The festive frivolities are done for another year.
A week or two of excess inspires many of us to focus on nourishing our bodies at this time of year, and cutting down on what we don’t need, to feel stronger, better, and happier.
Year-on-year, more of us are turning away from alcoholic beverages wholesale, choosing non-alcoholic options for our nights out, celebrations, and just everyday enjoyment.
London is the global leader in terms of the market in non-alcoholic drinks growth, according to this report, with 55% of venues dedicating areas of their menu to non-alcoholic drinks – or even offering a stand-alone non-alcoholic menu – and 23% of London’s most influential venues reporting YoY growth in sales of non-alcoholic beverages.
Whether you’re just committed to Dry January, or whether it’s non-alc all the way, that doesn’t mean your drinks choices have to be curtailed.
We got in touch with some of our favourite cocktail venues across the county, in restaurants, hotels, and bars, to seek out some of their fave mocktail recipes, to offer you inspiration.
Delicate and floral, sharp and refreshing or sweet and tropical? Whatever your preference, we’ve got something palate pleasing to hit the bill with these four mocktail recipes, kindly revealed by some of the county’s best drinks purveyors.
Leave the old Shirley Temple in the dust. Get the ice cube tray filled, the cocktail shaker out, and read on for this season’s best mocktails.
A seasonal hit with a citrus kick: Henrock’s rhubarby “Our Farm Spritz”
Henrock is a Simon Rogan restaurant, set in the ultra-comfortable country house luxury of Linthwaite House from the LEEU collection, perched high on the hills overlooking Windermere.
Long a protagonist and pioneer for sustainable food and a shorter journey from farm to fork, Simon Rogan has been growing produce for his enterprises at L’Enclume, Rogan & Co., Henrock and Simon Rogan at Home, at ‘Our Farm’.
Aiming ‘to grow near-perfect produce in a natural and sustainable way’, his farm in Cartmel encourages Rogan’s chefs to work side-by-side with the growers, ensuring Rogan restaurants are truly celebrating the best of the season at the peak of its tastiness.
What could be better to beckon-in the very earliest signs of Spring than fresh rhubarb? Whether you opt for forced rhubarb from the Rhubarb Triangle over in Yorkshire or wait for the first brave stems to emerge in your garden, this mocktail is a refreshing first taste of the British growing year to come, with a sharp citrussy hit for ultimate refreshment.
“Our Farm Spritz” recipe
Courtesy of Andreas Grammatikopoulos, Manager, Henrock at Linthwaite House, Cumbria
Ingredients for Our Farm Spritz:
100ml rhubarb syrup (recipe below)
150ml soda water or sparkling water
Garnish sprig of fresh dill & sliver of fresh rhubarb
Rhubarb syrup ingredients:
500g caster sugar
7.5g citric acid powder (Vitamin C) available from most Wholefood stores
1100g of fresh rhubarb, chopped into 1-2cm lengths
Rhubarb syrup method:
- Add the caster sugar and water to a pan and dissolve over a low heat, making a simple syrup.
- Add the chopped fresh rhubarb and dill to the syrup and gently simmer this, with the lid on the pan, until the rhubarb softens.
- Allow to cool and then place in the fridge to chill.
- Once cooled, strain the syrup mix through a coffee filter.
- Add the citric acid to the syrup and stir gently to combine.
The syrup/cordial is now infused and ready to use as required.
“Our Farm Spritz” Method:
Add ice cubes to a tall glass. Pour in 100ml syrup/cordial and 100ml soda water over the ice, stirring to combine. Finally, garnish with a sliver of rhubarb and a sprig of fresh dill and serve.
Delicate and citrussy, with an Asian-inspired edge: The Black Bull’s “Shiso Pretty”
Converted 17th century coaching inn The Black Bull in quiet Sedbergh is completely unexpected, and perfectly pleasing. Owners James and Nina have combined their passions and heritage to create a unique experience, offering both log burner-and-bar pub vibes and also a fine dining menu, replete with references to Nina’s dual German and Japanese heritage expressed through the best local produce.
Upstairs you’ll find a handful of individually and uniquely furnished bedrooms, filled with local artisanal produce such as the Petrichor toiletries the Black Bull had developed especially for the hotel from Sedbergh Soap Co., beautiful ceramics from local ceramicist Rebecca Callis, and rugs from Laura’s Loom – a local weaver in Sedbergh.
