Saturday, January 17, 2015

Weekends are perfect for relaxing, but we also love to use these couple days to try new things, explore, and indulge in the things we skip during the week. A "why not?" for this weekend is crafting a mocktail! What is a "mocktail" you ask? Well, a mocktail is a mock cocktail! We love these for entertaining, especially for those who are expecting or prefer not to drink alcohol. You can have all the fun of whipping up a mixed drink with these delicious and darling "mocktails!"

Pomegranate Lime Ginger Mocktail by Offbeat and Inspired 

1 part cranberry juice (100%, no sugar added – not cranberry juice cocktail)
2 parts pomegranate juice (100% pomegranate juice)
3 parts ginger beer (They used Reed’s Jamaican style ginger beer)
Squeeze of lime juice (for 1 mocktail, they used the juice from 1 wedge of lime)
Pomegranate seeds or lime wedges for garnish (optional)

Fill glasses partway with ice. Add juices and ginger beer. Stir gently. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds or lime wedges!Pomegranate-Ginger-Mocktail-offbeat-inspired-5-650x862

Classic Bloody Mary by A Beautiful Mess 

Bloody Mary mix (ABM recommends Zing Zang!)
Fresh rosemary
Garlic powder 
Black pepper 
Worcestershire sauce
Blue cheese olives

First prepare your glass with a salty rim. In shaker, mix the Bloody Mary mix (enough to fill your glass 3/4 of the way full), a splash of Tabasco, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of garlic powder, and a pinch of black pepper. Shake it and pour it over ice. Garnish with a stalk of celery, a piece of rosemary, and some blue cheese olives. Enjoy! mocktail

Cider Thyme Tonic Mocktail by Offbeat and Inspired 

12 ounces apple cider
2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces thyme simple syrup (recipe below)
1 bottle (9.3 ounces) Fentimans tonic water or other high quality brand like Q Tonic or Fever Tree*
Additional thyme and lemon slices for garnish

Add all ingredients except tonic water to a pitcher and stir until fully incorporated. Add ice to four glasses, filling each about halfway. Divide the cider mixture evenly among the glasses. Top with tonic water. Stir gently. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and enjoy!

Thyme Simple Syrup: 
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Turn heat to low and stir until sugar dissolves.Simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until syrup coats the back of a spoon. (While simmering, watch carefully so it doesn't boil over or burn.) It will thicken a bit more when cooled. Remove from heat. Take out the thyme sprigs and allow syrup to cool completely before using. Store leftover syrup in a jar in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks.Cider-Thyme-Tonic-Mocktail-offbeat-inspired-8-650x870

Watermelon Ginger Sparklers by How Sweet Eats 

4 cups watermelon cubes
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 knob fresh ginger
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 seedless cucumber, sliced
1 cup club soda
candied ginger for serving

Place the watermelon in a blender and blend until pureed and liquified. Pour the contents through a fine mesh sieve, saving all the watermelon juice in a large pitcher.Add the sugar, water, ginger and vanilla beans plus the empty pod to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat while whisking constantly until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to simmer for a minute or two until it becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and let cool. To assemble the drinks, add crushed ice in a cup. Pour a few ounces of the vanilla ginger syrup into the cup, then add 4 or so ounces of watermelon juice. Pop the cucumbers in the cub and add about 2 ounces of club soda. Taste and adjust the drink to your desired taste - more syrup or juice, or more club soda. Stir well to mix. Serve!

How refreshing! While we may have to wait to try a couple of these when our favorite summer produce comes back in season, we can never say "no" to a fruity refreshment. Do you have a favorite mocktail? Let us know! 


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