Updated: Jan 29, 2021
I am probably one of the biggest fans of alcohol. Seriously, I am. I love the way it tastes, I love the way it looks, and I love the way it makes me feel. The luxury of a gin and tonic topped with a lime twist initiates giddy and excitement. Most of all, I love the social aspect that is paired with alcohol. It seems as if there is nothing better than being surrounded by friends at a dimly lit bar, sipping on a copper cup of a Moscow Mule.
However, as everyone eventually figures out, alcohol has some negative effects. Now that I am reaching 24, the hangovers are real. For someone who is trying to launch their career, It feels extremely counterproductive for me to nurse a headache all day in my bed. I hate that wanting to be social and fun usually ends up costing me detrimental effects the next day.
Also, the longterm health effects of consuming alcohol aren’t the greatest. Alcohol is a depressant, meaning it makes you feel sad the next day. Not to mention it contributes to heart disease and fat accumulation.
I have been experiencing the negative effects of alcohol lately; So much so that It caused me to do some research. How can I still enjoy a drink, have a fun night with my friends, be conscious during the experience, and not feel terrible the next day?
Turns out non-alcoholic cocktails are trending. I was so surprised to find cities like California and New York actually have bars dedicated to serving these “mocktails” without sacrificing the ambiance or social atmosphere of a bar. People have even started to bottle these drinks and sell them to the public.
The two products I found that sounded the most interesting are Kin and Seedlip. Both are companies that market non-alcoholic cocktails that include health-supportive ingredients. Amazing! I wanted to buy them immediately. However, they are very expensive (about $40 each), which is too expensive for me at the moment.
So I’ve decided to make my own. I’ve tinkered with different cocktails from my favorite book, Free The Tipple, and found four great, yummy, and alcohol-free mocktails to sip and enjoy.
Drink #1: Inspired by “The Frida Kahlo”
I am putting my favorite of the four mocktails up first. This drink has a sweet and smooth taste and a beautiful red color! I tweaked it a bit by swapping the tequila with Topo Chico and Prickly Pear Sparkling Water. The most difficult process of making this drink is the hibiscus syrup. However, If you follow instructions, you shouldn’t have a problem :)
For the Hibiscus Syrup:
1/2c granulated sugar
For the Mocktail:
Juice of 1 small lime
1 shot hibiscus tea
2 shots prickly pear sparkling water
Lime wedge for garnish
For the syrup: boil 1/2c of water in a pot. Shut off the heat once the water boils and steep 2 tea bags of hibiscus tea for 15 minutes. Take the tea bags out and add in 1/2c sugar. Bring the pot back up to a simmer. Keep stirring until the syrup thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the drink: Combine ingredients including syrup in a shaker full of ice (*WARNING do not shake the shaker if you have any carbonated water inside… I learned this the hard way). Stir the shaker with a mixing spoon. Pour through the strainer into a preferred glass. Top with a lime wedge.
Drink #2: Inspired by “The Beyonce”
This is a lemonade inspired mocktail (get it?). Instead of simply lemonade, I decided to make this mocktail really Texas (for Beyonce of course) by enhancing it with sweet tea. I also added orange juice to the mix!
2 shots sweet tea
2 shots lemonade (I actually used a half tea half lemonade drink I found at HEB)
Juice of ¼ of an orange
Juice of ¼ of a lemon
2 shots of Topo Chico
Orange or lemon wedges for garnish
Combine ingredients into your preferred glass. Stir. add lots of ice. Top with an orange or lemon wedge!
Drink #3: Inspired by “The Serena Williams”
This drink has my two favorite ingredients: strawberries and mint. It also requires a technique called muddling. Sounds fancy, but its really just smashed fruit on the bottom of the glass. Lol. Also, instead of using ginger beer, I used ginger juice. All this requires is grating a piece of ginger into a paper towel, then squeezing the towel over your glass. The juice will filter through! Ginger juice is healthier and adds a more potent flavor of ginger to your mocktail.
1 sprig of mint (half saved for garnish)
2 strawberries (1 saved for garnish)
2 shots Cascade Strawberry Lemonade (if you can’t find this in your local grocery store, feel free to use a similar flavored carbonated water)
2 shots Topo Chico
1 shot ginger beer (1 tbsp. Ginger juice/1 pc ginger)
Muddle (smash) 1 strawberry and ½ of your sprig of mint leaves at the bottom of your glass. Add all the liquid ingredients to your glass. Stir Add lots of ice. Garnish with strawberry and the rest of your mint sprig!
Drink #4: Inspired by “The Missy Elliot”
This one is a little spicy! I am talking about the rim of the mocktail. To make your rim, pour Tajin (you can find in stores) or a mix of cayenne and salt on a paper plate. Run a grapefruit wedge around the rim of your glass. Carefully dip your rim in the Tajin mix.
2 shots Cascade grapefruit
1 shot cherry bubbly (If you can’t find this use any cherry-flavored carbonated water.
Juice of ¼ of a grapefruit
2 shots topo chico
Grapefruit wedge for garnish
Add your spicy rim to your preferred glass. Add all ingredients. Stir. Add lots of ice. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love to drink on the weekends. I have found that swapping my favorite drinks with these mocktails during the week has been a benefit towards my productivity and health. I am slowly learning that everything in moderation is the best way to enjoy the fun things in life.