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The Mocktail

May 02, 2014 02:44PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds

Spring is definitely the time for fresh, fruity cocktails and drinks. But sometimes, we don’t always want or need to indulge in alcohol. Enter, the mocktail. Mocktails are a new trend in the drink world. Composed, thoughtful drinks made with smart ingredients and not a lick of alcohol. Weird, right? To think that a non-alcoholic drink could be anything other than milk, juice, or soda. But mocktails are typically well thought out, adult, and far from boring. So whether you are expecting, watching the calories, or just not in the mood for a cocktail, give this fun trend a try.

Bars everywhere now have their best tenders mixing up these non-alcoholic goodies with an expert hand. It’s important to remember that, much like regular cocktails, it is easy to go overboard. Balance is important, so be sure to consider it when making your drink. Adding too much ginger to something will certainly overpower every other element in the drink. Start slow, adding a small amount of strong ingredients. Also, consider complementing flavors. Cherries and lime, citrus and rosemary. Think outside the box but don’t stray too far from classic flavors that go well together.

When it comes to creating a mocktail, you want the flavors to be as fresh and bright as possible. Start with real fruit juices. Try whirring two cups of fresh mango in a blender with a tablespoon of sugar and a cup of water. Strain it through a blender and you’ve got the perfect base for a tropical drink for the spring season. Also consider using any number of fizzy drinks, from sodas to seltzers. A blood orange soda will mix well with a bit of fresh mango juice. Add in a little ginger for kick.

Don’t just think in terms of sweet indulgences. The cocktail world was swarming with savory drinks, the non-alcoholic world can certainly handle it. Tomato based drinks, such as an alcohol free Bloody Mary made with fresh tomato juice, lemon, Worcestershire, and loads of savory spices, is always an excellent choice. Savory herbs brighten up many a cocktail so try pairing something citrus flavored—a lemon-lime soda or light seltzer, goes great with rosemary flavors.

Of course, there are always those who don’t mind indulging. So stock up on small bottles of some traditional favorites—vodka, rum and tequila—for those who want to add a little adult zip to their beverages. And above all, experiment!
—Kimberly Cooper

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Non-Alcoholic Sangria

2 cups boiling water
2 black tea bags
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup orange juice
3 cups seltzer water
1 orange sliced into rounds
1 lemon sliced into rounds

Pour boiling water over tea bags and cinnamon sticks and steep for five minutes. Discard tea bags and stir in sugar until it dissolves. In a large pitcher, combine tea, cinnamon, pomegranate juice, orange juice, orange, and lemon. Refrigerate overnight. Before serving, stir in carbonated water.

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Rosemary Limeade

1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup sugar
Two sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 to 6 cups sparkling water
Stir lime juice with sugar over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add rosemary and stir another minute then remove from heat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, strain out the rosemary and stir in sparkling water. Add more water if the flavors appear too strong.
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