East Meets West: Cocktails! Well Vegetarian Friendly Mocktails Really.

Good morning everyone,There are tons of occasions where one may want to celebrate life:  weddings, engagements, births, promotions at work, graduating college, or just a really awesome sunset.  For an Amritdhari Sikh, alcohol is a no no. Frankly, you can easily celebrate any occasion without alcohol.

Still, The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins (the project we’ve been working on) has a number of cocktails in its Amusements section starting at page 37, so given the aim of the project, we have to find something to do with these.

Their cocktail recipes are for:  Champagne Cocktail, Kir Royal, Black Velvet, Pesca Bellini, Daiquiri, Simple Sugar Syrup, Screwdriver, Brandy Alexander, Whiskey Sour, Martini, Sweet Manhattan, The Sea Breeze, Margarita, Wende’s Bloody Mary, Old-Fashioned and Vermouth Cassis.  15 drinks filled with alcohol that I won’t touch.  I’m going to add Caesar here as well, since my current roommate has recently fallen in love with them and I think it will be an incredible challenge to come up with a vaishno friendly Caesar substitute.  What oh what will replace the clam juice?

There are a lot of great recipes available on the Internet for alcohol-free cocktails, or mocktails as they have become popularly known.  I have no intention of reinventing the wheel here, so in my research I basically altered recipes to ensure they are alcohol free, vaishno friendly, and taste awesome to me and my friends.

It’s a great experiment, actually and useful since I have a wedding to plan and we want our guests to enjoy a variety of celebratory beverages without the booze and without the animal products.  This experiment gave us a lot of options

Champagne’t  (An alternative to the Champagne Cocktail)

credit goes to babycenter.com for this recipe, which was only mildly modified from the original

Champagne’t is my name and it’s neither elegant or pretty but it sure is fun.  Make a little more than six cups of mocktail.

1/3 cup jaggery or cane sugar
2/3 cup water
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tbsp grenadine syrup
28 oz chilled, dry ginger ale

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes.  Add the sugar syrup to the juices.  Chill in the refrigerator thoroughly.  Add grenadine and ginger ale just before serving.

Tips:  You can make it sweeter by doubling the sugar but really?  Do you need that much sugar?  Just asking the question.  No one in our home has a sweet tooth and I found that even with the sugar cut in half and substituting the dryer ginger ale, this is still a very sweet drink.

You can garnish this in any way you want but we like adding fresh, sliced strawberries to the glasses before they are filled.  Raspberries, lemon rind, and even blueberries would make a nice garnish as well.

Mock Kir Royal (An alternative to Kir Royal)

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup pineapple juice
4 L lemon-lime soda (we used 7-up)
1/4 cup blackberry syrup

Stir the water and juices together.  Chill.  Add the blackberry syrup and soda prior to serving.

Tips:  Again, you can make this sweeter by adding 1 1/2 cups of simple syrup instead of just water but this is already pretty freakin’ sweet.  We really didn’t need or want the extra sugar.

Mock Black Velvet (An alternative to Black Velvet)

Oh this was a challenge.  The original recipe is equal parts stout and dry champagne.  Try finding an alternative to stout that doesn’t involve mushrooms… wow.  However, it came to me that I could probably find alternates for the notes in a typical stout – chocolate and caramel.  So here we go.

1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup water
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 cup white grape juice (no sugar added)
3 tsp chocolate syrup (the type you get at coffee shops for adding to beverages)
3 tsp caramel syrup (the type you get at coffee shops for adding to beverages)
28 oz chilled, dry ginger ale

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes.  Add the sugar syrup to the juices and remaining syrups.  Chill in the refrigerator thoroughly.  Add the ginger ale just before serving.

Tips:  This was super sweet but we liked it.  You can make it less sweet by adding water instead of the simple syrup but that lost a little of the heavy “stoutish” flavour.

Belli-nah-It-Ain’t  (An alternative to the Pesca Bellini)

This one was much easier than most and produced a non-alcoholic beverage that was sweet and tasty and perfect for summer.

