We all enjoy a tipple at this time of year, but alcohol is full of calories and sugar. So when you want to to give your liver, waist-line and possibly your head a rest (!), reach for one of these refreshing mocktails instead.
Use fresh ingredients wherever possible and add plenty of fresh fruit and veg when you serve so you get a good dose of fresh vitamins, minerals and nutrients to help nourish an over-indulged body. They will help cleanse your digestive system after all those rich foods, and ease the hang-over you may well be nursing 🙂
Easy Cranberry Crush – a great store cupboard stand-by
In a jug combine 1 cup of cranberry with 2-3 cups of soda water, depending on your taste. Add 4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice. Pour over ice into four tall glasses. Serve with fresh mint leaves, a slice of fresh orange and a few fresh or frozen raspberries, strawberries or blackberries – or frozen grapes (see below).
Sunshine Sangria – a refreshing summer drink
In a jug combine 1½ litres of no-added sugar grape juice and 1 litre of soda water. Chop half a pineapple into bite sized chunks, chop an apple and slice an orange. Tear in a few sprigs of basil or mint. Serve over ice, or over basil ice cubes (see below).
Hang-over Busting Purple Fizz – this one’s a great cleanser
Juice 2 small raw beetroot, 3 apples and 2 pears and 1 cucumber. Pour into a jug and top up with the juice of 1 lemon and some cold soda water. Serve in tall glasses over ice, topped with a sprig of mint.
Mocktail tips all the family can enjoy…
1. Freeze slices of lemons, oranges, limes and grapefruits in freezer bags and use instead of ice cubes or to liven up the table water and add to drinks.
2. Basil is extremely refreshing, especially when it paired with lemon or pineapple. Add a leaf of basil to each cube of the ice cube tray before filling and freezing.
3. Grapes freeze really well and are a fun ice cube alternative. Pop a bunch of red and white grapes in the freezer and use instead of ice cubes in drinks and mocktails. They brighten up any glass of water and kids love them.
4. On a hot sticky day, nothing beats an iced ginger and lime tea. Make a litre of good strong tea. Don’t let it stew, but leave it to brew long enough to really have flavour. Use this as your base, just like a cordial, adding more or less depending on how strong you like it. Top up with ice cold soda water and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or try adding ginger and lime instead. Kids can sweeten their up with honey or use lemonade instead.
5. Lemon balm also known as lemon verbena grows very much like mint, and it is a great mocktail addition to the herb garden. Add it to your Christmas present list!
6. Quartered slices of cucumber also add a refreshing buzz to water or soda water. Add some frozen lemon slices and a sprig of mint too.
7. Grate a wedge of ginger. Spread it out on a plate so that it doesn’t lump together when it freezes, and pop it in the freezer. Take a pinch to add to mocktails, iced tea or a lime and ginger water. Use it as morning hang over cure too. Put a tea spoon of grated ginger into a mug. Pour over boiling water and leave to sit for a moment. Add the juice of half a lemon (or more), and honey to taste (although it is equally delicious without honey). The ginger in the tea is a great remedy for indigestion and travel sickness too.
Oh… and don’t forget to leave cocktail sticks on the table, so everyone can pick the fruit out of their glass and snack on it.