Maybe you're still eating light, or maybe you just don't like drinking that much. Either way, it can be tough to find non alcoholic cocktails that have complex flavors and feel grown up. So as you plan your Valentine's Day celebration consider these mixed drinks that skip the alcohol but are still every bit as festive:
• Basil Lemon Syrup: a great starter for lots of drinks. Mix in some bubbly water, a dash of cranberry juice and some fresh basil or mix it with some meyer lemonade for a tart lip smacker.
• Stormy Monday: a take on the Dark and Stormy, mix ginger beer with lime and bitters.
• Lemon Verbena and Orange Blossom Fizz: mixes one of our favorite flavors, lemon verbena, with a little something exotic. If you can't find any verbena, try a lemon verbena tisane or infusion and allow to cool, then mix the orange blossom water with that.
• Blackberry and Elderflower Spritzer with Mint: employs fresh berries, some bubbly and you can make it as sweet or sour as you like.
• La Boheme Noir: a mix of black tea and lavender infused honey
• Classic Shirley Temple with a twist: using a fresh DIY grenadine syrup mixed with a bt of lime to take the sweetness down a notch.
• Faux Mojito: using a standard mojito recipe, omit the alcohol and make sure to use plenty of fresh mint.
• Coco Cola: this one uses coconut milk, coke and lime juice in a cocktail shaker.
• Sophisticated Lady: a not too sweet mocktail with a muddled, salted cucumber, shaken over ice with cranberry juice, lime juice and simple syrup, then filtered and served over ice.
• Sweet and Salty Limeaid: not for everyone, this salty take on traditonal limeaid is popular in thai restuarants but is an acquired taste.
• Meyer Lemon Sangria: use that winter citrus with some ripe apples to create a non alcoholic sangria.
• Try a Shrub: it's basically drinkable vinegar and the complexity of the flavor really helps make it feel more like an adult beverage. See some recipes for making your own shrub here.
And remember, for an added dimension you can use maple syrup in place of a simple syrup or you can infuse your simple syrup to have flavors like lemon verbena and rosemary.
And if you're not up for mixing drinks, try one of these readymade alternatives to no alcoholic cocktails.
(Image: Faith Hopler)