Did you know that the average Brit spends around £65 a month on alcohol?
It’s amazing how quickly a few drinks here and a bottle of wine with the groceries there adds up. A whole year of drinking, on average, costs around £780 per person. That’s a return flight to Australia, or a couple of really fun weekend breaks in Europe!
For the first month of the #TravelHacked Challenge, we’ll be saving that £65 (plus the costs of a late night Uber, kebab and the next day’s hangover brunch) by giving up booze.
Sign up to the #TravelHacked Challenge and within a year you could save up to £1,000 to put towards your dreams.
Before you panic, we’re not going to ask you to give up drinking for a full year. We wouldn’t do that to you. But a month without alcohol isn’t too tricky, especially if you have some delicious alternatives to sip.
I have to admit, I’m pretty skeptical when it comes to mocktails. When I see them on menus they always just seem to be made up of a few fruit juices thrown together, with a £4 price tag attached. I’ll take the prosecco, thanks.
But after trying a few combinations at home, I now have four mocktail recipes I am confident will impress even the most picky drinker. They’re tasty, they look great, and they all come without a banging headache the next morning.
So if you’re joining the #TravelHacked Challenge and you’re craving a drink with friends after work, invite them over and whip up some of these money-saving mocktails.
Refreshing Pear & Elderflower Fizz Mocktail
This mocktail is fruity, floral and not too unhealthy, as the only sugar comes from the cordial. Make some decorative ice cubes in advance – I froze some raspberries in water – and throw this refreshing drink together for a great after-work treat.
- 1 shot glass (around 25ml) of elderflower cordial
- ½ shot pear juice (either buy it or grate fresh pear and squeeze through a clean cloth)
- 1 glass sparkling water
Add the elderflower cordial and pear juice to your glass and stir. Add ice cubes and top up with cold sparkling water.
Autumn Apple Fizz
It almost feels like cheating to include this mocktail in the list because it’s so flipping easy to make, but as a prosecco lover this is my favourite of the lot. The flavours are perfect for autumn, and if you serve it in a champagne flute no one will even guess you’re not sipping a glass of bubbles.
Warning: it’s a little spicy, which I love, but if you aren’t a huge fan of ginger you can use less than I did.
- Fresh ginger
Grate a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger and add the pulp and juice to the bottom of a champagne flute. Top with Appletiser.
Not A Cosmopolitan
One of my favourite cocktails is a Cosmopolitan, so I had to find a non-alcoholic alternative for October. This one is more than just a few juices mixed together thanks to the orange bitters, which adds depth and complexity.
You can buy orange bitters, but I had some ingredients lying around that I threw together to make my own version and save some money, and it turned out great!
- 1 shot glass (around 25ml) orange juice
- A few drops of orange bitters (or make your own*!)
- 100ml Cranberry juice
- ½ shot glass lime juice
- Handful of fresh raspberries
- Ice cubes
- Orange peel slices to garnish
*To make the orange bitters, squeeze the juice of half an orange into a glass and add spices like cardamom, ginger, juniper berries, star anise, cloves…I honestly made it up and just added a pinch of all of the above. Leave in the fridge overnight, then strain all of the spices out and just use the juice – put it towards the 25ml of fresh orange juice you’ll be using.
Add all ingredients except the garnish to a cocktail shaker and shake for around 10 seconds.
Strain into a martini glass and decorate with the orange peel.
Coconut Iced Coffee
This one’s perfect for after dinner, when you’d usually sip a whisky or port. You can switch up the coffee to decaf if you’d prefer, and you can use whatever milk you like – I just adore coconut milk in this recipe.
If you like your coffee sweet, just add a dash of sugar syrup and you’ll have a much sweeter drink.
- ½ cup coffee (I use filter coffee, but instant is fine), cooled
- Coffee ice cubes (just freeze coffee in your ice cube tray)
- ½ cup coconut milk
- Coffee beans, to garnish
Pour the coffee and milk into a glass and stir. Add ice cubes, and garnish with whole coffee beans.
What are your favourite non-alcoholic drinks?