FOR some people, part of their New Year’s resolutions is to either reduce, or completely cut off their alcohol intake. One recent trend has been Dry January, in which people are encouraged to avoid boozy drinks for the entire month. Some people use this opportunity to take stock of their health and to ‘detox’ from the celebrations of the previous year, while for others, this represents an opportunity to rethink their drinking habits altogether.
No matter what the reason, no one can deny that non-alcoholic beverages have been growing in popularity in recent years, with several new mocktails and booze-free spirits coming to the fore. Avoiding alcohol is also a great way to save money, trim the waist and – best of all – skip the hangovers. In the spirit of Dry January, here are 12 refreshing non-alcoholic drinks everyone can enjoy, even during the rest of the year.
Lemonade is a colourless sweet fizzy drink which is usually made from lemons, sugar, and water. If you have a bunch of lemons, you can juice them and freeze the juice too. Homemade lemonade does tend to be superior in taste compared to powdered versions, due to the latter inevitably having some chemical taste. There are different types of flavours you can try, and this is a super simple drink that everyone in your party will love.
Lassi is a regional name for buttermilk. This refreshing blended yogurt drink is popular in northern India, and most Malaysians are already familiar with it in Indian restaurants. There are different flavours like mint, strawberry, banana and more. However, mango lassi remains the overwhelming favourite of everyone. It is creamy blended drink with some fruit, yogurt, milk and a little sugar. It can be made savoury by adding cumin and coriander, or sweet with rosewater and sugar.
Up your vitamin intake and whizz up a fruit-based smoothie. A smoothie is a cold, blended drink made up of frozen fruit, juice, vegetables, milk and other protein powders. Making a smoothie is a very simple thing, just toss your favourite ingredients in a blender and let it rip. Get creative with flavourings like peanut butter and spices. If you want to be super healthy, do consider adding in vegetables like creamy avocado, spinach or other greens. You can even make your own healthy smoothies at home.
Looking for something that gives you the full aromatic fizzy burn of fresh ginger? Why not try making your own ginger beer at home? It’s amazingly simple. Ginger beer is made with a blend of ginger, water and sugar that’s fermented with yeast, then carbonated and bottled. Once you master the process of making a ginger beer, you will be hooked. This drink is also perfect for a family picnic or garden party.
There is no end to the versatility of tea. Refreshing iced tea is easy to make, and easy to scale up for a crowd. It only requires a few simple steps and ingredients, and you will be sipping your glass of chilled iced tea in no time. There are so many different flavours that are worth trying like peach iced tea, golden pineapple, vanilla iced tea, mint and mango iced green tea.
Whether raising a glass to toast the festive season or to celebrate a special occasion, a fruity mocktail is bound to be a popular party drink. You can create the gradient ‘sunset’ colour effect by topping your mixture with grenadine with orange juice and sparkling water. From classic mocktails to hot brews, there’s bound to be a drink for every situation to match your mood.
Ditch the rum, and try this refreshing virgin mojito with zingy lime, sugar and fresh mint. Crush the mint under a rolling pin, or with a pestle and mortar. This allows the herb to release the oils, so it yields plenty of flavour. Who needs alcohol to have a good time? A virgin mojito that contains fresh mint and plenty of ice is enough for a fun-packed party.
Don’t mistake this for the juice concentrate which you dilute with water! This kind of cordial is a homemade brew, a mix of fruit, sugar, water and tartaric or citric acid. Making a batch of homemade cordial is a classic for parties at home. You can even ‘upgrade’ your cordial mixture by adding a variety of fruits for some added colour. It definitely contributes more flavours than alcohol. Provided they’re stored in sterilised jars, cordials can last several months in the fridge.
Need something simple and refreshing for a party? Fruit coolers are a perfect choice, and can be whipped up in a jiffy. Just add sparkling water and fruit slices to a glassful of ice, and you’re all set. There are so many varieties available with different combinations. Not to mention, the natural juice from the fruit slices will give each cooler its own unique flavour.
There’s no reason to miss out on one of the most popular cocktails! Mix up a passionfruit martini mocktail with all the flavour of the original, but none of the booze. Combine fresh passion fruit and lemon juice with an alcohol-free spirit to give it an extra complexity. The passionfruit martini has it all: it is sweet, tangy and refreshing.
Blended drinks maintain their taste and you can avoid them getting watered down since you don’t have any ice cubes in them. Plus, they are pretty healthy overall since you are using fresh fruit. If you are trying to get rid of sweet drinks, here’s a tip; you can use a sugar substitute or use less sugar and the taste would remain the same: fresh and cooling. Toss all the ingredients (frozen raspberries, sugar and ice cubes) in the blender and blend until you reach a slushy consistency.
White Grape Spritzer
This subtly sweet, fizzy drink is made with white grape juice, sparkling water, frozen grapes and ice. Just toss everything into a glass or pitcher and mix well. Spritzers would make lovely festive drinks to serve for holidays or special occasions. It just requires a little planning in advance, as you will need to freeze the grapes.