Excite your taste buds with these refreshing mocktail recipes

Shaken or stirred, a mocktail makes for a deliciously refreshing drink


Excite your taste buds with these refreshing mocktail recipes

Shaken or stirred, a mocktail makes for a deliciously refreshing drink

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You don’t need to be an expert mixologist to make a delicious alcohol-free mocktail, according to Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s Director of Food & Beverage Kafka Pucciarelli. “Fresh, seasonal ingredients are the key to creating the perfect mocktail, as well as a few simple bar tools, like a shaker – or any bottle with a cap that has a large enough opening to add and remove ice – as well as a muddler, spoon and strainer. A blender or a juicer can also come in useful.”

Gerhardus Viljoen, Outlet Manager at Ray’s Bar at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, agrees and says that, when it comes to creating a delicious recipe, the most important element is your imagination – and your taste buds. “Think about what flavour you would like to achieve, as well as what’s available in the fridge and store cupboard,” he says. Some useful items to have at hand include: lemon or limes; mint leaves or other herbs to add a fragrant garnish; baking essences such as vanilla, caramel and rosewater; some tonic, soda or sparkling water; and a simple syrup to add a splash of sweetness.

“To make a simple syrup, combine 2 parts sugar to 1 part water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil while stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Once cooled, it can be stored in a bottle in the fridge for up to one month,” says Gerhardus.


Become a mocktail master

When coming up with a recipe, Gerhardus says there are three main elements to consider:

  • Base – the main ingredient, which will impart the most flavour, for example a fruit juice, tea or milk.
  • Modifier – something that changes the balance of flavours, like lemon juice to add a sour note or simple syrup to introduce a hint of sweetness. Similarly, honey or ice cream will change the mocktail’s consistency.
  • Extra flavours and garnishes – these are ingredients that add flavour but do not dominate, instead, they should complement the main ingredient, like a basil or rosemary garnish, some spices such as pink peppercorns or a few berries.

Overall, you should aim for a balance between the sweet and sour elements of your mocktail, says, Gerhardus. “For example, if something is too sweet, add a squeeze of citrus or a neutral liquid to dilute it.”

A pineapple mocktail

Experiment with classic flavour combinations and get creative by coming up with some of your own. Gerhardus suggests infusing your simple syrup with fruit or substituting them with jams or marmalades instead. In addition, frozen fruit can reduce the need for ice and means you’ll always have ingredients in store – he says frozen grapes work particularly well. “Fruit juices that are close to expiry can also be frozen in ice trays and later blended to make a delicious mocktail smoothie,” he says. If you are feeling inspired, here are a few recipes for a range of occasions to get you started:


1. Serve on a romantic evening in

Next date night, Pucciarelli suggests serving a Blossom Heart mocktail that’s made with strawberry puree, pineapple juice, a dash of cream and peach-infused simple syrup. Simply shake the ingredients over ice and double strain into a champagne flute for a touch of elegance. Garnish with strawberry sorbet or a heart-shaped fresh strawberry.


2. To tickle your children’s taste buds

A decadent Chocolate Cookie Mudslide is a mocktail that both children and adults love because it’s like a drink and a dessert all in one glass. Gerhardus recommends combining 500ml vanilla ice cream, 50ml chocolate, 250ml milk and 50g cookies in a blender before pouring into a tall glass, the inside of which has been coated with chocolate syrup. Garnish with crushed cookies. The remainder will keep in the fridge for a few days.


3. Refreshment on a hot day 

As the Head Mixologist at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Falil Jayah knows all about keeping his cool when the temperature outside is rising. “This Green Refresher has a nice fresh element,” he says, “while the honey ensures the mocktail features a hint of sweetness.”

½ glass crushed ice
8 fresh mint leaves
20ml freshly squeezed lime juice
120ml freshly brewed green tea, cooled to room temperature
60ml honey 

Fill a tall glass halfway with crushed ice. Add the mint leaves and use a muddler so they release their flavour. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir until the honey has dissolved.

A mocktail made with mint


4. Sip while watching the sunset

Whatever your view, create a Violet mocktail that resembles a dusty purple evening sky – the kind that spreads across the horizon as the sun sets into tropical waters. Muddle fresh blackberries, lime cordial and ginger ale, stir in some ice and then double strain the mocktail into a Martini glass before adding an extra splash of colour with an edible flower garnish.


5. Keep things super simple

Finally, you don’t need to run to the shops to make an easy One 1-3. Pour apple juice, mango juice and a splash of vanilla-infused simple syrup into a cocktail shaker that’s filled with ice. Then shake to combine before double straining into an Old Fashioned glass and garnishing with a vanilla pod.