1/3 cup cane sugar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
1 cup orange juice
28 oz chilled, dry ginger ale
12 tbsp pureed fresh peaches
6 tsp peach syrup (the type you get at coffee shops for adding to beverages)
3 tsp fresh lemon juice

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes.  Add the sugar syrup to the juices.  Chill in the refrigerator thoroughly.  When ready to serve, add the ginger ale.  In each of six glasses, places 2 tbsp of the peach puree, 1 tsp of the peach syrup and 1/2 tsp of the lemon juice.  Fill to near the top of the glass with the ginger ale mixture.

Peach and Lychee Virgin Daiquiri (An alternative to the Daiquiri)

credit for this recipe goes to user KathyPatalksy who posted a very similar recipe on babble.com.  There really wasn’t a way to make a good lime daiquiri without the rum.  Everything we tried just tasted like limeade.  And we can do better than that, can’t we?  This recipe makes 2 virgin daiquiris.

1 2/3 cups guava juice
6 whole lychees, frozen
3/4 cup frozen peaches, skinned, pitted and sliced
1 large frozen banana
The juice of 1/2 lime
3/4 cup ice cubes
1/4 cup lychee juice ice cubes (freeze the juice from the canned lychees)

Blend and serve.  You’re done.  It’s not a lime daiquiri but we like it.  Definitely on the wedding menu.  Yummy.

Virgin Screwdriver (An alternative to the Screwdriver)

What could be easier?  Vodka doesn’t taste like much and it’s only other ingredient is orange juice.  Yeah, not so much.  I think we can all agree that orange juice does not taste like a screwdriver.  So, here we go with a big thanks to Bob for inspiring the Perrier solution:

Fill a glass with chipped ice.  Fill it halfway with sparkling mineral water and fill it the rest of the way with fresh squeezed orange juice.

Cafe Alexander (An alternative to the Brandy Alexander)

2 oz of cold black coffee
1/4 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
1 tsp of chocolate syrup (the type you get at coffee shops for adding to beverages)
1 oz of heavy cream
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Pour coffee, vanilla, chocolate syrup and cream into a cocktail shaker over cracked ice.  Shake well.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Tips: You can significantly reduce the calories in this cocktail by using a low-sugar syrup and replacing the heavy cream with milk.  Trust me – just as freakin’ tasty.

Lemon Sour (An alternative to the Whiskey Sour)

Kraft inspired this recipe.  This was another tough one initially since the only other ingredients besides bourbon in a whiskey sour is a little lemon juice and sugar.  Whiskey is a complex set of flavours that is hard to replicate in a non-alcohol version.  So our internet research came up with a couple of interesting ideas and ultimately we’ve gone with what we are calling the Lemon Sour.

This recipe will make about 6 mocktails.

1/3 cup water
1 pkg lemonade flavour drink mix (2L size)
1 1/2 cups apple juice
3/4 cups fresh lemon juice

Dissolve drink mix in the water.  Add the juices.  Serve over ice.

Virgin Apple Martini (An alternative to the Martini)

Giada di Laurentiis from the Food Network inspired this recipe.  We’ve left out the gingersnap cookies to rim the glasses and altered the cinnamon syrup a little but thanks for the inspiration Giada!  She’s always a great source of inspiration around here.

This recipe will make about 12 mocktails.

 1/4 cup sugar
Juice from 1/2 lemon
4 cinnamon sticks (about 2″ long)
1 1/4″ thick piece ginger
2/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
2 1.25L bottle sparkling apple cider, chilled
2 small Granny Smith apples, halved, cored and cut into 6 wedges each

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, 1/2 cup of water, lemon juice, cinnamon and ginger.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup begins to boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered.  Cool to room temperature.  Strain and transfer the liquid to a pitcher.  Stir in the apple juice concentrate and sparkling apple cider into the pitcher.  Pour into martini glasses and garnish with the apple slices.

Upper Manhattan (An alternative to the Sweet Manhattan)

Thankfully we were able to find cherry juice where we live.  This recipe will make 1 mocktail and is not nearly as sweet as the recipe from The New Basics Cookbook, but hey that’s the way we roll around here.

1/4 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp cherry juice
1/2 tsp lemon juice
A dash of orange bitters.

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice.  Strain into a glass over a few ice cubes.  You can garnish this with a maraschino cherry but we like fresh, dark cherries in this.

Ocean Breeze (An alternative to The Sea Breeze)

This one was easy to turn into a virgin cocktail.

Place 3 ice cubes in a tall glass.  Fill it halfway with fresh grapefruit juice then the other half with cranberry juice.  Add a lime slice to the rim and you’re done!

