Non-Alcoholic Mixology

An N.A. Cleanser.  Serve it on the rocks, or in a flute.  With brunch, or at cocktail hour.

If you read lots of drinking/mixology blogs, you will have noted that January is practically international sobriety month.  Everyone needs a break after the holidays.  Here in Tessin land, we try for a little more balance by having non-drinking days every week (as opposed to a lot all at the beginning of the year).

Sometimes, though, the lure of drink-having ritual, or a desire for a new flavor, beckons when we do not want any alcohol.  Or we have a guest (like EE’s young cousin) who wants to feel part of the party, but can’t have alcohol.  I have also been informed that pregnant ladies do not lose their desire for tasty beverages even though they cannot imbibe fine spirits.

To support such challenging periods in life, I make some N.A.s.  I have not perfected the N.A. – I  can’t make one that really seems correct served up in a martini glass, and I am over-reliant on seltzer – but I have made some tasty beverages:

N.A. Pomegranate Lime

1/2 Pomegranate juice

1/4 Agave nectar

juice from 1/2 a lime

Mix the above ingredients and then top off with 3 times as much water as mix.  You can use sparkling or still, rocks or not.

N.A. Ginger Clementine

1 clementine orange, peeled

1/3 grapefruit juice

1/4 ginger juice

a few frozen cranberries

Muddle the ingredients (be sure to pop the cranberries), and then shake.  Top off with just twice as much seltzer as mix.

Sometimes, we need to go a step beyond a tasty N.A. to an N.A. that will correct some of our non-N.A. excess.  In those cases, I tend to make a batch for the household/group, because everyone probably feels about the same way.

N.A. Cleanser

handful frozen blueberries

handful frozen cranberries

1/3 ginger juice

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine above and muddle.

2 pomegranate juice

1 cranberry juice

1 grapefruit juice

2/3 agave nectar

Mix in remaining ingredients and stir well.  From here you need to add water, still or sparkling, with ice or without.  It’s pretty versatile really, but EE says I have to warn that all that juice really may cause your body to flush itself out (maybe not the worst given the circs, as long as you’ll be near a restroom).

A few notes:

  • Always use pure fruit juice with no sugar added – no cranberry cocktail, just the cranberry juice
  • Anywhere I say agave, you could use honey or simple syrup, but I like the agave flavor
  • The seltzer will work better if it is from a siphon – that way the blast of water mixes everything up

2 comments to Non-Alcoholic Mixology

  • Katie B!


    Just in time for Drew’s party, too, where 3 of the 4 adult ladies are knocked up, myself included!

  • Thanks for these suggestions. I will print out to take when I go shopping, since strangely we are missing many of the requirements. Also next summer I intend to make larger quantities of lavender simple syrup, because that should inspire further creativity. But what about hot beverages for a cold, snowy day like today? I’m a coffee/tea aficionado but at cocktail hour or in a cocktail setting it’d be nice to have a sophisticated alternative.

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