Have you committed to laying off the alcohol (or at least cutting down) this month? Well good for you!
And although it’s easy to resist when you’re at home, it’s hard out there in the big bad world when you’re out on the town with friends. That’s why booze-free establishments like Redemption Bar (above) are such a good idea.
Redemption Bar opened in July last year and, even though some critics pronounced it would never work, it has. Infact we think it’s a rather good venue if you’re looking for somewhere to go on a January alco-free evening.
Instead of the usual range of alcoholic wines and beers it serves exotic 'mocktails' (alco-free cocktails made with coconut water, agave syrup and organic fruit infusions) while bar food is healthier than your usual pub grub fare - think veggie curries and hummus sharing platters instead of stodgy chips and burgers.
So what do you drink when you can’t drink? Here Redemption Bar suggests three of their favourite mocktails and they have kindly provided us the recipes so you can try them at home below, while we suggest our top four soft drinks you can look out for next time you hit the town>>
SPICED CRANBERRY SOUR
‘The Cranberry Sour is a real winter warmer and consists of cranberry juice, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and vanilla topped with a splash of soda water and to garnish, a twist of lemon. This is a sophisticated ‘dry’ martini style mocktail that ticks all the winter flavour boxes. For a sweeter version switch the lemon juice for freshly squeezed seasonal clementine or satsuma juice. In a time where we are fighting post-Christmas blues this drink is a great choice, flavoursome and full of fruity goodness’
4-6 cubes of ice
3 parts cranberry juice
½ part lemon juice
½ teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
A pinch of ground cinnamon
A pinch of cracked black pepper
1-2 drops of vanilla extract
A splash of soda water
A twist of lemon peel to garnish
Put the ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and add the cranberry juice, lemon juice, grated ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and vanilla. Shake vigorously until chilled and frothy. Strain into a martini glass and top with a splash of soda. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
‘This is an organic fruit presse, agave and coconut water shaken over ice and you can choose from: beetroot, cranberry or blueberry. If you’re looking to recover from the party season then the Coco-Tini is one for you, as it’s natural and gently fruity - a much needed kick to a healthy new year. People think that cocktails are all about the booze but a lot of it is in the shaking, because the flavours mix properly and the ice splinters into tiny shards which break down the drink and give it body. The presentation is also important and worth the effort.’
1/2 cup coconut water
1 teaspoon of agave syrup (this is a low-GI sweetener which comes from a cactus plant)
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice (we use organic)
salt for the rim and a pinch for the drink, to taste (we use himalayan rock salt)
Prepare the glass by running a bit of lime around the rim and dipping it in some salt on a plate to make the salt rim. It might seem like a faff but we reckon it's worth the effort. Put a few cubes of ice into a cocktail shaker, then add the lime juice, agave and coconut water (and the pinch of salt if you like). Shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Pour into the glass from a bit of a height so it serves nice and frothy.
‘Apple Mock-Jito is a refreshing drink made from lime, agave syrup, apple juice and garnished with mint leaves. For some dry Jan is a good excuse to explore and try alternatives and this is where we came up with this drink; light and refreshing, bursting with flavours and guaranteed to get you through winter.’
3 lime wedges
3tsp agave syrup
4/5 mint leaves
10ml apple juice
Muddle the lime wedges, agave and mint leaves in the glass. Add apple juice and stir thoroughly. Top up with soda water. Garnish with mint or lime slice. Enjoy!
FOUR SOFT DRINKS TO LOOK OUT FOR
NEXT TIME YOU’RE AT THE BAR
Luscombe’s Elderflower Bubbly. Lovely chubbly.
Fevertree Tonic Water. Superior tonic.
Any of the grownup fruit cordials from The East India Company
Cocktail bitters from the Fee Brothers. Although many of these contain alcohol you just need to add a few drops to sparkling water to pep up your drink in a flash.