Tips:  We’re in love with tart, not to sweet flavours around here.  You can (if you must) sweeten this cocktail by adding sugar to the rim of the glass or using sweetened cranberry cocktail.  But seriously, that’s a LOT of sugar.  Lots and lots of sugar.  You sure you want to do that to yourself?

Strawberry Mockarita (An alterive to the Margarita)

Another lime drink… sigh.  It’s hard to make any lime drink taste like anything but limeade when it’s virgin so… we went with strawberry.  Back when I used to drink alcohol, strawberry margaritas and mango margaritas were perfect, refreshing drinks for summer.  We think we’ve captured all the refreshing goodness without the alcohol.  The recipe will make 4 mockaritas.

1/3 cup sugar (we used cane sugar)
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups crushed ice
Fresh strawberries for garnish

Prepare the margarita glasses by adding coarse sugar to a plate.  Run a lime wedge around the rim of the glasses and press the rims into the sugar to coat.  Place the halved strawberries, orange juice, and lime juice into a blender and pulse to blend.  Add the crushed ice and pulse again until the desired consistency is achieved.  Pour the mixture into the margarita glasses.  Garnish with the strawberries and enjoy!

Tips:  We like coating the rims with a little salt alternatively.  Just a little.  A very little.

Virgin Mary (An Alternative to Wende’s Bloody Mary)

There were two issues with the Bloody Mary.  The first was the vodka.  Easy peasy to get around that but the second is worcestershire sauce.  It’s not vegetarian because it contains anchovies.  marthastewart.com to the rescue.  They have a wonderful recipe for Vegan Worcestershire Sauce here:  Martha Stewart’s Vegan Worcestershire Sauce.  We’ve adapted it to our own tastes below.  You’ll use this in the Caesar as well and since it’s so easy to make… might as well whip up a batch… from scratch… loving it!

4 oz tomato juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
dash hot sauce (we used Tabasco)
pinch of celery salt
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Combine the tomato juice, lemon juice, vegan Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and seasonings in a cocktail shaker.  Shake with ice and strain into a glass.  Garnish with a celery stalk and wedge of lime, if you like.

Veg Worcestershire

Adapted from the recipe on marthastewart.com.   See link above.

2 cups apple-cider vinegar
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown-sugar
1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and chopped roughly
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, roasted in a dry pan slightly
2 tbls finely chopped scallion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cinnamon stick (about 2″)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook until the liquid is reduce by half, about 20 minutes.  Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and let cool completely.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

New-Fashioned (An alternative to the Old Fashioned)

This recipe will make about 8 mocktails.

6 cups dry ginger ale
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup lime juice
8 basil leaves
8 sprigs of mint
Cherries with stem

Fill a pitcher about 1/2 full with crushed ice.  All all the ingredients except the mint.  Stir and pour into highball glasses.  Garnish with mint and a cherry.

Dry Cherry Refresher (An alternative to the Vermouth Cassis)

2 ice cubes
3 ounces dry ginger ale
3 ounces sparkling mineral water
1 – 1 1/2 tbls cherry syrup
Twist of lemon zest

Place the ice cubes in a highball glass and add the ginger ale then the mineral water.  Stir slightly.  Drizzle in the syrup, letting it sink into the drink.  Garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!

Virgin Caesar (Because we promised)

As with the Bloody Mary, there were a few issues with this drink.  First, the vodka.  Second the Worcestershire sauce (thanks again to marthastewart.com for a vegan Worcestershire).  Third, in a Caesar we have clam juice.  We started with our Virgin Mary recipe, adjusted the seasonings and experimented until we found the right substitute for salty, slightly tasting of the ocean, clam juice.
The dulse gave a slightly stronger flavour of the sea that the nori and was the closest to the clam juice flavour that we could come.

4 oz tomato juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
small pinch of mustard powder
1/4 tsp very finely ground nori or dulse (seaweed)
dash hot sauce (we used Tabasco)
pinch of celery salt
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Combine the tomato juice, lemon juice, lime juice, vegan Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and remaining seasonings in a cocktail shaker.  Shake with ice and strain into a glass.  Garnish with a celery stalk and wedge of lime, if you like.

Wow, that was fun.  Until next time!
Peace & love,
Himmatpreet

 

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