Thursday’s Dish: Mocktails for Spring

Lemon-thyme spritzer

We all need a drink now and then… especially us parents. But maybe you’re not a drinker. Maybe you’re pregnant, or maybe you just want to cut down on your alcohol intake. That’s no reason not to enjoy a fun, spring-y drink! Read on for some mocktail inspiration that will keep the non-imbibers among us happy… and if you decide to spike them, well, we won’t tell.

The good news is that you need relatively little to build a mocktail-ready bar. Sparkling water and fresh fruit are musts, but from there, the sky is the limit.

First up, let’s talk about a lovely, refreshing lemon drink made just a little but fancier with the addition of thyme. It can be made by the pitcher, which makes it a perfect party drink for the non-alcoholic crowd.

.Lemon-thyme spritzer

Lemon-Thyme Spritzer
Recipe adapted from Daydream Kitchen

For lemon-thyme simple syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
one lemon, quartered
4 springs thyme

For the drink:
6 lemons, juiced
12 oz sparkling water
lemon twists and sprigs of thyme, for garnish

Stir together the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Add the lemon quarters and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, strain out the lemon and thyme and proceed with the recipe.

Combine the lemon-thyme simple syrup with the lemon juice and sparkling water in a carafe or pitcher. Stir gently before pouring into ice-filled tumblers.

***

The next drink is one of my originals, and it makes great use of grapefruit, which we grow bigger and sweeter in Texas than anywhere else. Get ‘em while they’re still (barely) in season and you won’t be sorry you did! I like to think of this as a riff on a Grapefruit Mexican Martini (one of my all-time favorites), but I’d  be lying if I told you it’s as good as the version with tequila. It’s still delicious in its own right, though!

Citrus SparklerAdvertisementMakes 2

juice of 1 large grapefruit (about 6 oz)
juice of 2 limes (about 3 oz)
1 oz light agave nectar
1 oz warm water
6 oz sparkling water

Combine the grapefruit and lime juices in a shaker filled with ice. Stir the agave nectar into the warm water until dissolved, and then add to the shaker. Shake until cold and strain into two cocktail glasses, filling them about halfway full. Top off with sparkling water. Cheers!

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For some additional alcohol-free inspiration, check out these lovely recipes:

Sparkling Ginger-Lemon Mocktail

Rosewater and Mint Mocktail

Prickly Pear Mojito (includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic options)

Sparkling Ginger Lime and Mint Cooler

Bottoms up!

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/lauren.jpg[/author_image] [author_info] Lauren Walz is a freelance writer and editor and mama to a two-year-old girl. While she’s quick to brag about being a fifth-generation Texan, Lauren moved to Northern California in 2004 after graduating from UT Law and lived in the Silicon Valley area until last spring, when she and her family were drawn back to Austin. Lauren is busy getting re-acquainted with her old stomping grounds and is astonished by how the food and wine scene has changed in Austin in the past 8 years. Lauren also blogs about cooking and parenthood on gourmetveggiemama.com.[/author_info] [/author]

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Catherine Prystup
About Catherine Prystup 2115 Articles
Catherine Prystup founded LiveMom.com out of a desire to build a better community for Austin-area moms. She has three children, ages seventeen, eight and three years old.

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