Top 10 non-alcoholic drinks

    Passing on the booze? We have some suggestions for soft drinks that will more than make up for it.

    While some of you choose to decline alcohol all year round, the notion of giving up the sauce for a stint is ever popular, and “Dry January” has truly manacled itself to our national psyche. It seems the lure of saving money, trimming the waist and skipping hangovers is a potent one. 

    It can be a challenge to inject soft drinks with the same amount of sparkle as their alcoholic equivalents, but we have some tips for ensuring teetotallers don’t miss out.

    Blood orange punch

    Drivers punch
    If you’re abstaining at the beginning of the year there is a whole host of seasonal citrus fruit available to turn into juice. Grapefruit, pomelo and clementines are in season during the winter months, but we particularly like blood oranges. They have a very short season towards the end of winter, but make the most of their deep red flesh while you can. 

    Drivers' punch

    Elderflower

    Homemade cordial

    Making a batch of homemade fruit cordial should see you through a few weeks of a dryathlon. Try to use whatever is seasonal and for a basic mix combine with just sugar and water. Elderflowers work well and can often be foraged – just make sure you shake off the bugs – or try seasonal berries. Provided they’re stored in sterilized jars, cordials can last several months in the fridge.

    Elderflower, lemon & vanilla cordial
    Rosehip cordial
    Raspberry cordial

    Pomegranate mojitoPomegranate mojito mocktail

    Alcohol is inextricably associated with celebrating and nothing says party like a delicious cocktail. Ditch the rum and try this pomegranate-based mocktail. Make sure to bash the mint under a rolling pin or with your hands to release the oils, thus plenty of flavour.

    Pomegranate mojito mocktail

    Berry smoothieSmoothies

    Up your vitamin take and whizz up a fruit-based smoothie. Follow our guide to achieving the perfect blend using your favourite ingredients, then get creative with flavourings like peanut butter and spices. If you want to be really virtuous try adding vegetables – a green detox smoothie made with coconut water, apple, kiwi and spinach is one seriously heady beverage.

    Forest fruit & banana smoothie
    Super berry smoothie
    Mango & banana smoothie

    Mulled apple juiceMulled apple juice

    Often the reserve of festive revelry, the process of mulling works with a wide range of base drinks. Try using apple or pear juice and spice to taste – a touch of citrus, cinnamon and a sweetener such honey or agave should do the trick.

    Mulled apple juice

    Non alcoholic tropical fizz
    Non-alcoholic tropical fizz

    Put tinned fruit to good use in this sparkling quencher with kiwi, strawberries and pineapple. Find yourself a good tropical fruit juice as a base – or if you have a juicer to hand, you could try making your own with anything from mango and lychees to fresh passion fruit.

    Non-alcoholic tropical fizz

    Apple, elderflower and mint sparkleApple, elderflower & mint sparkle

    Use up your homemade elderflower cordial in a simple blend with apple juice, fresh mint and a little soda water. Use a different cordial if you like, and if you can’t get hold of mint swap it for fresh rosemary.

    Apple, elderflower & mint sparkle

    Limeade

    Homemade limeade

    Ditch shop-bought lemonade for a cloudy homemade alternative.  Lime makes for a tangy drop – blend the limes whole into a pulp and combine with soda water. This recipe works with vodka or rum if you’re catering for those who fancy a tipple.

    Limeade

    Bonny lassiLassi

    This refreshing Indian drink is designed to cool the palate following spicy food. It has a yogurt base, which in this recipe can be made savoury by adding cumin and coriander, or sweet with rosewater and sugar. We also have a mango version with added pistachio and mint.

    Sweet & spiced lassis
    Bonny lassi

    Water

    Water

    This may seem a bit staid, but staying hydrated by drinking water in its pure form does wonders for every part of the body. Spruce it up with herbs like rosemary, basil and mint, healthy squeezes of lime or lemon juice, fiery ginger or slices of cool, refreshing cucumber.

    What’s your preferred non-alcoholic tipple? Share your ideas with us…

     

     

    Comments, questions and tips

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    Nishrin Rieza
    3rd Jan, 2015
    nice ideas.
    janetinjersey
    20th Jul, 2014
    A grown up but very easy non-alcoholic drink is lemonade with lime cordial and a dash of angostura bitters. Make in a jug with usual pimms garnish and it's a good alternative for the drivers.
    bec00au's picture
    bec00au
    22nd Aug, 2014
    That's a "Lemon, Lime and Bitters" in Aussie lingo ;)
    jobarley
    17th Jan, 2014
    When I was pregnant I went to a friend's pub and she made me a great non alcoholic cocktail, a bottle each of pineapple juice and ginger beer topped up with lime cordial and soda water, deelicious. I still drink it now!
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