Mocktails: all of the fun, none of the hangover

As Dry January is long behind us, many have chosen to stay teetotal well into February and beyond. People are realising the benefits bestowed upon the mind, body and soul when committing to an alcohol-free lifestyle. Others do not indulge in booze for religious or medical reasons. I have created an inclusive drinks menu for your next virtual brunch session. Each of the following beverages has been tried and tested by moi and the recipes provide two glasses each, so double or triple up accordingly.

The Budget Mojito


  • 2 limes
  • 4 tsp sugar (pref. granulated)
  • Handful of mint
  • 500ml Soda Water

This first tipple is very student friendly requiring only four inexpensive ingredients. Simply cut the limes into wedges and chuck into a pair of tall glasses along with the mint and sugar (any type will do – but granulated macerates the lime and mint nicely, releasing them fragrant oils). Bash the ingredients together with the end of a rolling pin, then top with ice and soda. Best enjoyed on a Friday night as a refreshing end to a hard week in lockdown.

The Salted Caramel White Russian


  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 100ml milk
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 tbsp Salted caramel sauce

For more of dessert drink, try this non-alcoholic take on a creamy espresso martini combined with a white Russian. Dissolve the instant coffee in 200ml of boiling water and add the vanilla extract, allow to cool, or shake with ice, then strain. Drizzle a tablespoon of shop bought or homemade salted caramel sauce down the sides of each glass, then add ice.  Mix the milk and cream before dividing between the glasses (dairy free alternatives are just as tasty). Split the coffee mix evenly and pour over the creamy milk. Gently swirl and drink up at 10pm on the eve of that important deadline.

The Sour Garden


  • ½ Lemon
  • ½ Lime
  • ½ Grapefruit
  • 2 tsp sugar (pref. caster)
  • Small bunch basil
  • 100ml Seedlip Garden 108
  • 100ml Pineapple Juice
  • 100ml Tonic Water
  • 100ml Cranberry Juice

This final drink is for the cocktail aficionadas, or those wanting to impress family and friends. Start by squeezing the juice of the lemon, lime and grapefruit into a small saucepan. Next, add the sugar (caster sugar will dissolve quicker) and a small bunch of basil to the fresh citrus juice, heat this mixture until it resembles the consistency of maple syrup – slightly viscous, yet considerably more pourable than honey. Add the basil citrus syrup to 100ml of Seedlip Garden 108 – a premium distilled non-alcoholic spirit that is slightly herbal with a floral kiss, 100ml of pineapple juice and 100ml of tonic. Stir together and split between two ice filled wine glasses, then slowly pour the cranberry juice on top. Finally garnish with grapefruit zest and a basil stem. This is definitely a celebratory drink and is delicious on an easy Sunday morning with sourdough and avocado, for an at-home brunch.

While teetotalism has obvious silver linings, from improved health and wellbeing to a reduced dent in the bank balance, non-alcoholic drinks can be just as thirst quenching. These drinks do not disappoint, I can assure you that they will impress your guests all the while allowing for a more inclusive drinking experience. 

Cheers to that!

Header image credit: 100 Days of Real Food