Many of you are likely emerging from the holiday haze with a batch of resolutions which are, let's be honest, poised to lay about neglected and ignored. Once again, you've entered a new year with grand designs regarding your health: chief among them, we imagine, to lower the amount of alcohol you ingest. But, upon further review, you get cold feet. "Wait—that sounds boring!" you exclaim. "What ever happened to living on the edge?" you ask. These are valid questions. But there are 365 days in a year, friend; it's advisable you allow yourself some time to regenerate.
With The Mocktail Manual, author Fern Green has managed to do what so many before her could not: make the non-alcoholic drink a valued part of a regimen you might actually be interested in following. Typically, when the word mocktail is mentioned, one can't help feeling like absence is somehow being sold as substance. Green turns that notion on its head with this sleek little volume, published by Australia's Hardie Grant. In addition to offering up booze-free alternatives to your traditional happy hour fare, this book covers all of one's beverage needs—from teas to smoothies to punch.
Using The Mocktail Manual as your guide, self-care will come in a flavor far tastier than expected. To illustrate this point, we present two exclusive recipes from The Mocktail Manual….
Pink Grapefruit and Basil Mojito
This refreshing mocktail has delicious sour notes. Freshly juiced pink grapefruit gives off a lovely aroma. Served in an elegant tumbler, this is a very pretty drink.
Caster (Superfine) sugar
7 basil leaves
2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
5 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
Basil ice cubes, to serve
How to Make It
Sprinkle a little caster sugar on a plate. Run the lime around the rim of the glass and dip in the sugar. Put the basil leaves into the glass with the demerara sugar and muddle. Add the grapefruit juice and ice cubes, and top up with soda water.
Ginger & Peach Bellini
A take on the Venetian fizz that is made with prosecco. Try this delicious alternative with non-alcoholic spicy ginger beer.
½ white peach, peeled
¼-inch thick slice ginger, peeled
5 oz cloudy ginger beer, chilled
Handful of raspberries, plus extra to garnish
How to Make It
Purée the peach and ginger together with a dash of water in the blender. Pour the purée into champagne flutes and top each one with ginger beer. Blitz the raspberries with a little water in the blender, then push the pulp through a sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds. Spoon the raspberry purée on top of each drink, garnish the glass with a raspberry and serve.
The Mocktail Manual: Over 90 Delicious Non-alcoholic Drinks (Hardie Grant Books), $16, bookcourt.com.