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January 16, 2023
It's that time of year again, and we're all here, getting ourselves sorted out for dry January. There's no denying that it does our health a bit of good, but it can be a little complex trying to make a fancy drink when we're shorter on ingredients than we might be used to. We do, of course, have a range of gin hampers, whisky hampers and other alcohol filled gifts available for those not sticking to dry January!
Throughout this article, we're going to run through everything that you might need to know about a wide range of different non-alcoholic cocktail recipes for dry January.
From some ingredients and tips to some simple questions that we'll put to bed once and for all. With all that said, let's get started!
What kind of cocktail article would we be writing if we didn't get started off with a word about lemon juice?
Lemon juice is a game changer in the world of cocktails - it's bright, sharp, sweet, and wonderfully well-rounded in the grand scheme of ingredients.
Something that we really love about great lemon juice is the sweetness, especially when it's totally fresh! Freshly squeezed juice has an intense sweetness that's hard to describe.
Lime juice is something of a counterpart to lemon juice, with it working wonderfully well as a brightener as well as something to bring some earthy sharpness to a drink.
In some of our recent experiments at the home bar, we've been enjoying a few odds and ends that are ideal with lime juice - drinks that are a little more bitter and savoury than you might expect.
For instance (though we're getting a little off-topic) a gin martini with a dash of lime juice is truly something else!
A cocktail shaker is something that we would totally recommend for any home bar. It tends to be something that's often overlooked since people are all too happy to stir a drink in a glass.
The problem is that people tend to miss out on the dual usage of shakers.
While they are, of course, used to bring together different ingredients in a drink and lend yourself toward a richer final product, they can also be used to cool a drink rapidly.
A mixture of a large ice cube with crushed ice serves to agitate things very effectively in the shaker. This rapidly spreads the cold throughout the drink, lowering the temperature just in time for drinking.
Orange juice is another great citrus juice that's incredibly versatile in a drink, since it is mild enough to be used in a short or long drink, and can easily bring some bright flavours to your palate.
To be sure that you're getting the best orange juice, squeezing it yourself is always ideal for freshness.
However, we understand that's not always totally possible - a carton that you keep in your fridge will surely be totally fine for most drinks that you're making!
Typically, the most popular non-alcoholic drink in a bar is soda. This is one of those things that might be a little obvious when you stop to consider it - people drink soda all the time, right?
The interesting element comes when people try to mix soda with different mix-ins to make a more elegant and complex drink. A great example of this is a Roy Rogers - a drink that's essentially just cold coke with a splash of grenadine syrup in it.
Though it's simple, the syrup really does boost the coke in an interesting way and is worth trying this dry January.
When you factor in club soda, you start to see how many options you have. For instance, why not serve club soda with some flavoured syrup? You'll instantly make a divine alcohol-free drink.
There are a great many delicious drinks that don't include alcohol, though naturally, it's up to your personal tastebuds which options you might prefer.
If you've got a sweet tooth, then a Shirley Temple might be just the thing you're looking for. To make one, pour a glass of ginger ale over ice, and top it with a splash of grenadine. Stir to combine, and then garnish with a maraschino cherry.
If you've got a more bitter flavour palate, then you might opt for a more elaborate mocktail, such as the bright and bitter. For this recipe, you'll need:
3 cups orange juice
1.5 cups unsweetened cranberry juice
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup simple syrup
12 dashes of non-alcoholic bitters
To bring these ingredients together into a great cocktail, here are the steps:
Mix together the orange, cranberry, lemon, and lime juice in a pitcher. Add the simple syrup, and stir the mixture well to ensure that it's totally dissolved.
Add the bitters to the pitcher, stirring once more, and taste. At this point, you can add more syrup or bitters if the drink needs it.
To serve, pour around half a glass of this cocktail, followed by half a glass of soda water. This ratio is up to you, but we find fifty-fifty to be a good starting point.
A non-alcoholic cocktail is typically referred to as a mocktail. This is a play on words, of course, since the first part of 'cocktails', rhymes with 'mock', meaning fake, or a recreation.
Therefore, booze-free cocktails are mocktails, because they're a recreation of true cocktails, which would typically contain alcohol.
We've put together a short list here of some wonderful mocktail options that you can serve at a party.
These are all great options for a fun, themed, dry January party where the guests make each other cocktails - they're simple and terribly fun!
In each recipe, we're going to start off with the ingredients and method, and then we're going to talk a little about the recipe itself.
1 slice orange
125g caster sugar
3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
Pinch coriander seeds
25ml white grape juice
1 slice orange (optional)
Chop the grapefruit into small chunks, and place the chunks into a pan with the orange, sugar, water, cardamom, and coriander. Heat the mixture for five minutes, or until the fruit has softened. Leave it to cool.
Strain and discard the solid elements of the syrup mixture. Then, add ice to a tumbler, and add 25ml of the syrup, along with the same amount of cold water, and grape juice. Then, stir until the tumbler is cold, and garnish with the orange slice.
This alcohol-free version of the classy negroni is a great way to make a tasty and succulently bitter drink that's sure to boost any relaxed evening with friends.
