If I asked you to describe your perfect happy place, I would expect many people to include the ‘with a cocktail in my hand’ line at the end of their answer. After all, there are few things more luxurious than supping an icy cocktail on a hot summers day as you soak up the sun. But for many, this experience has one limiting factor… alcohol.
With alcohol consumption steadily declining and the health craze showing little sign of letting up, people are shunning boozy tipples in favour of their healthier counterparts, affectionately named ‘mocktails’.
From the simple mix of fresh fruit juices to the more complex infusions, herbals and botanicals, the non-drinker has never had such a variety to choose from. Mixologists are finally paying attention to the huge market for alcohol-free beverages and, like the classic cocktail, are creating an astoundingly ingenious variety of concoctions which pack all the punch of their more intoxicating predecessors, without the dreaded morning hangover.
As if a hangover-free morning wasn’t reason enough to tempt you, many now include health enhancing ingredients which boost the immune system and reinvigorate the body, imagine that! Swapping out the base alcohol and sugary mixer for natural ingredients like kombucha, coconut water, noni juice or green tea will drastically improve the health benefits of your drink, while finishing with fresh herbs and spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, mint and rosemary will intensify the flavour without the use of refined sugars or artificial flavourings.
As well as the obvious health benefits of cutting down on alcohol, mocktails are easy to make and are extremely beneficial for your wallet! The lack of liquor means they’re suitable for kids, designated drivers and expectant mothers and ensures that everyone has a drink to cheers with friends and family.
If you’re looking for all the celebratory elegance of a cocktail this summer, but want to avoid the price tag or hassle that comes with it, consider ditching the alcohol for vibrant, energising and flavoursome mocktails. You may be pleasantly surprised, after all, who knew you could wake up feeling fresh and reinvigorated after a night on the cocktails!
Written by Tom Gore, Food Director, The Brewery