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Mocktails: What Are They?

Hand crafted non-alcoholic cocktails

Whether you’ve decided to undergo a health kick and are looking for some enjoyable alternatives to alcohol, or you or a loved one is expecting a baby and you want to learn all about the infamous “Mommy Mocktail” – you might currently be wondering what a mocktail actually is.

If that sounds a little like you, then you’re in the right place! Stick around, because, in this guide, we’re not only going to be talking you through what a mocktail is, but we’ll even be providing you with a recipe or two that you can try out today! So, wherever you’re ready, read on.

What are mocktails?

In a nutshell, a mocktail is a type of non-alcoholic beverage that is specifically designed to replicate that of a regular cocktail.

From their appearance to their ingredients (minus the alcohol, of course) mocktails look pretty much exactly the same as the cocktail it has been based off, which means that from first impressions, a mocktail could quite easily pass as a cocktail.

This makes them perfect for nights when you don’t feel like drinking, or for pacing yourself during happy hour. 

What’s more, most cocktail bars will serve mocktails on their regular drinks menu, which means that they undergo the exact same mixology preparation as normal cocktails do. With all that being said, the final drink that you will end up with will be the exact same as a regular cocktail, the only difference will be that there isn’t any alcohol in it.

For this reason, mocktails are extremely popular with mom’s to be, people who do not wish to drink alcohol, as well as those who are simply looking for a delicious drink to savor and enjoy. 

How are mocktails prepared and presented?

As we were saying above, cocktails aren’t anything new! Besides being around for a very long time (just think of the Shirley Temple – grenadine, ginger ale and no alcohol) mocktails are treated in the exact same way standard cocktails are, which therefore means that they are prepared and presented in the exact same way.

Regardless of whether you’re thinking of hosting a drinks party and want to be the perfect host, or you’re simply wanting to try out your first mocktail for the very first time and want to know what to expect – keep in mind that a good cocktail should look exactly the same as it’s alcoholic counterpart.

To help you along your way as you learn everything there is to know about mocktails, let’s take a look at the following:

The “Perfect”  Mocktail Checklist: 

No matter whether you’re heading out to happy hour at the finest cocktail bar in town or you’re simply planning on entertaining a few friends and family at home, a good mocktail should always consist of the following characteristics:

  • It has been presented in the correct cocktail glass specifically designed for the drink (i,e: a martini glass for an espresso martini)
  • It will contain a variety of fresh and delicious ingredients to create unique and distinct flavors, including fruit and syrups.
  • It will contain a variety of finishing touches, including rimming sugar, salt as well as a variety of garnishes.
  • It will have been made using a variety of different mixology techniques, as well as having been created with the appropriate cocktail equipment.

Now, for the fun part! Now that you know everything there is to know about making mocktails, we’re now going to be talking you through a super popular mocktail recipe that you can try out today! From zesty lemon to moreish pineapple, you’ll find a mocktail here to suit everyone. 

Mocktail Recipe To Try: Lemongrass-Basil Mocktail

Below, we’re going to be talking you through our reimagining of the standard old mocktail, with a yummy and zesty lemon twist.

However, before we go any further and jump into the recipe, it’s very important to remember that while you’re preparing the lemongrass that will be going into this cocktail, that you’re making sure that you are peeling through all of the tough exterior layers of the lemongrass, so that only the soft, tender layers are left to use.

In addition to this, you should also note that in order to make enough for a glassful of this particular mocktail, you’re going to need to have around 6 lemongrass stalks – so make sure that you have enough prior to trying out this recipe.

As a side note, even though the grocery stores near you will most likely stock lemongrass, in the event that you are unable to locate any of it, you could alternatively head down to your local Asian supermarket. Once there, you will no doubt be able to find some lemongrass there which you will be able to use in your recipe.

Alternatively, if you can’t get your hands on any lemongrass at all, then you can switch out lemongrass for lemon zest instead, which will taste relatively similar to that of lemongrass.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of fresh water
  • 2 cups of basil leaves
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced lemongrass
  • ¼ cup of salt
  • ¼ cup of finely milled sugar
  • Orange zest
  • Fresh orange juice
  • 4oz of brewed white tea
  • 4oz of fresh lime juice
  • Orange and lemon twists for garnishing (optional)

Step-by-step-instructions:

  1. Once you have prepared all of your ingredients and you’re ready to go, you’re going to need to take a saucepan and combine your sugar, lemongrass, lemon zest and basil together and then add water. Bring this mixture to a boil, before then removing the saucepan directly from the heat, and then allow the mixture to chill for around 2 hours. 
  2. Once you have given your mixture enough time to cool off, you can then proceed to strain the mixture into a bowl, and then you will have made your simple syrup. Then, in order to keep the syrup nice and fresh while you prepare the rest of this lemongrass basil mocktail, you should then place this syrup mixture directly into the refrigerator, so that it won’t curdle before you’re able to even use it.
  3. After you have made your syrup and placed it in the refrigerator to stay chill, combine your sugar, salt and orange zest onto a plate, and then spread it all out evenly so that you will be able to fit your mocktail glasses.
  4. Take two rocks mocktail glasses and then gently wet the rim of each one with a mixture of lime, orange and lemon juice. Then, immediately take your mocktail glasses and then place each one on the plate filled with the sugar mixture, so that you can evenly coat the rim of each glass. Set your glasses to one side.
  5. After you have coated each glass with the zesty sugar mixture, you can then proceed to take 4 basil leaves for each glass, as well as white tea and the simple syrup that you already prepared earlier. Place all of these ingredients inside a cocktail shaker and mix them together, and then add a dash of orange and lime juice before giving your mocktail another shake.
  6. Once you have finished shaking your fruity, sugary mixture together, you can then set your cocktail shaker to the side and grab some ice. Add a few ice cubes into the mixture to chill the mocktail mixture and allow to chill for a few minutes.
  7. Take your prepared mocktail glasses and add one large ice cube into each one, or alternatively you could add a few smaller ice cubes. Then pour the mixture into each glass, and then finish your mocktail by garnishing it with an orange twist and a basil sprig. 
  8. Serve and enjoy!

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Written by Brian N

Brian has been an influencer in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years. He not only loves to eat and drink at restaurants on a regular basis, he also knows the business inside and out.