“Shiso Pretty” recipe
Courtesy of James Ratcliffe, co-owner and Drinks Manager at The Black Bull, Sedbergh
Ingredients for “Shiso Pretty”:
50ml Sparkling Alt Rosé (non-alcoholic sparkling Rosé)
35ml Grapefruit juice
25ml hibiscus syrup (bought, or following a recipe)
25ml Shiso cordial (recipe below)
15ml lime juice
Raw egg white
Dried rose petals to garnish (optional)
Shiso cordial ingredients:
200g white sugar
10-15 large shiso leaves
Shiso cordial method:
- Wash leaves thoroughly.
- Add water and white sugar to a small pan.
- Bring to the boil and stir gently until fully dissolved.
- Remove from the heat, and add the shiso leaves. Leave for 4 hours.
- Strain into a sterile bottle and store in the fridge. Keeps for approx. two weeks.
“Shiso Pretty” Method:
Combine all ingredients except the rosé in a shaker ¾ full of ice. Shake to combine and then pour through a strainer into a Nick & Nora glass or similar. Then top up with 50ml of Sparkling Alt Rosé. Garnish the rim of the glass with dried rose petals if you’d like, and serve.
Bringing the tropics to grey Cumbria: Fizzy Tarté’s “Nada Colada”
If you fancy a drinking experience away from dining and stop overs, Bowness-on-Windermere’s Fizzy Tarté might hit the bill. This modern bar serves up afternoon tea – but more importantly, cocktails! A patio with heaters and blankets ensures you can enjoy any clement weather thrown your way, and they even provide cocktail making workshops, if you have a hankering for mastering some mixology. You know you’re in safe hands for a non-alc hit when going to masters of mixology.
“Nada Colada” recipe
Courtesy of Catalin Oprea, Senior Duty Manager at The Fizzy Tarté, Windermere
“Nada Colada” ingredients:
15ml lime juice
20ml coconut syrup
50ml pineapple juice
12.5ml condensed milk
12.5ml coconut milk
Maraschino cherry, pineapple leaf, dried pineapple slice (optional, for garnish)
“Nada Colada” method:
- Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake.
- Pour into a tall glass filled with crushed ice.
- Garnish with a maraschino cherry, pineapple slice, and the top of a pineapple leaf.
Wild Winter flavours and a tart switchel taste: The Drunken Duck’s “Time Stands Dill”
Exuding a contemporary country inn-feel, the Drunken Duck is a timeless, comfortable, and stylish Lake District retreat.
Set at a quiet crossroads only two and a half miles out of Ambleside, you can relax in the still isolation of the Lake District landscape – knowing that town is only a hop skip and jump away.
Like the decor, the menu gives off the same sense of quirky modernity, informed by tradition and style – think ‘pigeon breast, roasted salsify, brussel sprout choucroute’, ‘mussels, salt baked kohlrabi, apple & dill’ or ‘miso glazed hispi, gnocchi, walnut ketchup, artichoke, roasted celeriac’.This is seasonal and local ingredients used in exciting new ways, and that always bodes well for the drinks list too…
“Time Stands Dill” recipe
Courtesy of Steve Brumwell, manager, Drunken Duck Inn
“Time Stands Dill” ingredients:
200ml Drunken Duck house kombucha (damson, sloe & hawthorn – a secret recipe, but any good kombucha will do)
½ tsp of Rhubarb gel
1 tsp shaved Ginger
Pinch of toasted Fennel seeds
30ml white wine vinegar (de-alcoholised)
Dessert spoon of orange marmalade
20ml Lemon juice
1 tsp Dill essence
Lime twist or slice, fresh dill sprig (optional, to garnish)
“Time Stands Dill” method:
- Muddle the rhubarb, ginger and fennel seeds in the wine vinegar in your cocktail shaker.
- Add a scoop of ice cubes.
- Add lemon juice and marmalade and shake vigorously 8 times (too many shakes will break down the ice and create excess water).
- Strain and sieve into an iced rocks glass, adding kombucha carefully whilst stirring to blend
- Garnish with the lime twist and fresh dill.
We hope this collection of four exciting mocktails, kindly revealed to us by their inventors and mixologists, will see you through Dry January.
Maybe it will even inspire a trip to try out the real deal in-house!
This Dry January, sidestep the soda and wave away the water. Treat yourself to something much more exciting!