Did you know that a majority of the world's population choose not to drink alcohol? That's an easy fact to forget, particularly at Christmas time!
For a lot of people, drinking no alcohol is a health choice. For many others a religious one. Then there are those people, like me, who have digestive systems that simply cannot digest (strictly speaking, can't metabolize) alcohol very well. You might have heard of "alcohol flush" which is the visible reaction that a lot of Japanese and other East Asian people get when they drink alcohol. In my case, a sip or two of wine and in less than a minute, my heart is racing and I need to lie down - alcohol really does have a dramatic effect on me. It's all down to a lot of East Asians having a non-functioning enzyme (Aldehyde dehydrogenase AKA ALDH) which the body needs to break down alcohol.
But, I have to admit, I do sometimes feel a little left out when the party is in full swing and people are enjoying their glasses of something "naughty but nice." So, whenever I have a get together at our home, I make sure to prepare a "little tipple" for my guests who don't or can't drink alcohol.
One of the drinks which always gets a lot of "how do you make this?" questions is my alcohol free mojito. A classic mojito contains white rum, lime juice, orange juice, sugar and some mint leaves. My non-alcoholic version obviously does without the white rum but adds in some lemon for a little more zing. It makes for a great, refreshing drink which is packed full of vitamin C. (Originally, the Cuban drink that became known as a mojito, was taken as a pick-me-up.)
No alcohol, calorie lite and lots of vitamin C - ok, so maybe you can see why this is popular...?
An alcohol free mojito is a cinch to make - in no more than 10 minutes, you can have several glasses ready to serve up. (I have a few cocktail glasses at home but I regularly make this in tumblers during the summer.) I have just 2 tips for you when you prepare these drinks:
Tip 1: Mash the fruit and mint rather than using a blender. The blend chops up the skin and will make your mojito too bitter,
Tip 2: When you break up the ice, the aim is to break the ice into chunks that will last in the glass not to mash the ice cubes completely into a sorbet.
So, if you need something "nice and not all all naughty" to serve up to your guests, why not try an alcohol free mojito. If you would like to see the Youtube video tutorial, you can watch it by clicking Alcohol Free Party Mojito or by scrolling to the bottom of the page. You can find the written recipe just below.
Happy (alcohol free) drinking! Kurumi XXXX.
(makes 2 glasses of alcohol free mojito)
1 medium /large orange
1 tsp sugar
2 sprigs of mint (1 sprig is for your garnish)
5/6 ice cubes
1 bottle of Indian tonic water
cut 1 cm / 1/2 inch slice from the orange and cut the slice into 4 pieces. put the pieces into a jug
remove the top from the lime and cut the lime in half. as with the orange, cut the half into 4 pieces and add to the jug
remove the top of the lemon. repeat as for the lime above
add the mint leaves from one of the sprigs fresh mint to the jug
add the tsp of the sugar to the jug
using a pestle or the end of a rolling pin, mash the fruit and mint in a pulp in the jug
put the ice cubes into a pestle and mortar (or blender) and break into smaller pieces (but don't break the ice into a slush)
to assemble your alcohol free mojito, pour the juice from the fruit pulp into 2 cocktail glasses. use a small sieve to catch any bites of fruit and when the juice stops draining from the fruit pulp, spoon the pulp into the sieve and use a spoon to press out any remaining juice
add 1/2 the crushed ice to each glass
pour the tonic water into the glasses
for the decoration, cut 2 x 5mm / 1/2 inch slices of lime 1 5mm / 1/2 slice of orange. halve the orange slice. use a knife to make cuts in the middle of each slice, so the fruit can sit on the rim of your cocktail glasses
sit the lime and orange slices on the rim of the cocktail glasses. decorate each glass with a sprig of mint and serve