sweetener, steveia, etc… but go ahead and try it and let me know what you find out! I recommend testing a really small batch so you don’t waste it if it does not turn out.
Sourcing Ingredients for Mocktails
Many of these recipes call for fresh juices. If you have a masticating juicer, that is the freshest top quality juice you can get. You will definitely be satisfied if you make the time and effort to juice your own ingredients.
However, juicing your own is not a requirement! Many stores carry high quality long-lasting juices that will still taste fantastic in these mocktails. I always opt for organic and sugar-free juices to ensure you feel great after drinking these.
Coconut cream and coconut milk are used in some of these recipes. I personally LOVE the taste of coconut cream (especially in a virgin colada!) but sometimes I don’t feel good after drinking it. After some research, I determined that taking a few capsules of digestive enzymes before I indulge in a luscious coconut mocktail is key for my body since it helps digest the coconut cream without issue (these are my go-to digestive enzymes). So you might need to experiment with the ingredients and see what works for you. Change what doesn’t work for you or find a way to support your body.
I think you’re ready for your first mocktail recipe! Here it is.
On The Beach
- quarter of a cantaloupe or muskmelon
- handful of raspberries
- 3 1/2 oz (100mL) fresh orange juice
- 1/3 oz (10mL) fresh lime juice
- dash of grenadine
- sparkling water or lemon-lime soda
- Pour all ingredients into a blender
- Blend for 10 seconds without ice
- Add a scoop of ice and blend again
- Pour into a goblet filled 2/3 with ice
- Top up with sparkling water or lemon-lime soda, stir
- Garnish with melon balls and raspberries on a long wooden skewer; laid across the top of the cup
- Serve with a reusable straw
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