Mocktails Schmocktails

What to drink when you’re not drinking

Did you know that one in five adults in the UK is teetotal? And those who do imbibe will invariably be abstaining (or the designated driver) from time to time. So when entertaining, a considerate host should always offer a selection of non-alcoholic drinks for guests who are not drinking.

Unfortunately, this often means sweet, sugary mocktails and umbrella-topped concoctions more suited to a children’s birthday party. If you are holding a full-on cocktail party for all ages, this might hit just the right note, but for more refined entertaining, guests are looking for something more interesting than a glass of fizzy water or an orange juice.

In fact, there is a whole world of ideas out there if you are prepared to put in a bit of thought. For summer get-togethers, there is always elderflower with its light, floral scent and an underlying dry finish. Lightly sparkling or as a cordial, any sweetness can be toned down with water (still or sparkling), soda water or tonic water to add the quintessential bitterness of quinine.

Tonic water itself is now being drunk without the gin or vodka, as a refreshing alternative to alcohol, with quirky and interesting variations such as elderflower, lemon, Mediterranean, botanical and angostura bark. Add a sprig of mint or thyme and a slice of lime for an elegant, understated and undeniably grown up thirst quencher.

As a flavoursome aperitif, traditionalists may appreciate the warmth of a well-made Virgin Mary; tomato juice, a squeeze of lime, a dash of Tabasco, a splash of Worcestershire Sauce, a good grind of black pepper and, in our opinion, the essential ingredient – a sprinkle of celery salt. No need for vodka with flavours as robust as these.

If you’re looking for something more niche and conversation-worthy, our favourite here at Juliettes is Seedlip Garden 108, a startlingly original, non-sweet, non-alcoholic spirit. Distilled in a copper pot just like a fine gin, its botanical mix of peas, hay, hops, mint, rosemary and thyme offers a fantastic hit of herbs and grass. With so many ways to mix it, our preferred serve is with tonic, thyme and peas. Irrefutably adult and perfect for dinner parties or cocktails.

When you’re out and about rather than entertaining, you might be lucky enough to come across Fentiman’s new Cucumber Syrup at a bar near you. Not yet widely available, it’s divine with soda or tonic, a slice of lime, a sprig of mint and a strip of cucumber.

With so many cool, expertly-crafted alternatives out there, who needs the alcohol?

The Worlds Largest Gin Collection

What better way to serve a range of alcohol-free drinks than an elegant, designer drinks trolley? At Juliettes Interiors, we have a selection of luxury, designer serving trolleys to keep everything at your fingertips. Our fabulous modern gin trolley even has a built-in fridge to make sure your drinks are always at the perfect temperature. For serious entertaining, with or without the alcohol, explore our range of luxury cocktail cabinets and exquisite barware.

Not sure which to choose? Juliettes Interiors offer a range of interior design services to suit the varying needs of all our customers. So, even if you are only looking for one, outstanding piece, call us or visit our London showroom for advice and inspiration.

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