Going dry this month? Raise a glass with one of these delicious concoctions

Every now and then, you might think about taking a break from alcohol. Be it Sober October, a "New Year, New Me" pledge or just sticking to weekends only, it can be a healthy choice. And a delicious one to boot!

While October and January are popular for taking a month off, February is the shortest month of the year, and if you commit, you could even raise money for a good cause through the Canadian Cancer Society!

If you’re used to a variety of flavours and fancy concoctions, water can get pretty boring fast. I skipped the drink this January so that I could come up with some mocktails to help fill the need to sip out of those fancy glasses you have sitting by your liquor cabinet.

1. Earl Grey Sour

1I love a whiskey or bourbon sour, and figured I could make one without the booze fairly easily. Don’t let the raw egg white scare you, it’s key to getting the foam in the sour. If you’re vegan, substitute it out for aquafaba.

The great thing with this recipe (and making any of these yourself at home) is that you control the amount of sugar going into the drinks, so not only are you cutting out the booze, you can watch how much sugar you’re taking in as well.

INGREDIENTS 

Simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Sour:

  • 4 oz Earl Grey tea (Brewed and chilled)
  • 1.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz honey
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice

INSTRUCTIONS

For the simple syrup:

  1. Bring one cup of water and sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool
  2. Should keep in the fridge for about a week

For the cocktail:

  1. Brew a high-quality, loose-leaf Earl Grey tea, and then let it completely chill in the fridge
  2. Juice the lemon and strain any pulp or seeds out
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add in the tea, lemon juice, honey and simple syrup. Close the lid and shake to combine the ingredients
  4. Open and add the egg white and ice. Shake vigorously
  5. Pour slowly through the strainer into two coupe glasses (if you have them), making sure to get the foam on top

Pro tip: Make the syrup and tea the day before you’re going to make the cocktail as they need to chill in the fridge Also, if you’re going to be making a lot of drinks, you can up the amounts, as long as they’re 1:1 ratio

Makes two drinks

2. Blood and Honey Mocktail

1I don’t like a lot of sugar in my drinks, but to each their own and you can easily adjust this mocktail to your liking. Add a bit more honey or substitute in simple syrup if you’re vegan, or just cut it down with more seltzer.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2 blood oranges, juiced and strained (approx 4 oz)

  • 1 tbsp honey (or simple syrup)

  • 1 oz lime juice

  • 4 oz (or more) seltzer/sparkling water

  • Optional: splash of real vanilla extract

  • Garnish – lime wedge or blood orange slice

  • Ice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the strained blood orange juice, lime juice, honey and optional vanilla in a cocktail shaker, and shake it for about 15 seconds to dissolve the honey
  2. Fill a glass with ice, and pour the juice mixture over it. Top the juice with sparkling water, and garnish with the lime wedge or blood orange slice

Makes one large drink or two short drinks

3. Sage and Ginger Syrup

1If it wasn’t supposed to be a mocktail, I could see adding tequila or gin to this drink, but it’s so refreshing and interesting on its own, as is.

Once again, make the syrup ahead of time so that it can cool properly.

INGREDIENTS

Sage and ginger syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar (or agave syrup)
  • ½ cup sage leaves
  • Ginger (approximately two thumb-sized pieces)

Paloma mocktail:

  • 1 large grapefruit, juice and strained
  • 1 oz sage and ginger syrup
  • Ice
  • Seltzer/sparkling water
  • Optional garnish: Grapefruit slice or sage leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

Sage and ginger syrup:

  1. Peel and slice the ginger into medallions
  2. In a small pot, bring the water to a low boil and stir in the sugar or syrup until it is dissolved, then add in the sage and ginger and return to a boil
  3. Remove from the heat and let stand for 20 minutes, then strain it into a container, and cool. Place it in the fridge to chill until needed. Should keep for approximately one week

Sage and ginger paloma mocktail:

  1. Fill a glass with ice, add 1 oz of sage and ginger syrup, and approximately 2 oz of grapefruit juice. Stir to combine
  2. Top the glass with your choice of sparkling water (I had grapefruit flavour on hand), and mix slightly to combine with juice, and garnish with optional slice of grapefruit, or sage leaves

Makes approximately one drink (Depending on the size of your grapefruit, you can likely get two out of it)