It’s summer - time to mix up a mocktail, and don’t spare the garnish

There are many reasons why people choose not to drink alcohol - including that it reacts with their medication, they may be pregnant or sober driving, may not like the way it makes them feel, how they behave on it ...  the list goes on.

Having other options available is always a good idea when hosting social gatherings.

A mocktail is a non-alcoholic version of a cocktail - usually just the alcohol is omitted from the drink.

You can be quite creative with garnishing also. Pomegranate seeds look special, as does fresh mint, a stalk of thyme or rosemary or even dehydrated lemon or orange slices.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Rhubarb and mint mocktail

Serves 3


½ cups rhubarb (diced)

1½ Tbsp sugar

3 Tbsp mint leaves (plus extra for garnish)

3 Tbsp water

15 Ice cubes

1½ lemons (juiced)

1½ cups sparkling water


Place rhubarb, sugar, mint, and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally for about 10 to 15 minutes or until rhubarb starts to break down. Turn off the heat and use a fork to mash the rhubarb.

Let the mixture cool down for about five minutes. Use a strainer and pass the mixture through it.

Divide the rhubarb syrup evenly between tall glasses. Add the ice and lemon juice. Stir and top with sparkling water. Garnish with extra mint leaves, if using, and enjoy!

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Cranberry and orange mocktail

Serves 3


6 Ice cubes

¾ cup cranberry juice

⅓ cup orange juice (freshly squeezed)

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1.5 cups sparkling water

¾ cup frozen cranberries

3 slices orange, for garnishing


Divide the ice cubes, cranberry juice, orange juice, and maple syrup into whisky glasses. Stir to combine. Top each with sparkling water and cranberries. Garnish with orange slices, sit back and relax.


To reduce the blood sugar spike from sweet drinks, try to consume with or just after a meal so it is digested together.

- Dee Copland is a Central Otago naturopath and nutritionist.