With a gentle breeze drifting through the trees, the sweet smell of flowers in the air and the sun peeping through the clouds, it’s official: springtime has arrived. One of the best parts about the new season is changing your dietary habits along with it. Think about it: you enjoy ice cream in the summer, but hot chocolate in the winter. Eat caramel apples in fall, but enjoy a good lemonade in the spring. Our favorite dishes adapt along with the seasons just like the weather.
Even if you don’t drink alcohol, there are still a few options to try as the weather warms up. Insert: mocktails. Like their alcoholic counterparts, mocktails are delicious, elegant and sweet enough to sip on in the spring sunshine. Unlike cocktails, they contain zero alcohol, so you don’t have to worry about any negative side effects. As we dive into springtime, be sure to give these mocktails a try to see which one is your favorite.
1. Blueberry Bourbon Vanilla Lemonade Mocktail
This bright beverage combines a smooth layer of blueberries and vanilla alongside a bright lemon flavor for a mocktail everyone in your family will be sure to enjoy. First, combine two tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, one-quarter teaspoon bourbon vanilla, one to two teaspoons simple syrup and a few blueberries in the bottom of your glass, then stir. Add in a generous amount of crushed ice, stir in original blueberry seltzer, then garnish with a slice of lemon. Of course, be sure to enjoy this drink on your back deck while watching the sun set.
2. Virgin Piña Colada
You just can’t go wrong with a classic drink. Add in a special twist, and we’re completely sold! Plus, this recipe is pretty simple: combine all ingredients in a blender. Include two frozen ripe bananas, one cup pineapple chunks, one cup pineapple juice and half a can of organic coconut milk (freeze in an ice tray the night before). Once smooth and creamy, pour in a glass, then serve topped with coconut flakes and a pineapple wedge for garnish. This creamy drink is the perfect way to automatically transport yourself to a beach, while sitting in your very own home.
3. Italian Cream Soda
This mocktail comes with a bit of flexibility, so feel free to branch out and try new flavors. First, add in three tablespoons of any flavor syrup to a glass, then fill the glass three-quarters full with chopped ice. Slowly pour sparkling mineral water in until the glass is completely full. Finally, add in one tablespoon of heavy cream to the top, and mix before drinking. Pick your favorite flavor depending on the day and the weather, since we all know spring can be a little unpredictable sometimes. When you find your favorite, you’ve got a drink to enjoy all summer long!
4. Sparkling Cucumber Limeade
If you consider yourself more of a veggie person, then this is the perfect drink for you. Combine one cup of sugar, one tablespoon lime zest and one cup of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Then remove from heat and stir in one-quarter cup fresh mint leaves. Let sit for 30 minutes. Next, strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve. Combine with one cup of lime juice and one medium English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Once you’re ready to serve the drink, add in two cups of sparkling water and serve over ice. And voila! A delicious, light mocktail.
5. Virgin Mary
Cousin to the well-known Bloody Mary cocktail, the Virgin Mary is just as tasty, but comes with less of a headache. Stir in six parts of spicy tomato juice with one part lemon juice, one part Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of celery salt, one pinch freshly ground black pepper and one teaspoon horseradish. When everything is mixed in, pour over ice and garnish your beverage with lemon and celery before serving. This is an ideal beverage to enjoy on a cooler spring day, curled up with a blanket while reading a book next to an open window.
With springtime here, it’s time to break from the norm and explore seasonal beverages. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, that doesn’t mean your options are limited. Give these mocktails a try for yourself and see which one you enjoy the most. Soon enough, summer will be here and it will be time to start branching out again.