Whether you choose to go completely alcohol free, or just want a bit of choice for the non-drinkers, Nic Chan explains why Mocktails are a fab idea for 2017 weddings…
A pint of cranberry or orange juice may be perfect for quenching one’s thirst on a balmy summer’s evening, but as a celebratory beverage to toast someone’s nuptials, fruit juice lacks more than that necessary sparkle. For teetotallers such as myself – often resigned to whatever soft drink is at arms length – we want in on the bubbles, too!
If you’re planning your big day beverages, why not mix up the menu with a few mocktails? Not only will they put a smile on teetotallers and designated drivers faces, they may even result in you and your guests’ being able to remember a tad more about your big day than you had planned!
We spoke to Catherine Salway, founder of London’s alcohol-free, Redemption Bar and Richard Woods, Head of Spirit and Cocktail Development at Duck and Waffle, to find out what’s causing a stir in the world of alternative beverages.
Why try a mocktail?
Catherine: Why not? Sometimes it’s good to avoid booze, for whatever reason, and so it’s up to us in the industry to come up with ideas to make people feel like they aren’t missing out.
What’s the thought process behind creating new flavours and where do you look to for inspiration?
Catherine: A lot of our favourite ingredients come from our kitchen like mint, chilli, lime, coconut water, and then we have a lot of fun playing around with some more exotic ingredients like turmeric and kefir. We often start with a traditional drink like a G&T or a Pina Colada and see if we can make it in a Redemption ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself’ style.
Richard: Inspiration comes from all manner of mediums. A smell, an occasion, a meal. My approach is what is referred to as flavour bouncing – a common approach in the kitchen but not so widely used in the liquid world. One main ‘core’ ingredient sits centre stage and you write down paired flavours that you feel work with this main ingredient.
If a couple were looking to create a bespoke wedding mocktail, what tips would you give them?
Catherine: We’ve created some lovely romantic mocktails for Valentine’s Day with rose and pomegranate, topped up with sparkling water, and they were a real hit. It’s always good to have a bit of fizz.
Richard: Create something with your future spouse in mind. Understand their flavour likes and maybe incorporate some of their ‘go to’ likes.
What mocktail is guaranteed to get the party started?
Catherine: Our Flu Fighters mocktail is punchy with chilli and ginger – that tends to get people’s engines running!
What flavours and trends do you think we’ll see in the world of mocktails and non- alcoholic beverages for 2017?
Catherine: We are enjoying the innovations coming through on the sweet side such as birch and maple – they are great healthy alternatives to sugar. Botanicals are already growing and we are excited to see what will be coming out next year in that field.
Richard: Vegetables continue to grow in appreciation. Cocktails such as the Bloody Mary have helped to bolster appreciation but more and more veg are emerging as fruit alternatives.
So whether you choose to be right on-trend and design a refreshing veggie-based beverage or rustle up something romantic inspired by your other half, we’re certain you and your guests’ will find it hard to resist these alcohol-free alternatives.