Things that matter:
- Fresh ingredients are always best and do make a difference in the final product.
- Unflavored seltzer is a great component to have on hand and livens up many different drinks. It can also be one of the fastest and freshest mocktails all on its own when you combine it with any citrus juice and a little stevia.
- Use stevia whenever possible to reduce the amount of sweetener used. Even if you’re not usually a stevia fan you may be surprised at how well it works with sour and citrusy flavors.
- Presentation: Choosing a glass that is fun to drink out of is key! I love the feel of martini glasses and since I don’t drink martinis I use them for lots of other things, and same goes for champagne, wine, and old fashioned glasses. Decide what strikes your mood and will add to your pleasure.
- Garnish: This technically could also go under presentation but makes a significant difference to the final look so deserves to be highlighted by itself. There are many ways to garnish your drink; consider everything from a simple slice of lime, lemon, or orange to making mini fruit kabobs to balance on the rim. You can also use fresh herbs, frozen fruit in place of ice cubes, little umbrellas, and fancy straws…let your imagination play!
- Awesome flavors to consider using when inventing your own drinks: ginger, mint, basil, rosemary, citrus zest, cucumber, chia seeds, jalapeno, coconut water, fennel….Add your favorite inspirations in the comments below!
½ cup watermelon juice
2 T fresh lime juice
2-3 mint leaves
½ cup chilled seltzer (use more or less to taste)
2 frozen strawberries, sliced in half lengthwise
Optional: crushed ice for serving
- To make watermelon juice, place seedless chunks in blender or run through a juicer, (strain if you want your juice completely smooth).
- Using the back of a spoon gently crush the mint leaves in the bottom of the glass.
- Add the watermelon and lime juice to the glass (I like margarita glasses for this drink). If you plan ahead it’s wonderful to let the juices and mint leaves marinate together in the fridge for at least 30 minutes…I’m not usually that patient.
- Top with seltzer and garnish with the frozen sliced strawberries and a few whole mint leaves.
Peach Basil ‘Sangria’
½ peach, diced (peel first if desired)
2 T fresh lemon juice
4 basil leaves
2 drops stevia
½ tsp honey
1 cup (or more) chilled seltzer to fill glass
- Place peaches, basil, and lemon juice in glass of choice and gently crush with the back of a fork.
- Add stevia and honey then top with seltzer.
- Garnish with lemon slice and whole basil leaves.
3 T lime juice
1 cup semi-frozen strawberries
½ cup fresh orange juice
2-4 drops stevia (start with less and add one drop at a time until you have desired sweetness).
2-3 ice cubes
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend well. If too thick add a little water or more orange juice.
- Serve in a wine glass or classic daiquiri glass, garnish with a mini umbrella for a tropical vacation touch.