Alcohol -free mocktails with bitters
What are bitters
Bitters are a class of flavoring agents used in cocktails. They tend to be sold in small bottles and pack a lot of flavor in drop-sized doses. They are made by infusing a taste-free spirit with a number of spices including tree bark, roots, seeds and fruits.
Originally they were developed for medicinal purposes because of the nutrient content of the spices preserved in the spirit. And they can also enhance any alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktail. So if you are thinking of going alcohol-free after a period of indulgence, they can be very useful to add flavor to your non-alcoholic cocktail to not leave you feeling deprived. Your non-alcoholic drink will become crisper and more refreshing. You can buy them online, or the most popular make – Angostura bitters – can be found in most supermarkets.
Reasons to use bitters
- Elixirs made from carefully selected ‘bitter’ herbs have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. In Ajurvedic medicine, foods with a bitter taste are said to aid weight loss.
They may also offer the following benefits:
- Curb sugar cravings
- Soothe abdominal gas and bloating
- Relieve occasional heartburn
- Encourage the production of your own natural digestive enzymes
- Calm stomach upset and nausea
- Increase absorption of fat soluble vitamins A,D,EK
- Balance appetite
- Regulate bowel movements
- Support liver function and healthy skin
How to make alcohol-free cocktails (mocktails)
Sparkling mineral water or soda, Angostura bitters and a squeeze of lemon or lime make a wonderful combination as a basis for a non-alcoholic cocktail. Other ingredients can include the following:
- Spices e.g. cinnamon, star anise
- Herbs e.g. mint, dried lavender, rosemary, lemongrass,
- Fruit such as orange or lime juice, watermelon
- Cooled concentrated herbal tea e.g. jasmine, camomile
- Apple cider vinegar
- Slices of cucumber