In need of a post-Christmas detox? We’ve rounded up the most virtuous virgin cocktails from around the world to get you through Dry January in style – while still feeling like you have a cocktail in-hand.
Where to try it: Sri Lanka or the Maldives
Creamy, fruity and light, lassi comes from the Indian Subcontinent and was dreamt-up to cool the palate after spicy foods. We love this mango version; the combination of low-fat natural yoghurt and fruit will perk you up post-Christmas, with enough sweetness to still feel like a treat.
Top tip: Don’t miss out the cardamom – this Indian spice is said to contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can aid digestion and cold and flu symptoms.
Makes one generous serving
– 1 ripe mango, chopped and peeled, or 1 can of mango pulp
– 250g natural yoghurt
– Handful ice cubes
– Pinch ground cardamom (optional)
– 1 tsp runny honey (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little water until you reach the desired consistency. Add honey to taste and serve in a chilled glass.
Where to try the real thing: Italy
Venetians have been drinking Bellinis since the 1930s. This oh-so-sophisticated wine cocktail is typically made with peach puree and the region’s famous Prosecco, served in a champagne flute. For those of us who had a little too much fizz over Christmas, our mocktail recipe is fruity, delicious, and still looks chic enough to serve at a ‘do’.
– 2 large, fresh peaches
– 750ml sparkling apple cider or soda water
– Fresh raspberries to garnish
Peel and dice the peaches, and remove the stone. Whiz in a blender until mostly pureed, then add cider or soda water and blend until fully smooth. Serve in champagne glasses with a fresh raspberry on the rim.
Where to try the real thing: Spain
Sangria is Spanish summertime in a glass, so it’s just the thing to perk you up during gloomy, booze-free January. This soft version captures all the flavours of the original, and don’t skimp on the fruit – it’s packed full of vitamins and antioxidants to boost winter immune systems. Serve in a pitcher with plenty of ice.
Serves approximately 12 (one large pitcher)
– 1 litre sparkling water
– 250ml grape juice (red or white)
– 250ml orange juice
– Juice of 1 lemon
– Juice of 1 lime
– Two large handfuls of ice cubes
– Orange wedges, to serve
– Sliced peaches, to serve (optional)
– Handful of grapes, to serve (optional)
Mix all juices to together in a large pitcher filled with ice and sliced fruit (or any other fruit you fancy – peeled, sliced apple also works well). Refrigerate for a couple of hours and serve in tumblers with plenty of ice and fruit.
Where to try the real thing: Singapore
This gin-based long cocktail is said to have been invented by a bartender at Singapore’s famous Raffles Hotel. If you have the classic hurricane glasses, so much the better – even with the gin removed, this drink is colourful, fruity and mood-boosting, and works well for special occasions when you have detoxing guests.
– 250ml ginger ale
– Juice of 1 lime
– 60ml orange juice
– 60ml pineapple juice
– 1 tsp grenadine
– Maraschino cherries, to garnish
– Fresh pineapple wedges, to garnish (optional)
Combine all ingredients and stir well. Serve in hurricane glasses over ice and garnish with cherries and pineapple wedges, if you like.
Where to try it: Jamaica
Sorrel is a classic Jamaican drink typically sipped over the festive season, with a wedge of Christmas cake. If you’ve had a particularly indulgent Christmas and New Year, this one’s for you – a type of spiced hibiscus tea, it’s a powerful antioxidant high in vitamins and minerals that will help clear out any cobwebs. The spices have a lovely Christmassy taste, but the drink is served chilled for a refreshing twist.
Makes around 10 servings
– 200g dried sorrel
– 1.5 litres water
– 4 cloves
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, sliced
– Approximately 200g sugar (as needed)
– Small handful dried orange peel (optional)
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add all ingredients except the sugar to the pot, bring back to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer for around 30 minutes. Allow to cool and steep, overnight if you can. Once cool, strain into a jug and add sugar to taste. Chill and serve with ice.
Where to try the real thing: Mexico
Perfect if you overdid the sweet stuff this festive season, margaritas are a slightly sour, slightly salty cocktail that came out of Mexico in the 1930s. Usually heavy on the tequila, this virgin version keeps the sharp, head-clearing lemon and lime flavours, and without the booze, it’s practically a health drink. Serve in a traditional margarita glass.
– 100ml limeade concentrate, alternatively two parts lime cordial to one part lemon juice
– 50ml fresh orange juice
– Juice 1 fresh lime
– Juice 1 fresh lemon
– 250ml soda water
– Salt, to garnish
– Fresh lime wedges, to garnish
To prepare the glasses, sprinkle a layer of salt on a large plate, moisten the rim of the glasses with a lime wedge and twist the rim in the salt. Garnish the rim with a lime wedge.
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker or large jug and shake or mix well. Strain into the prepared glasses.