If, like me, you spent most of December slightly tipsy, then you may be looking to cut back a bit on the booze this January. Whether you’re attempting the full blown Dry January challenge, or just trying to give your liver a little less to handle this month, then mocktails are a great option; all the flavour combinations and presentation of a normal cocktail, but without the guilt! Last week some fellow food bloggers and myself were invited down to the Botanist in the city centre for a mocktail masterclass, and seeing the ingredients and skill (or not so much, if made by me) that went into these drinks made them feel just as exciting as an alcoholic cocktail. Read on to find out what we made, or have a read of my review of the alcoholic cocktails and food at the Botanist here.
The Botanist offers six mocktails in total and last week we were lucky enough to make four each. First of all we started off with the carrot and ginger crush. This drink certainly tastes super healthy, and the all-natural bright orange colour definitely confirms this! The flavour combinations in this drink are delicious but a little different, so maybe don’t go for this if you know you like to play it safe. The mix of carrot juice, fresh ginger, mint, apple juice and a dash of Tabasco makes for a really interesting flavour with a kick. The miniature carrot in the presentation also really finishes it off!
Next on the menu is the watermelon dew. Created with watermelon, mint, lime juice, gomme and lemonade this was a seriously refreshing and light drink. Watermelon was obviously the most prominent flavour, but the mint and the lime juice were also allowed to come through. Not as strong as the carrot and ginger crush, this is a safe bet for any watermelon fans.
Next we made the grape, raspberry and elderflower cooler. This was a lovely fruity combo of raspberry puree, elderflower cordial, grapes, orange and cranberry juice. The fresh fruit that went into this one was a real treat, and certainly made the healthy option feel like the best one! By this point I would usually have been far too tipsy to be trusted with multiple glass bottles, but the beauty of mocktails meant that our creations kept tasting as good as they should!
Finally we made the forest fruit fling. If you’re a sucker for anything berry flavoured then this is the drink for you, with blackberry, raspberry and blueberry purees, apple juice, cranberry juice, lemon juice and sugar syrup. The lemon and sugar syrup together gave it that perfect blend of sweet and bitter that you want in a cocktail, and the berry flavours were simply divine. The presentation of a fanned apple was also a really nice touch!
All of us had a brilliant time making and drinking these mocktails from the Botanist menu, and I will certainly now consider ordering them when I feel like laying off the alcohol for a while! The Botanist have also just launched their range of detox juices, so it’s even easier to get your health kick whilst not missing out on socialising with your friends or colleagues. Thanks to Marie for arranging the evening and to Jacob, our incredibly fun bar tender for showing us such a good time. Mocktails at The Botanist are £4.50, or you can book your own masterclass!
*This masterclass and the drinks we made were complimentary. This, as always, does not affect my honest opinion.