Drinks on me!

While on vacation for this past Reading Week, I got to thinking about things, particularly with the amount of alcohol I was consuming. It seemed that every day (well, not seemed; it WAS) I was out drinking. Don’t get me wrong, I was having a great time, but I was thinking that there could be a way to enjoy yourself without having to get drunk or tipsy every time you go out. This week, I am dedicating my blog to providing some alternatives to consuming alcohol when you go out, a routine we naturally fall into sometimes. The easiest way to enjoy your favourite drinks while giving your liver a break is the “mocktail.” Here are some recipes that I have enjoyed over the years to get you thinking of how to convert your drink to something tasty and not-so-bad for you. The Smart-ini In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 2 oz. pineapple juice, 2 tsp. of lime juice and 2 oz. cranberry juice. Shake and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with pineapple and a cranberry skewer. Alternatively, you can add all the ingredients into a rocks glass with ice and stir. Yields one drink. Smart-ini Caesar Jr. Rim a double old fashioned glass with fresh lime and celery salt. Fill with ice and add 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire, 1/4 tsp. tabasco (or to taste), the juice of 1/4 fresh lime and 1/2 tsp. grated horseradish. Top with clamato and stir. Garnish with a celery stalk and a cherry tomato (optional). Yields one drink. Caesar Jr. Tropical Spritzer In a cocktail glass filled with ice, add 3 oz. mango juice and 3 oz. peach juice. Top with soda water and stir to mix. Garnish with a star fruit. Yields one drink. Tropical Spritzer Alcohol-Free Mojitos Combine 2 cups of water and 1 ½ cups of sugar in a microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of chopped mint leaves and let stand for 5 minutes. Strain and discard the mint leaves from the syrup, and set aside. Stir 2 cups of softened lime sherbet, 1 cup of lime juice, and 1 cup of water together in a large pitcher until well combined. Pour the mint-infused syrup into the mixture and add 8 cups of club soda and stir. Serve over ice and garnish with lime slices. Yields 14 drinks. Mojito   The Shirley Temple This is a classic non-alcohol beverage, and does not require many ingredients. In a tall glass pour 6 oz of lemon-lime flavoured carbonated beverage (i.e. 7up), and a dash of grenadine over ice. Add a maraschino cherry for garnish and enjoy! Yields one drink. Shirley Temple   For the beer drinker out there, there are options to get alcohol-free beer at many bars and clubs, and you can buy some at your local grocery store. You can enjoy the flavour of a nice lager with only .05% alcohol consumption per can. Alcohol-Free Beer   Also, when you are out at a bar or a club, don’t be shy to ask the bartender or server for a virgin cocktail. Most know how to make the more popular cocktails sans alcohol, and often it is a lot cheaper than the alcohol version. I hope that these recipes help you out in some fashion, whether it is a new way for you to enjoy yourself when you go out, or as a way to give your liver a much needed break. If you want more thoughts on mocktails, simply Google it and millions of recipes will pop up. -Jon

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