Lots of us are kicking the grog into touch this new year but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a tasty tipple this January.
Mocktails are a great way for the whole family to enjoy delicious drinks that are packed with flavour and feel decadent, whether you drink alcohol or not.
Experimenting with savoury, umami flavours will bring some variety to your drinks selection this year, going grog free doesn’t have to be dull. Here, Denby have shared the recipes for five distinctive mocktails that pack a punch.
Cucumber jalapeño margarita
This drink pairs cooling cucumber with a kick of chilli, for a unique tipple that’s refreshing and warming in equal measure. Perfect with savoury nibbles and appetisers, this variation of the happy-hour classic is so full of pep it doesn’t need the tequila.
Start off with a sweet yet fiery base made by cooking sugar syrup with chopped cucumbers and sliced, deseeded jalapeños. Once they have infused the syrup with flavour, discard the chopped vegetables and mix the syrup in a cocktail shaker with lime juice, soda water, and a handful of ice.
For beautiful presentation that gives your guests the star treatment, wet the rim of a long-stemmed gin glass with lime and dip into a coating of salt, lime zest, smoked paprika and chilli flakes. Add a final flourish by garnishing each one with a peeled ribbon of cucumber and a ring of jalapeño.
Green tea and sage sour
Certainly not your average cup of tea, this recipe makes a beautiful pale green mocktail that adds a splash of colour to any party. Refreshing and zesty, it’s the perfect palate cleanser.
Make a simple sage-infused syrup by heating sugar, water, and fresh sage leaves in a saucepan and leave this mixture to cool. Strain the cooked leaves away and shake the sage syrup with steeped green tea, fresh lime juice, aquafaba (also known as chickpea water), and ice. Once combined, pour your herbal concoction into a champagne coupe to bring an opulent, art deco flair to any celebration. Carefully top up with non-alcoholic bitters and a sage leaf for a clean, crisp finish.
Spicy tamarind mojito
A popular spice in Indian cuisine, tamarind has a slightly sweet yet sour flavour that makes it a perfect ingredient for a savoury mocktail. Add this fiery recipe to your drinks selection and it’s sure to inject a little variety to your repertoire.
Start by crushing washed mint leaves and green chilli in a pestle and mortar to form a paste. After soaking the seedless tamarind pods in warm water to soften them, squeeze their pulp out and combine with your chilli and mint paste, straining it through a fine mesh sieve with water. Once strained, combine this paste with lemon juice, sugar, rock salt, and roasted cumin powder. Top up this mixture with soda water and serve in a short tumbler with a handful of ice and mint leaves to garnish.
Virgin Red Snapper
The lesser-known cousin of the Bloody Mary, the Red Snapper is made with your favourite non-alcoholic gin rather than vodka. This adds a botanical twist to the classic savoury cocktail while removing the chance of a headache in the morning.
Shake together tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, Tabasco, celery salt, black pepper, and lemon juice, and strain into a small jug. To avoid diluting the consistency, shake without any ice and chill afterwards to allow the flavours to marinate. Pour this mix over your chosen non-alcoholic gin in a tall glass tumbler and garnish with the Bloody Mary’s iconic celery stick. For extra presentation points, serve the Red Snapper with a cocktail stick full of all things pickled: think stuffed olives, cocktail onions, and pepperoncino. It’s an appetiser in itself!
Cucumber and rosemary tonic
This simple yet effective recipe places all its emphasis on fresh, botanical flavours without the need for any non-alcoholic gin. Use the freshest ingredients and high-quality tonic to get the full potential from this mocktail, which makes the perfect refreshing addition to any party.
Using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin, slice the cucumber into ribbons before submerging them in your favourite tonic water: this allows more flavour to infuse the tonic than cutting it into discs. Add a handful of ice and garnish with a large sprig of fresh rosemary, which will also infuse the tonic with heady herbal aromas. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of peppercorns, which again gives a brilliant scent but also a very subtle spice to the drink. Serve in a short crystal tumbler to add a touch of luxury and get the full gin and tonic experience.