Make us your home page
Instagram

Five ideas for nonalcoholic cocktails

A Non-Gin Fizz makes for a refreshing “mocktail.”

iStockphoto

A Non-Gin Fizz makes for a refreshing “mocktail.”

Whether it's homemade soda or something less fizzy like a punch, nonalcoholic beverages deserve the same care and craft as their boozy counterparts. This summer, consider amping up your drinks without amping up the alcohol content with these five ideas for "mocktails." They generally follow the same guidelines for making a good cocktail, including using fresh fruits and herbs to create flavor.

Michelle Stark, Times food editor

Blood Orange and Ginger Soda

As with most of these recipes, this soda requires making some sort of flavored syrup. (This one utilizes fresh ginger.) To make, mix 1 cup water, ½ cup sugar and ⅓ cup fresh ginger (sliced and peeled) in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves, then remove from the heat and let stand 15 minutes. Strain the liquid and discard any ginger pieces. (Syrup can be saved in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.) To make one drink, muddle 3 mint leaves and 1 (2-inch) strip of blood orange rind in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 ½ tablespoons of the ginger syrup and ½ cup fresh blood orange juice, then shake well. Pour this mixture into a glass filled with ice, then top with ½ cup club soda. Stir, and garnish with a blood orange wedge and a mint sprig. Syrup can be used for about 6 cocktails. Recipe adapted from myrecipes.com.

Italian Cream Soda

This drink is very customizable because the fruit you choose for the thick syrup that acts as its base is what creates the flavor. You can use whatever kind of fruit you'd like; we suggest something like raspberries or strawberries. To make the syrup, bring 1 cup fruit and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small pot and cook for 20 minutes or until the fruit has softened and has reduced to liquid. Strain mixture into another vessel and discard the fruit, then transfer it back to the pot, add ⅓ cup sugar and boil until the sugar dissolves. Turn off heat and let cool. To make the drink, add 3 tablespoons of the syrup to a glass, then fill the glass with ¾ cup ice. Add sparking mineral water until the glass is almost full. Top with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, then mix. Recipe from themerrythought.com.

Jalapeno Watermelon Agua Fresca

For this spicy-sweet mocktail, start by making the jalapeno simple syrup. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and ½ cup sugar. Heat over medium until sugar is dissolved, then add 1 or 2 halved jalapenos. Continue to cook, covered, for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let the jalapenos sit in the syrup until mixture is cooled, about 10 minutes. Remove peppers, then add ¼ cup of the syrup to a blender with 1 cup coconut water and 4 cups seedless watermelon cut into cubes. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour into 4 glasses and serve immediately, with a wedge of lime. Recipe adapted from thepigandquill.com.

Non-Gin Fizz

To make this light, sunny drink, combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 1 egg white, 2 teaspoons sugar and 3 tablespoons orange soda in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for a minute or so, then pour into a glass. If you don't want to use an egg white or simply don't have one on hand, consider using about 2 tablespoons of the liquid from a can of chickpeas. (Read more about "aquafaba" on Page 2.) Recipe from themerrythought.com.

Cucumber Fennel Cooler

Fennel seeds give this drink the vegetable's unmistakable licorice flavor. That's balanced by the cooling presence of cucumber, making it an ideal beverage for sipping poolside. To make, combine ¾ cup water, ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons crushed fennel seeds and 5 strips of lemon rind in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes, stirring. Remove from the heat and let stand 15 minutes, then strain the mixture and remove rinds. For each drink, add 3 tablespoons of the syrup, ½ cup fresh cucumber juice and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to a cocktail shaker and shake for 30 seconds. Pour into a glass filled with ice, then top with ⅓ cup club soda. Garnish with sliced cucumber. Recipe adapted from myrecipes.com.

Five ideas for nonalcoholic cocktails 05/30/16 [Last modified: Monday, May 30, 2016 11:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Taste test: Unsalted butters

    Taste Test

    Even good things should be tasted in moderation. That's why we divided the columns for our tasting of salted butters. Last week, our judges shared their favorites from the first eight of 16 varieties found at local grocery stores. Here, they review the other eight. We spread the butters on unsalted saltine crackers in …

  2. For Fourth of July, an American feast inspired by founding father Alexander Hamilton

    Cooking

    Are there a million things you haven't done? Is one of them throwing a patriotic party inspired by one of the founding fathers?

    Caribbean Pork With Potato Salad makes for the perfect Fourth of July meal.
  3. 'Baby Driver' literally turns heist movie genre on its ear, set to slick soundtrack

    Movies

    Buckle up for Baby Driver, a movie so full throttle cool that you want to fist bump the screen. Style is the substance of Edgar Wright's inventive heist flick, a fresh, masterful synching of music and getaway mayhem, as if La La Land's traffic jam was moving, armed and dangerous.

    Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver for heist arranger Doc (Kevin Spacey). Plagued by tinnitus, Baby tunes out his distracting “hum in the drum” by listening to music while he drives.
Sony Pictures
  4. Canada Day is coming to Tampa's Latin District

    Events

    TAMPA -- Ybor City is Tampa's Latin District, known for showcasing Cuban, Spanish and Italian cultures.

    Toronto native Bryan Grimsdale at the Seminole Heights Grocery Store. He is hosting a Canada Day celebration in Ybor City to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. The event held at The Dirty Shame will feature games, Canadian treats and Canadian music. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times


  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 26-July 2.

    Events

    Vans Warped Tour: The festival returns Saturday to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, featuring shock-metal icons Gwar, hardcore punks Sick Of It All, ska band Save Ferris and indie-pop group Never Shout Never ($39.50-$49.50). vanswarpedtour. …

    Crowd for the Motionless in White band at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour at Vinoy Park, Friday, July 25, 2014.  CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times