1cm thick slice of cucumber
1 sprig mint
Frozen red berries
120ml clear, sparkling lemonade
Chop the cucumber and mint into small pieces. Bring the water to a boil in a small pan, and then add the mint and cucumber. Turn off the heat, and leave it for two minutes. Add a handful of frozen berries, before crushing them lightly with a spoon. Strain the mixture, and allow it to cool before storing it in the fridge.
Pour 40ml of the mixture into a tall glass. Then, add ice and top up with the lemonade. Garnish with whatever fruit and berries you might enjoy.
This is a great nonalcoholic drink for a party, especially when you stop to consider that it could be easily made in a large pitcher and shared among as many people as you might have in your home.
Simply add crushed ice to the pitcher, and you've got a day's worth of a refreshing drink in no time at all.
1/2 lemon, zested, plus 15ml lemon juice
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
50ml alcohol-free gin
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp marmalade
Combine the lemon zest and sugar on a small plate. Dip the rim of a coupe glass in water, then in the sugar mixture. Set it aside.
Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake the mixture until the outside of the shaker feels icy cold. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into the glass, and serve.
This is a terribly simple drink, but it's also one that's impossible not to adore. The sharp and rich flavors running through it from the marmalade and the fresh lemon juice are bright and beautiful, making for a perfectly moreish drink.
There are more than a few wonderful ingredients out there that would be ideal for any mocktails you might be making. In this part of our short article, we're going to share some of our favorite versions with you.
Using mint leaves in a recipe is a surefire way to make a drink that tastes impossibly like summer. Not only will the brightness of fresh mint leaves be hard to ignore, but pairing it with a punchy ginger beer will surely make for a powerful drink.
To boost fresh mint when you use it in mocktail recipes, make sure that you place the mint leaves into the palm of your hand, and then clap.
This will express some of the essential oils from the mint, allowing you to create a fresher, brighter drink.
Dried mint certainly has its place in the world of cocktails. We would recommend using it to infuse minty flavor into a strong spirit, such as vodka or gin.
Allowing the mint to 'steep' in the spirit for a maximum of two hours will be plenty of time: the intensity of dried herbs will allow the total steeping time to be considerably shortened.
Whether you're using grapefruit juice or something a little more subtle, like orange juice, citrus has a potent place in the world of cocktail making.
To be sure that you can create something utterly divine, we would always suggest that you opt for potent citruses, such as a small amount of grapefruit juice, and a larger amount of rich syrup.
This combination will present you with a sharp, punchy drink that also tastes pleasantly sweet.
While lime juice certainly has its place in a cocktail, citrus peel makes for a wonderful garnish.
You can buy exceptional tools designed to help you peel a small piece of citrus, and then artfully garnish it over the top of your drink - both beautiful and delicious.
Cherry is a wonderful flavor - sweet, rich, juicy, and moreish. To be sure that you use it well, start off small.
The maraschino cherry is a great option to get started, and sits well on top of nearly any mixer, from ginger beer to club soda.
Add lemon juice and a bright red cherry to a drink, though, and you've got a beautiful, delicious option no matter what spirit you're using.
Even if you're not using gin, you can use juniper berries, one of gin's key aromatics. They have a unique flavor which, personally, we feel matches up well with lime juice - they balance each other well, making for tasty drinks.
Coffee is rarely used outside of the espresso martini, but that's no excuse not to have a good coffee liqueur at your bar. Just a drop can make any drink powerfully rich.
Coffee beans can make a beautiful garnish - simply lay them out on the foam of a drink with a head, and they won't sink.
As a small bonus, they can be eaten for a unique textural addition!
For a spicy ginger beer, you can always add some peppercorns. Whether crushed with a muddler or just thrown into the glass, they can make for a potent, hot drink.
Nutmeg is a beautiful spice - get a small grater and an airtight container that you can pack with whole nutmeg.
You won't be disappointed! Grate a little over rich, creamy drinks for an incredible experience.
Cinnamon is a great addition to a drink made with ginger beer. Pouring a little of that into a rocks glass with some ice cubes and scotch will make for a decadent drink.
Alternatively, make a shorter drink with just the whisky, cinnamon, and some ginger syrup. For flare, you could add a dollop of whipped cream.
Whether you opt for pineapple juice or a whole wedge of fresh fruit, the sweet citrus of pineapple really boost a non-alcoholic cocktail!
Combine pineapple and ginger syrup together in a martini glass with some non-alcoholic gin, and you'll be in for a wonderful drink. To put it simply, you can't go wrong!
A little honey at the base of a rocks glass, martini glass, or anything else can elevate a drink.
Top the honey with sparkling water or club soda to easily mix it all together, creating a gently fizzy drink in no time.
Maple syrup works wonderfully with sparkling water, the bitterness and nutty sweetness combine to make a non-alcoholic delight! Serve that mixture with fresh ice, and you won't be disappointed.
We hope our short article gave you a great insight into the world of non-alcoholic mocktails. Happy sipping!
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