Nothing can put you in that summer mood faster than a brightly coloured drink and a BBQ with friends. And what better time to socialise with your nearest and dearest than a hot Bank Holiday weekend.
It can be challenging to keep up with their sizzle when you’re off the booze though. But it needn’t be. Drinking trends are shifting in the UK (6.1million bottles of zero or no alcohol drinks were sold last year according to the Nielsen Changing Consumer Prosperity Report) so it’s unlikely you’ll be the only one abstaining. Why not set the pace anyway, and make a couple of zinging fruity mocktails that everyone will enjoy.
Just to make it even easier to get in the party spirit this weekend, we’ve picked out a few of our favourite mocktails for you to try out.
Vibrant Mint Kiwi Lemonade
This is a classic summer drink, using sparkling water for the fizz factor, while keeping the rest of the ingredient list fresh and vibrant.
- Boil 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar until the sugar dissolves. Remove this syrup from heat and add 8 sprigs of mint, letting steep for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel 6 kiwis and process in a food processor. Add the pulp to a pitcher. Juice 4 lemons and add the juice to the pitcher.
- Remove the mint from the syrup, then add the syrup to the pitcher. Stir lightly. Refrigerate to let the flavours blend and the syrup cool.
- To serve, fill a glass with ice if desired, add kiwi lemonade to the 2/3 mark, then fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water. Enjoy!
Refreshing Mojito Mocktail
Zinging and so quick to make, this simple recipe will leave you with plenty of time to enjoy your summer fun!
- Muddle one tablespoon of sugar with leaves from a small bunch of mint using a pestle and mortar (or use a small bowl and the end of a rolling pin).
- Put a handful of crushed ice into 2 tall glasses.
- Divide the juice of 3 limes between the glasses with the mint mix. Add a straw and top up with soda water.
Tropical fruit smoothie
This colourful smoothie has high levels of health-protecting antioxidants, such as flavonoids and carotenoids, so is the perfect way to get ahead with your 5-a-day.
- Cut 8 passion fruit in half and scoop out the pulp into a sieve. Push the pulp through a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to extract all the juice.
- Discard the seeds. Peel and slice one banana and then peel and slice 2 very ripe juicy mangoes.
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and then blend until smooth. Delicious!
This refreshing punch contains ginger, so can help reduce the symptoms of pregnancy nausea as well as provide some party zing.
- Pour even parts cranberry juice and lemonade into a pitcher, stirring to combine.
- Top with ginger ale, adjusting to taste. (If you're using a 20oz bottle of lemonade and 20oz of cranberry juice add 10oz of ginger ale.)
- Pour into glasses filled with ice, garnishing each cup with a lemon slice. Serve.
The Real Deal
We couldn’t recommend summer drinks without touching on the huge variety of dry bottles out there that look and taste just like the real thing, minus the alcohol of course! One of our favourites is Silk Tree, a brand crafted in Ireland, in the traditional copper still just like real gin. This smooth silky drink still retains all the punchy botanicals – warming cinnamon, refreshing coriander seeds, zingy orange peel and, of course, the juniper berries to impart the gin flavour you know and love. Silk tree is completely sugar-free –and guess what it’s gluten-free too.
Medical Advice on Drinking in Pregnancy
If you're pregnant the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to your baby to a minimum. This is because alcohol passes from your blood through the placenta and to your baby. A baby's liver is one of the last organs to develop and doesn't mature until the later stages of pregnancy. Your baby cannot process alcohol as well as you can, and too much exposure to alcohol can seriously affect their development, resulting in an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth and your baby having a low birth weight.
If you are finding it hard to cut down on what you drink talk to your midwife or doctor. They will understand your problems and help you cut down/ You can also call Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a free self-help group. Its "12-step" programme involves getting sober with the help of regular support groups. Find out more at https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/