Tuck into a (teetotal) tinnie! This summer there’s a new breed of mocktails, with all the flavour of your favourite G&T, mojito or negroni … but without the alcohol – or calories
- Gin-in-a-tin has been added to this year’s ‘Nation’s Shopping Basket’ in the UK
- Sudi Pigott gives verdict on a selection of the best pre-mixed mocktails
- Picks include Highball Cosmopolitan and Seedlip Spice 94 & Grapefruit Tonic
Last year’s drink of the summer was the cocktail in a can. Made for picnic baskets, these posh tinnies are now so ubiquitous that the Office for National Statistics added gin-in-a-tin to this year’s ‘Nation’s Shopping Basket’.
This summer, however, drinks makers have gone one better — at least for those of us trying to cut back after overindulging in lockdown — by offering delicious, booze-free versions of the drinks in tins and single-serving bottles.
These pre-mixed mocktails are no mimics. With all the looks, taste and mouthfeel of their alcoholic counterparts, but fewer calories and no artificial preservatives and sweeteners, they are the hottest new grown- up soft drink. We test the new mocktails to add a guilt-free fizz to your garden party…
ZESTY MOCK MOJITO
Highball Mojito Dry, £1.99 for a 250ml bottle (cans launching soon), 83kcal, highballcocktails.com
Sudi Pigott gives verdict on a selection of the best pre-mixed mocktails. Pictured: Highball Mojito Dry
WHAT IS IT? Made with fresh juices, bitters, extracts and agave nectar.
TASTES LIKE Pale and cloudy, this sober mojito looks the part and has an incredible zesty, muddled mint aroma. The mocktail itself is zingy, refreshing and beautifully balanced. It tastes like pure mojito without the kick, but with agave sweetness to offset any sour pucker.
Serve over ice in a highball glass, garnish with a wedge of fresh lime and a sprig of mint.
Punchy Drinks Blood Orange, Bitters and Cardamom, £2 for a 250ml can, 50kcal, punchydrinks.com
Sudi said Punchy Drinks Blood Orange (pictured) is lightly sparkling and will appeal to whisky cocktail lovers
WHAT IS IT? A range of blended punches that come in either boozy or saintly versions. (The boozy version of this contains whisky.)
TASTES LIKE Made with carbonated water, this is a heady and lightly sparkling punch that tastes like sunshine and will appeal to whisky cocktail lovers — although a little sweet for my preference. The cans are beautifully designed, though.
POP OPEN A SEA&T
Sea Arch, £2.35 for a 250ml can (launching this month) or £24.95 for a 70cl bottle, calorie-free, seaarchdrinks.com
Sudi claims Sea Arch (pictured) has a complex, delicately bitter taste that’s best served with ice and a curl of skinned cucumber
WHAT IS IT? A non-alcoholic gin made by Devon-based distillery Sea Arch. Each botanical is individually distilled, then the alcohol is removed. It’s calorie-free, too.
TASTES LIKE Complex, delicately bitter, yet clean with a distinctive tang of the seaside. The soft juniper and citrus freshness of blood orange and cucumber are brought out with a briny hint of sea kelp and a gentle kick of cardamom. It’s an exceedingly well-balanced drink, perfect for summer holidays. Serve with ice and a curl of skinned cucumber.
SWAP APEROL FOR SUPERFLY
Superfly, £1.55 for a 33ml bottle, 87kcal, fireflydrinks.com
Sudi said Superfly (pictured) is a properly grown-up soft drink, that can be mixed with gin or scotch
WHAT IS IT? A fusion of botanicals combining the natural stimulants kola nuts, cascara (the dried peel of coffee cherries) and green coffee. Botanicals used in historical spirits, including angelica and wormwood, add a touch of bitterness in the finish. Superfly was made in collaboration with mixologist Mr Lyan of London’s Dandelyan, formerly rated the best cocktail bar in the world, and is now served in his bars. This exotic mocktail also comes in a gorgeous colourful can.
TASTES LIKE It’s not a straight swap but will appeal to the palates of sophisticated Aperol spritz drinkers. An energising pour with the zestiness of grapefruit, bittersweet notes of redcurrant and buzz of green coffee. A properly grown-up soft drink (although the makers say you can mix it with gin or scotch, if you really want).
SOUR-LOVERS FRUIT FIZZ
Seedlip Spice 94 & Grapefruit Tonic, £2.33 for a 250ml can, 24 kcal. Seedlipdrinks.com
Sudi reveled Seedlip Spice 94 & Grapefruit Tonic (pictured right) has citrus top notes and a long bitter finish
HOW IS IT MADE? Seedlip is the biggest name in non-alcoholic spirits, and has just launched a range of lovely pre-mixed teetotal tins. The recipes are based on a book about distilling written in 1651, and the herbs, spices, peels and barks are sourced from the founder’s own farm and producers around the world.
TASTES LIKE This new flavour is made with Jamaican allspice berries, cardamom, lemon and grapefruit peel and is perfect for anyone who loves sours — cocktails like a sidecar or a grapefruit sour. There are citrus top notes, then a long bitter finish with the woody warmth of American oak. Complex and sophisticated.
SPICY VIRGIN MARY
Spicy Big Tom, 79p for a 150ml tin, 25kcal, bigtom.co.uk
Sudi said Spicy Big Tom (pictured) is best served with ice cubes, a sprinkle of celery salt and a celery stick
WHAT IS IT? This spicy tomato juice blend contains 21 herbs and spices, vegan Worcestershire sauce and Portuguese tomatoes. The company even holds a Royal Warrant, supplying tomato juice to the Queen.
TASTES LIKE Fresh tomato with plenty of piquancy, punch and bittersweet tamarind. The herbaceous notes of marjoram and celery leaf are complemented by a little citrus, warm spicy notes of clove, cumin and coriander plus a hefty kick of all spice and pepper. Immensely satisfying.
Fill a tall glass halfway with ice cubes, add Big Tom Bloody Mary Mix, a sprinkle of celery salt and serve with a celery stick.
SALTY SEASIDE MARTINI
Pentire Adrift, £13.50 for a 20cl bottle with tonic taster pack, 2kcal, pentiredrinks.com
Sudi claims Pentire Adrift (pictured) transports you on a wild coastal walk with a mix of fragrant, herbaceous and astringent foraged herbs
WHAT IS IT? A distillate of freshly picked Cornish coastal plants including rock samphire, sea fennel, sage, citrus and Cornish sea salt. It only has two calories and is free from added sugar. Chef Gordon Ramsay, who has been spending lockdown in his nearby holiday home, is a fan and raved about drinking Pentire Adrift, while watching football, to his nine million Instagram followers last month.
TASTES LIKE Perfect for those who like their drinks grown-up and tart. Pentire Adrift transports you on a wild coastal walk with a mix of fragrant, herbaceous and astringent foraged herbs. Best with ice, soda and a sprig of rosemary.
COSMO IN A CAN
Highball Cosmopolitan, £1.99 for a 250ml bottle (cans coming soon), 65kcal, highballcocktails.com
Sudi said Highball Cosmopolitan (pictured) is best served in a martini glass with a twist of lemon
WHAT IS IT? An alcohol-free Cosmo — the ultimate Sex And The City drink — distilled with natural agave and citrus flavours. Developed in collaboration with spirits expert Ian Wisniewski, all Highball cocktails have less than half the calories of a conventional cocktail, with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
TASTES LIKE A blend of cranberry and lime, plus agave nectar, creates a sweet and sour flavour with a delicate twist of citrus. Serve in a martini glass with a twist of lemon, of course.
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