We love a good alcohol-free concoction, and there is a brand new, beautiful book out that will tickle your tastebuds with its awesome recipes. Usable as a treat just for you, or even as a way to show off your cocktail-making abilities to guests, family members, pets – anyone who’s watching, really. Your drink will certainly look and taste better than theirs.
Clare Liardet’s brand new book, called DRY, contains adventurous recipes as well as her top tips and tricks for making alcohol-free cocktails that taste as fabulous as they look. Her creations are stylish, exciting and grown-up; whether you like your alcohol-free cocktails fruity, bitter, salty or sour, you’re bound to find something you fancy here.
Claire’s clever concoctions stand out from the crowd because she uses fresh ingredients, allowing the book to be led by the seasons. From winter warmers to enjoy with a fireside glow to her new “starts of spring”, Clare’s cocktails can be enjoyed whatever the weather. Many use bases of rich, fragrant syrups, made with sugar, water and herbs, which gives them a depth of flavour rarely found in alcohol-free alternatives. Her recipes have been received to rave reviews, and have been described as “pure genius” (Sunday Telegraph) and providing “all the happiness you get from a great cocktail without the hangover” (GQ Magazine). The book also contains other helpful bits of knowledge, such as her favourite quick fix cocktails you can buy ready-made, and details of the glasses and equipment to use for a showstopper creation.
The book is available on Amazon UK, also as a Kindle edition.
Here are just a few recipes for our favourite ‘woodsmoke warmers’ from the book to keep you cosy this season.
200ml pomegranate juice
2 tsp Montmorency cherry concentrate
3 good dashes Angostura Bitters
A twist of orange peel
Pour the pomegranate juice and cherry concentrate into a glass of ice, then stir well before shaking in the Angostura Bitters. The drink should have a bittersweet tang, so add more Angostura if needed. Twist the orange peel on top of the drink to release the oils.
After Eight Martini
For the chocolate ganache:
235ml double cream
250g good quality dark chocolate, grated
For 30ml Simple Herb Syrup (makes 400ml):
A few good sprigs of mint
For the rest:
50ml double cream
Mint sprig to garnish
Put the sugar and water in a pan on a low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Bring the syrup to a simmer, add the mint, then continue to simmer for a further 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Strain the syrup into a sterilized bottle.
To make the ganache, put the cream in a pan and heat gently. Bring just to the point of boiling and keep watch to stop it from boiling over. Add the grated chocolate and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a sterilized container and store in the fridge. It will keep happily for up to a month, but keep it well covered so it doesn’t absorb any fridge flavours. It doesn’t take long to make and is also delicious whisked into a cup of hot milk on a cold, grey afternoon.
Put a tablespoon of ganache into a pan with the cream and mint syrup, and heat very gently until the ingredients are blended. Allow the mixture to cool, then pour into a shaker with some cubes of ice, and shake.
Working quickly, pour the drink into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Blood Orange and Sage Margarita
For 1 tbsp Hibiscus syrup (makes 600ml):
90g white sugar
35g light brown sugar
12g dried hibiscus flowers
Zest of 1 lemon
For the rest:
125ml blood orange juice
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
3 sage leaves (reserve one to garnish)
Wedge of lime
To make the syrup, add all the ingredients to a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the sugars dissolve and the flowers soften. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and steep the syrup for around 5 minutes until the flavours combine. Strain the syrup into a sterilized bottle through a fine-mesh sieve.
Put the blood orange juice, lime juice, hibiscus syrup and two sage leaves in a shaker with ice, and shake until chilled. If you like a salt rim, run a wedge of lime around the rim of the chilled glass and dip it onto a saucer spread with salt. Strain the mixture into the glass and garnish with the third sage leaf.
If you like the sound of these, you can order your copy from Amazon.