Although many people enjoy a celebratory tipple or two, if you're driving or simply prefer to enjoy the festive season without alcohol, finding tempting alternatives can be challenging. Fear not! Help is at hand from the Saltrock team. We've come up with our favourite soft drink options: easy to make and suitable for everyone at your festive gathering, they're guaranteed to add some sparkle to any special occasion!
Quick and easy to make, as well as a delight to drink, infused water is given its delicate flavour through the addition of fruit, herbs or some vegetables. The easiest infusion to make is probably a citrus one: simply wash a lemon, orange, lime or combination of these fruits, slice and add to a jug of cool water. Citrus fruit gives an almost instant flavour, enabling you serve as soon as it's made, along with ice. If serving immediately, the fruit can be left in the infusion.
For other combinations, where a longer infusion time is required, the fruit or other flavourings should be removed prior to serving. The average infusion time required for non-citrus mixes is around two hours at room temperature. Once made and the fruit removed, infused water can be kept in the fridge for up to three days. Popular blends include:
- Cucumber and lemon
- Strawberries and thyme
- Lemon and ginger (this works wonderfully well with sparkling water)
- Apple and cinnamon (chop the apple finely to allow maximum flavour to infuse; cinnamon sticks are best for this infusion)
A perennial favourite, mulled juice, as the name suggests, is simply warmed fruit juice, infused with spices or other flavours. This gives an inviting drink that adds a seasonal touch to any occasion. A great, non-alcoholic alternative, this can be prepared in advance, then stored in a vacuum flask until required.
Some great festive combinations include:
Mulled apple juice, heated with cinnamon sticks, cloves and a hint of ginger, then sweetened with honey and served warm...or why not try:
A mixture of pomegranate, apple and cranberry juice, warmed gently and infused with cinnamon sticks and cloves.
If you prefer the taste of grape juice, we recommend adding a sliced orange and / or lemon, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and star anise (if you have any to hand) to a litre or so of red grape juice, then warming through to give that delightful mulled taste.
As the name suggests, mocktails are intended to be served in cocktail style, but without the alcoholic additions. The key to a good mocktail lies not just in the ingredients, but also in the presentation: the more ostentatious the better! Armed with assorted cocktail glasses, umbrella decorations, glacé cherries and cocktail sticks (or candy canes for a great seasonal alternative), try these recipes to add a touch of class to your festive beverage selection:
Combine crushed sugar, finely chopped mint and the juice of two or three limes, then serve in a tall glass, topped up with soda water or, for a sweeter flavour, lemonade.
Combine orange juice and cranberry juice in equal quantities, then top up with lemonade or soda water. Serve with citrus slices.
Mock-lime and pineapple cocktail
Simply mix equal quantities of pineapple juice and soda water or lemonade, along with the juice of a lime and some finely chopped coriander leaves
To add a decorative touch to your glasses, why not dip the rim of the glass in egg white, followed by coloured sugar (add a few drops of food colouring to caster sugar in order to get the desired shade)?