This summer while you are planning barbecues, beach trips and back porch drinking, you might come to a crossroads in your planning. While friends and family who are of age can partake in any cocktail, punch or beer mish-mosh that you present to them, there is that one age group that can put a serious damper on your cocktail menu plans.
What should you serve to the kids?!
Thankfully, summer is a perfect opportunity to experiment with a variety of light, fruity flavors that are friendlier to the kid palate than the heavier, hotter and creamier drinks served in colder months. Another great part of an alcohol-free drink menu? Friends and family who are of age but are playing designated drivers can enjoy some delicious cocktails without having to worry about drinking too much before getting behind the wheel. And those who are drinking can simply mix in their alcohol of choice if they insist on an extra kick.
Photo courtesy of Siddy Lam via Flickr/cc
When preparing your mocktail menu to serve to the youngins at your next large gathering, remember to cater to the correct audience. Kids and teenagers obviously haven’t had the opportunity to experience different kinds of cocktails and spirits, so their palates are more accustomed to simple flavors. Keep things sweet and light, and include some fresh, seasonal fruits as well. Think strawberries, blueberries, cherries, watermelon and raspberries, as well as mint and ginger. Also, remember to have fun! Mocktails open the door to a lot of creativity with flavors and ingredients, so set the booze aside (just this once) and mix away.
Here are some of our favorite alcohol-free cocktails that the under 21 crowd will definitely go crazy for. Have some alcohol-free recipes of your own? Leave them in the comments section below!
Virgin Raspberry Daiquiri(From DrinksMixer.com)
3 oz raspberry puree
2 oz pineapple juice
½ oz lemon juice
1 tsp caster sugar
½ oz raspberry syrup
Fill a wine goblet halfway with crushed ice. Blend all ingredients in the glass with the ice until well mixed. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
Watermelon Lemonade(From Delish.com)
1 ½ lbs sliced, seedless watermelon, rind removed
Zest of 1 lemon
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup mild honey (such as orange blossom)
1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish
In a food processor, blend the watermelon until very smooth. Strain through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, stirring to push through the pulp. Pour the juice into a large pitcher and add lemon zest. In a bowl, whisk the lemon juice and honey until the honey dissolves, then stir into the watermelon juice. Stir in 1 ½ cups of cold water. Cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice, and garnish with lemon slices.
Raspberry Spritzer(From Delish.com)
2 cups seltzer
⅔ cup frozen raspberries
2 sprigs fresh mint
3 oz raspberry-flavored syrup
Combine the seltzer, raspberries, mint and raspberry syrup in a small pitcher. Pour over ice.
Blueberry Shrub(From Epicurious.com)
4 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
Skewer of blueberries, for garnish
Place the blueberries in a non-metallic container. Add the vinegar, cover and refrigerate for at least three days. Pour the vinegar-marinated blueberries into a strainer over a bowl. Press the berries to release all of their juices. Discard the solids. Pour the liquid into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and boil for three minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool. Pour the sweetened blueberry liquid into a small container and keep cold. To prepare each drink, add ¼ cup of the blueberry concentrate to a medium cocktail glass filled with ice and add 1 cup of cold water. Garnish with a skewer of blueberries.
Cherry Lime Virgin Rickeys(From Epicurious.com)
1 ¼ cups lime syrup
3 oz grenadine
2 L chilled lemon-lime seltzer or club soda
Maraschino cherries, for garnish
Pour 2 tablespoons of lime syrup into an 8-ounce glass. Carefully pour 1 tablespoon of grenadine over the back of a long spoon inserted halfway into each glass (to prevent colors from blending). Gently top off the drinks with seltzer, pouring it over the back of the spoon.
Blackberry Elderflower Spritzer with Mint(From TheKitchn.com)
1 L soda water, chilled
½ cup elderflower syrup, chilled
1 lime, juiced
⅓ cup blackberries, washed
¼ cup mint leaves, muddled
In a pitcher, whisk together the soda water and the elderflower syrup with the lime juice. Stir in the blackberries and muddled mint leaves. Serve immediately.