Exciting ‘mocktails’ to help you survive Dry January

Photo of barman making a mocktail: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

If your New Year’s resolution is to forgo alcohol for January, but you’re worried your drinks options will dry up in the process, then good news.

Thanks to the low-to-no alcohol trend - and drinking less but better when we do - more and more bars are adding imaginative and complex variations to their non-alcoholic cocktail lists. And if you fancy putting your own spin on a mocktail, then Dry: Non-Alcoholic Cocktails, Cordials And Clever Concoctions, filled with dozens of inspiring recipes to help you experiment with some grown-up alternatives while you take a break from booze, is the book for you.

After Eight Martini : PA Photo/Bantam Press

“A few of the recipes need a little forethought and some do include the odd unfamiliar ingredient, but most can be knocked up with what you’re likely to have to hand in the kitchen or garden,” says author Clare Liardet.

Just remember, you’ll need a shaker, buckets of ice, and an eclectic set of glassware; mocktails should look as good as the real deal.

Clare recommends the After Eight Martini: “This is a real after-dinner treat, rich and chocolatey with a hint of mint - it doesn’t take long to make and is also delicious whisked into a cup of hot milk on a cold, grey afternoon.”

Ingredients: 1tbsp chocolate ganache (see below), 50ml double cream, 30ml simple herb syrup made with mint, mint leaf or sprig to garnish.

Chocolate ganache: 235ml double cream, 250g good-quality dark chocolate, grated.

Put the cream in a pan and heat gently. Bring just to the point of boiling and stop it from boiling over.

Add the grated chocolate and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a sterilised container and store in the fridge. It will keep happily for up to a month, but keep it well covered so it doesn’t absorb any fridge flavours.

Method: Put a tablespoon of ganache into a pan with the cream and mint syrup, and heat very gently until the ingredients are blended.

Allow the mixture to cool, then pour into a shaker with some cubes of ice, and shake.

Pour the drink into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with a sprig or leaf of mint.

Recipe extracted from Dry: Non-Alcoholic Cocktails, Cordials And Clever Concoctions by Clare Liardet, published by Bantam Press, £9.99.

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