Whether you’re, teetotal, pregnant, having a go at Sober October, trying to lose weight or just cutting down, most of us will want a break from alcohol at some point. And an alcohol-free period is a brilliant opportunity to go wild with adventurous and delicious drinks. More ingredients than ever before are available to experiment […]

5 Best Virgin Cocktails for Sober October

Whether you’re, teetotal, pregnant, having a go at Sober October, trying to lose weight or just cutting down, most of us will want a break from alcohol at some point. And an alcohol-free period is a brilliant opportunity to go wild with adventurous and delicious drinks. More ingredients than ever before are available to experiment with: there are alcohol-free brewers around every corner, non-alcoholic spirits, and even new varieties of many classics like tonic water.  Finally, I’ve used dashes of Angostura bitters (which contains alcohol) in two of these recipes. If you’d concerned about small amounts of alcohol, it’s best to avoid the ginger fizz and the pomegranate negroni, or to omit the bitters from the cocktails.

Pomegranate negroni

You will need: a tumbler

INGREDIENTS

  • 200ml pomegranate juice
  • 2 tsp Montmorency cherry concentrate
  • Ice cubes
  • 3 good dashes of Angostura bitters
  • A twist of orange peel

METHOD

Pour the pomegranate juice and cherry concentrate into a tumbler of ice, then stir well before shaking in the Angostura bitters. The drink should have a bittersweet tang, so add more Angostura if needed. Twist the orange peel on top of the drink to release the oils.  The cherry concentrate gives an extra layer but isn’t essential. However, I recommend keeping the cherry concentrate in the fridge as a sugar-free cordial. It’s also delicious with hot water.

Pear and rosemary on the rocks

You will need: a tumbler, shaker, strainer

Ingredients

  • 60ml pear juice from 2 small pears, or good quality shop-bought pear juice (not from concentrate)
  • 30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Sparkling water
  • A sprig of rosemary and a slice of pear to garnish

For the herb syrup (makes 400ml)

  • 200g sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary

Method

  1. To make the syrup, put the sugar and water in a pan on a low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Bring the syrup to a simmer, add the rosemary, and continue to simmer for 5–10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain the syrup into a sterilised bottle; it will keep in the fridge for two weeks.
  3. Combine the pear juice, lemon juice and 25ml of the syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake well. Strain into a rocks glass and top with a splash of sparkling water.
  4.  Garnish with rosemary and a slice of pear. For a longer drink, add more water and lemonade.

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Seedlip smash

The thrill of heading home from blackberry-picking with a bag full of dark juicy fruit never disappears. Jake, my lurcher, stands resignedly as I promise, ‘Just that last bush, then we’ll go home.’ Your fingers may be scratched and stained but the bounty is worth it.

You will need: tumbler, muddler

INGREDIENTS

5 large blackberries

½ a lime

1 tbsp sugar crushed ice

30ml Seedlip Spice 94

sparkling water

a wedge of lime to garnish

METHOD

Muddle the blackberries with the lime and sugar in your tumbler. Partially fill the glass with crushed ice, add the Seedlip and top up with sparkling water. Serve with a wedge of lime. INSPIRATION

Ginger, lime and Angostura fizz

A classic. It’s simple and delicious yet often overlooked. You can, of course, use bottled ginger beer instead of the syrup (although you may need more sparkling water to counteract the sweetness).

Ginger, lime and angostura fizz

You will need: a tumbler

INGREDIENTS

  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • Ice cubes
  • Sparkling water
  • A few dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Slices of lime to garnish

METHOD

  1. For the ginger and black peppercorn syrup (makes an 800ml bottle) 250g fresh, unpeeled ginger, chopped into small pieces 1 tbsp coarsely crushed peppercorns 1 litre water 400g sugar A pinch of sea salt
  2.  To make the syrup, place the ginger, peppercorns, water, sugar and salt in a pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a steady simmer for 45 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a sterilised bottle.
  3.  Pour 30ml of the cooled ginger syrup into a tumbler and add the lime juice. Half fill the glass with ice and top up with sparkling water. Shake in a few dashes of Angostura bitters, stir and add the lime slices to garnish.

Bloody heifer

This is a super-tasty version of a Virgin Mary – it’s almost a liquid lunch. I recommend transferring it to a flask and taking it on a morning stomp in the countryside to revive you halfway. If you do use a flask, make sure you chill the drink beforehand, and don’t use ice because the drink will become too diluted.

You will need: highball glass, shaker

INGREDIENTS

  • 125ml tomato juice
  • 125ml beef bouillon (or home-made beef stock)
  • ½ tsp freshly grated horseradish
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • 15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • A pinch of celery salt
  • Ice cubes
  • Wedges of lemon and lime to garnish
  • Celery stick to stir

METHOD

  1.  Add the tomato juice, beef bouillon, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, pepper, lemon juice and celery salt to a shaker containing ice, and roll it gently to mix the ingredients.
  2. Pour into a highball glass and garnish with a wedge of lemon and lime, and a tender celery stick.

Recipes from Dry: Non-Alcoholic Cocktails, Cordials and Clever Concoctions by Clare Liardet (Bantam Press), available to pre-order at books.telegraph.co.uk at £9.99 with free P&P

By Clare Liardet 2 Oct 2017  

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/recipes/5-best-virgin-cocktails-sober-october/

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