The following article might trigger some urges to drink for some people. If this is you, we encourage you to skip this blog.
It’s the beginning of the festive season and for those who want to stay alcohol free, attending parties can be a challenge. One of the tips we shared on our previous blog – How to not drink alcohol over the Christmas season – is to make & bring your own party drinks.
One of the benefits of having a healthy relationship with alcohol is the return of our creativity, and making alcoholic-free drinks would be a good use of those creative juices. It’s time for us to use this in the kitchen.
The trick lies in the garnishes and presentation of the drinks. At the end of the day, even if you are drinking soda and lime it would still feel special with a couple of beautiful garnishes in your glass. Here are some AF drink recipes – tried and tasted by the odd bunch at HSM!
Apple Cider Slushie
(Makes 4 drinks – serve cold or warm)
This drink is flexible as you can also serve it warm – for those having northern hemisphere Christmas.
• 4-6 Granny Smith apples
• 1 lemon
• 7 cardamom pods
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (ground)
• ½ cup of raw sugar
• ¼ cup of cloudy apple cordial
• Mint leaves (for a cold serve) or cinnamon scroll stick (for a warm serve)
• Dice Granny Smith apples (removing the cores and stalks). Squeeze 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the diced apple. Add apples into a saucepan and heat up using medium heat.
• Add cardamom pods, cinnamon ground and simmer until apples turn into pulp.
• Slowly add sugar, lemon juice and cloudy apple juice – continue to taste and adjust for preferred sweetness.
• Take off heat. Cool mixture to room temperature & remove cardamom pods ( you can reserve it and add it to your next chai tea treat!)
• Pour cold mixture into aluminium baking tray – freeze for 3-4 hours or overnight.
• Scrape slushie with fork and scoop into serving glass.
Garnish with mint leaves.
For warm apple cider, skip the freezing method and directly pour the drinks into your christmas mugs! Garnish with cinnamon scroll for added flavour.
(makes 2 drinks)
You will need a blender for this recipe. If you don’t have one, finely chop the watermelon and subsequently mash with fork.
• 1 cup of watermelon (cubed)
• 1 lime – juice half and thinly slice the other half for garnish
• ¼ cup of ice cube
• ½ cup of mint leaves
• ¼ cup of sparkling apple cider
• Sugar syrup
• Blend watermelon and lime juice.
• Pour mixture into each glass.
• Layer each glass with ice cubes, lime slices and mint leaves.
• Top with sparkling apple cider (taste and add sugar syrup if necessary)
Botanical bitter tonic
(makes 2 drinks)
Make your own Botanical Bitter with Chamomile tea bag and spice mix! It takes a few hours to brew so plan ahead.
• 1 Chamomile tea bag
Spice mix (5-7 Cardamom pods – bruise; 5 cloves; 1 star anise; 2 teaspoon of lemon zest – roughly from one small lemon and a sprig of rosemary – remove leaves)
• ½ cucumber – diced finely
½ cup of fresh mint leaves – keep some for garnish
• Tonic water
• Few pomegranate seeds for garnish
• Brew 1 chamomile tea bag with ½ cup of hot water (80°C is recommended), removed after 3 mins.
• Add tea into a jug with spice mix, diced cucumber and fresh mint leaves, then top up with ½ cup cold water and keep in the fridge for 3-4 hours (or overnight)
• Pour 50ml mixture into serving glass, top up with tonic water and ice.
• Garnish with few pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.
Citrus and Bitter
(make 1 drink)
• A strip of citrus peel (Navel orange or lemon)
• 1 large ice cube
• 50ml Botanical Bitter (see recipe above)
• ½ teaspoon of caramel syrup (or just sugar syrup)
• A sprig of rosemary
• Gently bash the citrus peel inside the glass with wooden spoon to release the oil.
• Rub it around the rim of the serving glass.
• Leave the peel in the glass.
• Add ice cube, pour Botanical Bitter and sugar syrup.
• Stir mixture with sprig of rosemary (you can use this as a garnish too!)
Do you have more recipes that you want to share? Comment below and share your favourite AF drink recipe!