Half the fun of a cocktail is having a drink that’s really special, that’s taken a little time to prepare and looks attractive. These mocktails fit the bill, and they make a great alternative to the ‘real’ kind! Enjoy in your garden over the weekend with a friend or two and plenty of time.

(From left to right) Strawberry daiquiri mocktail and coriander lime cocktail

Strawberry daiquiri mocktail

This tall, fruit drink has a thicker texture and a delicious, fresh taste. It’s perfect for using up a surplus of less-than-perfect strawberries and it’s simple enough to whip up at a moment’s notice – just make sure you have the strawberries in the freezer ready!

To serve two, you’ll need 4 to 6 strawberries (depending on size) per person. Wash them and remove the hulls then cut into small pieces and freeze for at least 8 hours. If you have time, remove them from the freezer around 10 minutes ahead of time. You’ll also need lemonade, juice of one lime and caster sugar (optional). Put the frozen strawberries and lime juice in the blender and pulse until you have a thick, smooth paste. Scoop this out into two tall glasses, top with lemonade and stir to combine. Add caster sugar to taste if it’s not sweet enough for you. Garnish with a fresh strawberry.

Lime coriander mocktail

This one is a little unusual and we suspect it might be the ‘Marmite’ of the mocktail world – you’ll either love it or hate it! All you need is one large lime and a good handful of coriander leaves, stripped off the stalk and washed. Put the lime juice and zest and coriander in a blender with a little water, and pulse until smooth. Put a couple of tablespoons into a tall glass and add some ice cubes, then top off with sparkling water. If you find it too sharp, add a little honey to the original mixture, which will keep in the fridge for three days.

Elderflower sparkling mocktail

Elderberry sparkling mocktail

This light, summery drink is perfect for picnics – even if it’s a garden picnic!

You’ll need elderflower cordial (homemade or bought), 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (freeze the rest for subsequent use), sparkling water and mint leaves and redcurrants to garnish. To serve, put the redcurrants at the bottom of each glass. Add some cordial (we haven’t given exact amounts as this is an individual thing!) and a few drops of lemon juice then top up with sparkling water. Add ice cubes and garnish wit mint leaves.

Raspberry mojito mocktail

Raspberry mojito mocktail

This zingy, fruity drink is sure to become a summer favourite. To make enough for two generous servings, you’ll need a punnet of raspberries (reserve a couple for decoration), a handful of mint leaves, a lime and some lemonade. Put the mint and raspberries in a large bowl and mash them up with a potato masher (you can be quite brutal about this, the fruit needs to be very liquid and pulpy and the mint needs to be in tiny pieces.) Scrape the pulp into two glasses. Squeeze the lime and add half the juice to each glass, then top with lemonade. Add ice and decorate with the reserved raspberries and some mint leaves. Take the glass into the garden, kick off your shoes and take the phone off the hook!

Blackcurrant apple mocktail

Blackcurrant apple mocktail

This one has a sharp tang, perfect if you don’t like your drinks too sweet. Cocktail umbrella optional! You can either use a small handful (about 100g) of fresh blackcurrants if you have them, or you could use half a tin (the tinned ones are generally preserved in apple juice so won’t need as much sugar adding). Put the fruit in a blender and pulse until smooth. Add sugar to taste, and pulse again until combined. (It’s best to under-sweeten this slightly at this stage, as the apple juice might otherwise make it too sweet. You can always add a bit more later if necessary!). Scrape the pulp into two glasses, top up with sparkling apple juice and decorate with lemon slices.

All images: (c) Pixabay

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