The soft option

WARNING: This post contains no alcohol whatsoever and is therefore not suitable for 99% of readers…

When I started this blog I didn’t imagine I’d ever veer on to such straight and narrow paths but a couple of recent events have inspired me to give some thought to the teetotalers out there. Firstly, I ran an all-day bar for my friends 40th birthday party (post to follow on this subject). It was a blazing hot day and although I’d made some non-alcoholic provision, I soon realised there’s a limit to the Virgin Mules or Gin-less Fizzes a person can drink before a sugar reaction kicks in…not to mention that croquet can turn into a contact sport when hyperactive 40-year-olds are playing…

Secondly, this weekend I was at Chase Distillery’s first ever music festival, Rock the Farm, and am consequently off the sauce until my liver has a chance to recover.

So in my quest to find something non-alcoholic that can still hit that vital thirst-quenching spot, I remembered I’d been sent some samples of a new ‘non-alcoholic beverage’. Ordinarily, I would have dismissed these as out of my jurisdiction but the Lynch-esque branding and premium tonic style bottles caught my eye.

Flicking through the press release my interest was further piqued on reading that the inimitable Nick Strangeway had created some of his libational magic with the range. In spite of their odd names, I was tempted into re-creating his drinks at home (recipes below) and found them extremely tasty. I was also impressed with how numbers 3 and 4 tasted neat, though lemongrassy No 5 was a little one-dimensional in comparison. The strong cardamom notes of no3 would work fantastically with gin but the mint and chocolate flavours of no4 had a real zing and made the raspberry cocktail made with them a layered and rewarding drink.

So, my first foray into alcohol-free cocktails turned out surprisingly well – I may even be inspired to create my own recipes in the future. Because the soft option  suddenly got a lot more challenging…

Lead us not into t….

100 ml freshly pressed pear juice
75 ml Spantons No 3
10 ml fresh lime juice

Stir the pear juice on ice in a highball filled with ice then top with the Spantons No 3 and garnish with a squeezed wedge of lime.

Tip If you don’t have a juicer you can usually buy fresh pear juice from the more upmarket health food shops.  I added a little extra lime juice  along with pear and garnished the drink with fresh thyme.

Tempt me no more…

8 – 10 fresh raspberries
10 mint leaves
2 tsp castor sugar
20  ml lemon juice
200 ml Spantons Beverage No 4

Gently muddle the raspberries with the sugar and mint. Then add the lemon juice and shake on ice. Strain into an ice filled highball and top with Spantons No 4. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a couple of raspberries.


2 thoughts on “The soft option

  1. I soon realised there’s a limit to the Virgin Mules or Gin-less Fizzes a person can drink before a sugar reaction kicks in…

    That’s one thing I realized as I tried several of the drinks in Bertha Stockbridge’s 1920 Temperance drink book What to Drink — the amount of sugar in these drinks to make up for the lack of booze was often staggering.

  2. Pingback: Summer sips « The London Cocktail Guide

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