Everyone enjoys a cold, refreshing beverage in summertime! Whether you’re cooking out in the hot sun with friends or relaxing after work, no summer meal is really complete without a refreshing drink. This can sometimes get us off track or leave us feeling like we have to exert an enormous amount of willpower not to indulge. Luckily, it’s so much easier than you might think to prepare fun and fizzy drinks for any occasion.
If you’re in Phase 2 or 3, you can add alcohol to these drinks if you choose, but we’ve written them here to be alcohol-free so you can share with the whole family!
Build Your Own Summer Mocktails
Check out our blog post with Blueberry Lime Mint Fizz and Strawberry Basil Fizz recipes from Always Delicious (page 308). These are the perfect way to satisfy any soda cravings, especially for any kids in your life. We’ve also included our favorite Bloody Mary recipe below. Ultimately, the best part of Summer Mocktails is that they are entirely customizable! Feel free to mix and match match any fruit and herb you’d like with ice and seltzer water.
All Summer Mocktails will have three basic components:
(3) a base liquid like water or sparkling water
Then, muddle with a wooden spoon or pestle, or give a little whirl with your immersion blender.
Try a Spicy Peach mocktail by adding fresh peach slices, a dash of cardamom, and a few slices of fresh ginger to sparkling water. Or, for a bolder taste, try a Jalapeño Lime Fizz with a few slices of cucumber, a bit of jalapeño pepper, 2 to 3 teaspoons of lime juice, and a few cilantro leaves in sparkling water. Add a dash of smoked paprika to create a smoky flavor profile to your mocktails. Remember, mocktails don’t always have to be sweet. Let us know your favorite combinations in the comments!
Choose some fruit
Try any type of berry (blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries) tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, cucumbers, or melon. You might want to add a slice of fresh ginger or a few teaspoons of citrus juice as well, depending on the flavor profile you’re looking for. Try a squeeze of lemon or lime. You can even add a drop or two of food-grade essential oils to your mixture. My favorite essential oils for the kitchen include lemongrass, ginger, lemon, lime, grapefruit, wild orange, and tangerine.
Choose some herbs or spices
This is what really elevates a drink to the level of refreshing summer mocktail. Herbs and spices can add complex flavor without overpowering the delicate fruit juices. Don’t be afraid to experiment with more intense combinations. Warm sweet spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg will always work well, but you might also try adding turmeric, mint, lemon balm, basil, cilantro, smoked paprika, or freshly brewed tea.
Choose to either muddle or blend
Muddling will work well with fruits that have thin skins, such as berries. These types of ingredients can simply be mashed with a wooden spoon at the bottom of your glass. Your mocktail will have a few more whole pieces in it, but it will not be difficult to sip. Other ingredients, such as jalapeño peppers or fresh ginger will need to be smoothly blended with an immersion blender. This will create a thicker texture with no whole pieces remaining.
Bloody Mary Mocktail
This is a classic mocktail that is sure to please at any party. It’s simple to make and will be familiar to any guest at your summer party.
2 medium red or green tomatoes, quartered
1 stalk of celery, cut into thin diagonals (the tender inner stalks work best for this)
2 to 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, (see Always Delicious page 284 for our Sugar-Free Worcestershire Sauce recipe)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small chile pepper like jalapeño or serrano, seeded and chopped, or a generous dash of hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender, or place all ingredients in a wide-mouthed mason jar or cup that will fit an immersion blender without splashing. Blend until smooth, working the immersion blender into the chunks as you go.
Adjust seasonings to taste. Place a lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator.
Optional: Strain off any remaining tomato seeds by pressing through a mesh strainer.
This is best made at least an hour to day ahead of time to allow flavors to fully develop.