I’m now a published writer! Congratulations to me!
This month marks a very important moment for myself and this blog. As of June 1st, 2016 I am officially a published cocktail writer. Thanks to Sainsbury’s Magazine.
In this month’s issue, I have a two-page feature on summer drinks. These include 6 drinks, 3 alcoholic & 3 non-alcoholic – all of which are my own recipes!
The recipes include a non-alcoholic Ice tea, a beachside-themed rum cocktail, and several others.
The picture below show all the colourful cocktails and their recipes. But if you want to really enjoy these drinks, you should head on down to your local Sainsbury’s and get your very own copy. The Magazine is only £2 and inside you’ll find an abundance of food and drink recipes.
Most importantly, though, you’ll find my recipes on pages 82-83!
I’m extremely proud of this as it shows that you can make it if you keep trying. Never give up and you’ll eventually reap the rewards of doing something you’re so very proud of!
In other news, I’m working on some spicy cocktail posts just in time for BBQ season and also working with a PR rep over at Monin to bring you all some posts that include some of their new products, as well as some of their lesser-known products… Keep your eyes peeled!
So I haven’t had the time recently for a post, with the combination of work and other things getting a bit on top of me. That’s all dealt with and within the next few weeks you’ll see this blog get back to its best. This includes all the “cocktails o’clock”, “Product of the month” and general cocktail musing posts you have been used to seeing.
Anyway with my apologies, and spoilers, out of the way let us move onto the point of this post: Cocktails, or more accurately Non-Alcoholic Cocktails.
The inspiration for this post is my brother; he’s been on a bit of a detox since Christmas and stopped his alcohol intake completely (don’t worry I’ve been drinking his share). I admire him for it, although would never attempt such a feat (nor would I tell him that I admire him for it).
This post therefore will represent 3 non-alcoholic cocktails, inspired by my brothers detox, and then also some little tips on how to make them a little more interesting…
1) Green Grape Glacier (cocktails.about.com)
12 seedless green grapes
4 measures white grape juice
4 measure cold sparkling spring water
– Freeze Grapes & then mix 10 of them in a blender with the grape juice until smooth/thick.
– Pour mixture into a highball glass.
– Add the sparkling water and stir gently to combine.
– Garnish with the remaining 2 grapes and serve with straws.
This drink is refreshing, fragrant and perfect for evenings spent watching the April showers. I find that using sparkling spring water instead of plain soda water adds more of a natural taste to the drink. Try using different grapes for slightly different flavours.
Fervent Shaker twist: this drink leaves itself open for the addition of a broad range of spirits, and I find that different spirits result in, unsurprisingly, different tastes… Using Gin creates a crisp refreshing evening drink, whilst Rum results in a more vivid summer spritzer. Then there’s Vodka, which results in the classic refreshing spritzer (although a splash of fresh lemon always helps here) and finally Tequila; which adds a specifically earthy and rather rich taste to the drink.
2) Green Lemonade
4 measures Lemonade
2 measures limeade/lime cordial
4 kiwi slices, peeled
¾ measure sugar syrup (agave nectar)
Kiwi/Lime slice for garnish
– Muddle the sugar syrup and kiwi slices in a mixing glass.
– Add limeade, lemonade and ice and shake well.
– Strain into a highball glass full of fresh ice.
– Garnish with a kiwi/lime slice.
This ‘mocktail’ is a bitter lemon style mixture with the kiwi adding its very own special brand of flavour. If you’re a fan of Kiwi, like me, then you’ll love this drink.
Fervent Shaker Twist: This one is easy; it’s built for vodka left right and centre. I worked up a post about the Kiwi inspired Mordor Mule a little while ago and this reminds me of it so much. So yes I’d go for vodka but it may also suit a tequila fan if balanced well.
3) Spring Fever
¾ measures lemon juice
¾ measures mango syrup
1 ½ measures apple juice
2 measures blood orange juice
– Add ingredients into a shaker and shake over ice until the tin ices over.
– Strain into a Collins glass half filled with crushed ice and serve with straws.
This is a slightly complicated drink in that blood orange has a very specific and almost pungent taste. I’m not a complete fan of this drink and that’s simply down to me preferring Valencia orange juice. However, that aside this drink has a certain feel about it that makes it perfect for those windy yet warm spring evenings. The use of orange & lemon juices also leaves this drink open for the addition of various spirits without a great change in the flavour (excluding those of the alcohol itself if you’re using aged spirits). Vodka is the obvious, albeit dull, choice but rum is the spirit to use if you want to taste some real magic. Using Golden rum (I’d suggest Havana Club Anejo) will add a sense of depth in the drinks flavour as well as the usual aged rum taste.
So there you go, proof that not only are cocktails for people who don’t drink alcohol but that the drinks that seem non-alcoholic only can always be turned into something a little more exciting for those who like their tipple.
But as always remember to drink responsibly, I only ever suggest to add 1-2 measures of alcohol per drink and each measure is roughly 25ml (although sometimes I like to go halfway between the two and use just 35ml).
A little bit more from the Mexican/Central American part of the world… Now this blog is all about cocktails, but it’s also not too proud to admit that alcohol is not always needed for a great drink (I know it’s a bit of a shocker but trust me sometimes needs must!).
The whole idea behind this post is to show that people out there who do not drink alcohol, whether the reasons are religion, dietary or just plain personal choice there’s a cocktail for everyone.
These ‘cocktails’ are not really cocktails per-sae, but are a mixture of fruit/cereal/flowers/seeds, sugar and water. This may not sound too appetising, but trust me, after the concoctions I’ve been trying I’m fully sold on the idea.
And the best thing about this drink is that should you want a little alcoholic kick, you can just mix in a little vodka spike…
Now onto a bit of information – don’t say I never give you anything!
Also known as Aqua Fresca, the term is Spanish for ‘Fresh water’. These drinks are popular across Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and more recently the USA.
Mexican & Central American Aguas Fresca’s regularly come in these flavours:
This collection of flavours shows how varied this type of drink is. It’s a testament to the versatility of that wonderful chemical we all depend on: H2O (Water).
It’s also a testament to our nature; humanity’s inevitably get bored. We look for something new, try to recreate things. After all that’s how fire and the wheel were invented. Not to mention the Light Bulb, even artists such as Da Vinci & Michelangelo worked to improve and change every day items.
So this idea of blending fruit with water (and sugar) should not come as a surprise. It changes something some consider boring into something vibrant, in both taste and appearance.
Here is the basic recipe for you use at home, just add your own fruit and enjoy…
– 4 cups of water
– 2 cups of fresh fruit
– ¼ cup of sugar (caster is best used for this)
– 2 teaspoons lemon OR lime juice (fresh squeezed)
– Lime/Lemon wedges/wheels for garnish
1) In a blender pour the fruit and water. Blend until smooth.
2) Pour the mixture through a sieve and into a pitcher.
3) Stir in the citrus juice and sugar.
4) Add additional sugar to bring up to your own tastes.
5) Garnish in the pitcher and serve over ice with your friends.
So as you see it’s a simple process that results in something truly amazing. Of course you can change out the sugar for agave nectar and honey, but you would need to blend it in with the fruit water (after sieving the mixture put it back in with the honey and mix well). Equally you could hand whisk.
Hopefully this has helped you all understand Aqua Fresca a little better. If this is your introduction to the drink, try it out; let me know what you think. Better yet, share it with friends and combine fruits.
I do enjoy the odd Summer Berry blend, as well as peach and apricot. For an added alcoholic kick, add in a few doses of fruit liqueurs into the first blend.
For more information on Aqua Fresca and related topics, check out these links: