From mandarin ginger spritz to forager’s fizz – here are our favourite festive mocktail recipes for the designated driver
Words by Miriam Carey
OUR FAVOURITE FESTIVE MOCKTAIL RECIPES
The festive season is in full swing and we couldn’t be more excited about getting together with friends and family and the unending eating, drinking, and merriment. But sometimes it’s certainly worth taking a break from it all. As such, there’s recently been a surge in mocktail recipe books, while social media has been inundated with non-alcoholic thirst-quenchers. Whether you want a night off, or you’re the evening’s designated driver, there’s no reason you should miss out. No one wants to watch their friends drinking margaritas and mojitos while they’re on the tap water. On this note, we’ve rounded up our favourite mocktail recipes for those times when a quieter one is required. All of the following were chosen because they look amazing, are super tasty and fun to make. Enjoy!
Rosie Birkett’s Charred Mandarin Ginger Spritz
Glass: Old fashioned/rocks
2 mandarins, peeled, pith removed and segmented
2 tsp lavender honey (found in most delis or Ocado)
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly chopped
tbsp pomegranate seeds
Highland Spring Sparkling water
To garnish the mocktail:
charred mandarin segments
mandarin zest, curled
Heat a non-stick pan over a high heat. Add the mandarin and char the pieces until part-blackened and about to burst. Put the ginger into a blender with 2 tbsp water and blitz. Strain and reserve the ginger juice. Setting aside a couple of the charred segments for garnish, muddle the rest of the segments and strain the juice over ice into an old-fashioned glass. Drizzle in the honey and add a shot of the ginger juice and the pomegranate seeds. Stir, top up with Highland Spring Sparkling water and garnish with the flowering thyme.
Rosie Birkett’s Forager’s Fizz: Blackberry shrub, foraged rosehip, juniper syrup and Sparkling water
Glass: Champagne flute
Rosehip and juniper berry syrup ingredients (makes 500ml):
500g rosehips, washed (or cranberries)
500g caster sugar tbsp juniper berries (found in most supermarkets)
1.5 litres of Highland Spring Sparkling water
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Chop the rosehips and crush the juniper berries. Bring half the water to the boil and add the rosehips and juniper, returning the mix to the boil and simmering for 8 minutes.
Strain the liquid through muslin, then return the pulp to the pan with the other half of water, bring to the boil as before and repeat the simmering/straining process. Discard the pulp, clean the pan and return the liquid from both strains to it with the sugar.
Bring to the boil and continue to boil rapidly for about 10 minutes, until you have a thick syrup. Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and allow to cool. Pour into a glass bottle.
The Blackberry Shrub ingredients (makes 1 pint):
500g blackberries, washed
800g caster sugar
About 500ml red wine vinegar
Place the blackberries in a bowl and cover with the sugar. Gently stir to combine and make sure the berries are coated with the sugar. Cover with a clean dish towel or muslin and leave in a cool, dark, dry place for 48 hours to macerate. Strain the mixture through a sieve so that you’re left with the blackberry juice. Add equal amounts of vinegar and whisk to dissolve the sugar. Funnel into a glass bottle and store in the fridge until ready to use.
To assemble the mocktail:
3 juniper berrie
50ml rosehip and juniper syrup
10ml blackberry shrub Highland Spring Sparkling Water
Blackberries, for garnish fresh bay leaf, a rosehip with stalk
Place the blackberries and juniper berries in the bottom of the champagne flute and muddle gently with the end of a wooden spoon. Pour the rosehip syrup and blackberry shrub into a cocktail shaker and shake over ice. Pour over the blackberries and top up with Highland Spring Sparkling Water. Garnish with the bay leaf and rosehip.
Clare Liardet’s Blood Orange and Sage Margarita
You will need:
chilled coupette, shaker, strainer
125ml blood orange juice
2 tbsp freshly squeezed
1 tbsp Hibiscus Syrup
3 sage leaves (reserve one to garnish)
a wedge of lime
Put the blood orange juice, lime juice, hibiscus syrup and two sage leaves in a shaker with ice, and shake until chilled. If you like a salt rim, run a wedge of lime around the rim of the chilled glass and dip it on to a saucer spread with salt. Strain the mixture into the glass and garnish with the third sage leaf.
Clare Liardet’s Pear and Rosemary on the Rocks
You will need:
tumbler, shaker, strainer
2 small pears, or good-quality shop-bought pear juice (not from concentrate)
30ml freshly squeezed
25ml Simple Herb Syrup made with rosemary
a sprig of rosemary and a slice of pear to garnish
Combine the pear juice, lemon juice and rosemary syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake well. Strain into a rocks glass and top with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a slice of pear. For a longer drink, add more water and a dash of lemonade.
Clare Liardet’s Pomegranate Negroni
You will need:
200ml pomegranate juice
2 tsp Montmorency cherry concentrate
3 good dashes of Angostura Bitters
a twist of orange peel
Pour the pomegranate juice and cherry concentrate into a glass of ice, then stir well before shaking in the Angostura Bitters. The drink should have a bitter-sweet tang, so add more Angostura if needed. Twist the orange peel on top of the drink to release the oils.
Clare’s mocktail recipes and more can be found in her book Dry – non alcoholic cocktails, cordials, and clever concoctions