If you are health-conscious, chances are you still want to enjoy classy, flavorful drinks when you go out with your friends–but you may not be interested in the calories or hangovers that come with alcohol.
Thankfully, there is good news for you! You can still have fun and socialize with friends over drinks. You just need to order a mocktail.
In this article, Pick On Us will tell you all about these increasingly popular alcohol-free drinks, so let’s get started!
What Is A Mocktail?
Alcohol can be enjoyable, celebratory, and perfectly OK when consumed responsibly. However, there are numerous valid reasons why you would want to eliminate or at least limit your alcohol intake:
- Health reasons
- Sensitivity to alcohol
- Disciplinary measures
- Athletic training or a fitness regime
- Religious reasons
- Imminent driving responsibilities
What if you fall into one of these categories, but you still want to enjoy the occasional specialty drink with friends?
Enter the mocktail!
Defining mocktails is simple. “Mocktail” is short for “mock cocktail,” in other words, a cocktail with no alcohol.
However, when you zoom out, there are three general categories of mocktails:
- Mocktails that are essentially the same as an alcoholic counterpart, with all the same ingredients in the same ratios, minus the alcohol, for example, a virgin Bloody Mary or Pina Colada. These taste a little different than the real deal.
- Mocktails that are carefully crafted to resemble the real thing as closely as possible, with precise blends of herbs and other ingredients that mimic the sting and flavor of alcohol.
- Mocktails made with 0-proof imitation spirits that resemble real spirits but contain no real alcohol.
There are also classic mocktail recipes that have stuck around for years, such as the Shirley Temple, Arnold Palmer, or Roy Rogers. You can find these options on menus near and far.
Why make mocktails? There are plenty of good reasons. After all, everyone knows about the nasty side effects that follow if you over-consume real alcohol.
But the benefits range far beyond that!
Here are a few benefits you gain from a non-alcoholic mocktail:
Stick to your diet
Alcohol can contain around 7 calories per ounce–almost as many as pure fat. That’s not very diet friendly! With a mocktail, you can still enjoy a refreshing drink while taking in fewer calories.
Enjoy a drink while pregnant
Not interested in completely giving up your favorite drinks for a whole 9 months? You can still partake in the non-alcoholic version and keep your baby safe.
Skip the hangover
If you have things to get done, you don’t want to feel like trash because you drank too much alcohol last night. But you can still relax or socialize over a non-alcoholic mocktail and feel good the next day.
Have fun socializing
If everyone else has a drink, it’s not fun to be the only one abstaining. You want to feel part of the group and have fun too! That’s where a mocktail lets you be part of the crowd and have fun socializing over drinks, all without the side effects of alcohol.
We all know alcohol and vehicles don’t mix well. If you are the driver, please, order a mocktail and stay safe!
Honor religious beliefs
Numerous religions, such as Buddhism and Islam, condemn the consumption of alcohol. If you adhere to such a religion, a mocktail could be a fun, safe way for you to order a drink that’s more novel and exciting than plain juice or tea.
Sleep like a baby
Alcohol disrupts your sleep cycles, and as a result, it may cause wakefulness during the night or lower quality of sleep, even though it may knock you out pretty quickly at the beginning of the night. A non-alcoholic mocktail helps you avoid insomnia and sleep well all through the night.
Achieve your fitness goals
Alcohol and fitness aren’t friends. Actually, they are enemies. By cutting down your alcohol intake and going for non-alcoholic drinks instead, you can help yourself achieve the goals you are working toward.
There are plenty of legit reasons you might want to avoid alcohol–in the next section, we’ll find out how to make a killer mocktail that lets you enjoy your drink and avoid the booze at the same time.
Creating And Presenting A Perfect Mocktail
What follows is the formula for a fantastic mocktail everyone will love:
Fancy cocktail glass + oversized ice cube + a base + syrup + herbs and flavorings + an extravagant garnish.
Shake, pour, and enjoy!
Let’s break that down a little more and talk about the details.
Creating a Mocktail
Start with a base:
When making mocktails, the world’s your oyster. You get to choose from lots of options.
A few good places to start include:
- Club soda
- Ginger ale
- Sparkling water
- Fruit juice
- 0-proof alcohol substitute
- Tonic water
A fizzy base is awesome, but you aren’t limited to that. You can try juice, tea, or even Kombucha for your base. And you aren’t limited to just one–you could experiment with combining sweet fruit juice with bitter tonic water or adding more fizz to Kombucha with sparkling water.
Add a syrup:
The syrup is normally sweet, fruity, and flavorful and can balance out a bitter base like tonic water.
You can get creative with homemade syrups (which are simple to make) and try combining different fruits and herbs, such as blackberry lavender or raspberry mint syrup.
Other fruit and herb options to experiment with include:
- Lemon balm
And many more. A unique, complex blend of flavors in your syrup help create an intriguing and refreshing mocktail.
Experiment with other flavors:
It doesn’t stop with herbs. You can also try spices, maraschino cherries, veggies, oils, and other flavors.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Essential oils
- Fresh squeezed citrus
- Chili (for a mock bloody mary)
- Vanilla extract
- Maple syrup
The list goes on. Think about your mocktail being a large, blank canvas, and your job is to paint it with flavor-paint and create a complex, invigorating, colorful blend of flavors. You can do whatever you want!
Presenting a Mocktail
Remember, you have to approach making a mocktail the same as making a cocktail, just without the alcohol. For the best experience, you need the same glass, ice, and fancy garnish to make it truly enjoyable.
A garnish goes a long way toward making your drink a truly memorable experience. A few pieces of fruit on a fancy toothpick or citrus on the rim of a glass creates a visual feast.
You could even go the extra mile and add a custom skewer to the garnish on your glass!
A few more presentation and garnish ideas include:
- Coat your glass rims with sugar, crushed candy, salt, or spices
- Load on fresh fruit
- Dunk in a lollipop, candy stick, or rock candy
- Add fresh herbs or flowers
- Whipped topping
- A really cool stirring stick
- Lemon or lime zest
- Cocktail umbrellas
- Maraschino cherries
Be sure to go all out and add some kind of stunning topper to your drink–it makes the experience so much more memorable and unique.
If you want more info, here are a few mocktail recipes to try.
If you want to skip the hard stuff, go for a non-alcoholic mocktail instead. You can still have the experience and fun of a cocktail without real liquor.
And if you want to create and present stunning mocktails for your food business or simply for family and friends, check out our eco-friendly skewers and toothpicks at Pick On Us!
We offer a variety of eco-friendly restaurant supplies which include:
- Fancy Toothpicks
- Cocktail Toothpicks
- Decorative Party Toothpicks
- Cocktail Skewers
- Decorative Bamboo Skewers
- Custom Toothpicks
Take a look at them today on our website!