There are those of us who really enjoy a good tipple. However, with the Covid-19 lockdown limitations only allowing the sale of beverages containing less than 0.5% alcohol, we are forced to settle for the taste and none of the buzz.
News wires are reporting that, in the absence of the real deal, the sale of non-alcoholic beer and gin such as The Duchess has skyrocketed.
Johannes Le Roux, the founder of the gin and tonic mix, told Business Insider that their year-on-year sales have increased significantly in recent weeks.
Le Roux said that during the lockdown they’ve seen a 150% increase in sales year on year, which is quite substantial.
But while brands like The Dutchess are benefiting, it would seem that not all mock drinks are created equal.
A recent chat with my neighbour, Esti Swart, touched on the taste of the substitutes and whether it came down to brand familiarity.
“I’ve stocked up on these no-alcohol gins and the taste is not really the same. I’m sure that with the right ingredients I could mix up a really pleasant tasting alcohol-free batch myself and possibly save a whole lot of cash in the process,” Swart said.
Swart’s comment got us thinking and we decided that under these trying times, and to keep yourself busy under lockdown, we’d scour the internet and compile a list of yummy mocktails.
Cardamom, cucumber, chamomile, mint, cloves and rosemary create the botanical flavour of this divine alcohol-free G&T mocktail.
5 cardamom pods
1 chamomile teabag
½ bunch mint leaves, plus extra to garnish
1 strip lemon zest
½ bunch rosemary
Tonic water, to top up
Few pomegranate seeds, to garnish (optional)
Bruise the cardamom pods and slice the cucumber. Put them both in a large jug and add the chamomile teabag, mint leaves, lemon zest, cloves and rosemary. Top up with 500ml cold water. Leave to infuse in the fridge for 2-4 hrs.
To serve, strain the infused water and pour 50ml of it into each glass. Top up with tonic water and lots of ice. Garnish each one with a few more mint leaves and pomegranate seeds, if you like.
Grenadine and orange juice are the base for this refreshing drink. Garnish with grape and blueberry-stacked stirrers and it really becomes festive.
Handful each of green grapes and blueberries
4 tbsp grenadine
300-400ml orange juice
4 bamboo skewers
Thread the grapes and blueberries onto skewers to make stirrers.
Pour grenadine into four glasses. Gently tip the glasses and pour the orange juice down the inside of the glasses so it sits on top of the grenadine. Top up with sparkling water and garnish with stirrers.
Pomegranate mojito mocktail
Healthy yet delicious pomegranate seeds and juice bring a new colourful twist to the classic mint-and-lime mojito.
3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
Big bunch mint
2 limes, quartered, plus slices to garnish
1 litre pomegranate juice
A day ahead, divide the pomegranate seeds between the holes in an ice cube tray, top up with water and freeze.
Reserve half the mint for serving and tear the rest into a large jug with the lime quarters. Using a rolling pin, bash the mint and lime to release the flavours.
Add the pomegranate juice and lemonade. Put ice cubes in each glass, then strain over the pomegranate mix through a small sieve. Garnish with lime slices and more mint.
This fizzy and fruity mocktail comes with all of the fun but none of the alcohol.
3 passion fruits, halved
1 lemon, juiced
1 egg white
100ml alcohol-free spirit
2 tsp sugar syrup
Handful of ice
Sparkling grape juice, to serve
Scoop the flesh from four of the passionfruit halves into a cocktail shaker. Add the lemon juice, egg white, spirit and syrup and shake vigorously until frothy.
Add the ice, then shake again until the outside of the shaker feels cold. Double strain into martini glasses.
Top up the martinis with the grape juice and garnish with the remaining passion fruit halves.
Recipes from BBC Good Food magazine