How to Throw an Alcohol-Free Dinner Party

Alcohol-free dinner parties needn’t be boring, as proved by these titillating teetotal recipes for mocktails so healthy they’re practically mind-altering.

Dry January, Octsober, pregnancy, recovery, Lent. There are moments in all of our lives when abstention becomes the name of the game. You may have honed your ‘Oh, you brought me 0% beer’ face down to a T, but stoicism is so last century my friend. Who says teetotallers can’t get their kicks too? Below are Bane + Antidote’s favourite craft recipes for mocktails that pack a punch. These exquisite artisanal concoctions, loaded with health benefits, would make for an impressive alcohol free dinner party, or a thoughtful yet self-interested gift for any host.

Why not add a Faust’s Potion Health Shot into the mix too? Your night will be a nutritional rave!

Time Intensive Brews…

Homemade Ginger Beer by The Roasted Root

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Prep time: 3 days.

Health benefits:

  • Lemon – contains vitamin C.
  • Ginger – is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, used to ease nausea, aid digestion, combat colds and flu, improve circulation and provide energy.

Ingredients

  • 9 cups spring or well water
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar*
  • ¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice**
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast***

Homemade Tonic by The Bojon Gourmet

n.b. If pregnant avoid this recipe (see below).

tonic

Prep time: 2-3 weeks.

Health Benefits:

  • Lemons and limes – contain vitamin C
  • Quinine – antimalarial (warning: potentially unsafe to consume during pregnancy)
  • Lemongrass – is used to relieve headaches, speed detoxification and aid digestion.
  • Verbena – aids joint function, muscle recovery and boosts the immune system, is an anti-depressant and is used to treat respiratory conditions.

Ingredients:

  • 2 limes
  • 1 lemon
  • 37 oz Mamà brand quinine (cinchona) bark pieces
  • 1 cup chopped lemongrass
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon balm or lemon verbena leaves (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons citric acid
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • Soda water

We recommend adding alcohol-free bitters like Nature’s Answer Alcohol Free Bitters with Ginger to your homemade tonic water for an added health kick and flavour boost.

Strawberry Basil Kombucha by The Roasted Root

Kombucha

Prep time: 8 days.

Health Benefits:

  • Basil – is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory
  • Kombucha – is a fermented beverage that is used to aid digestion, weight loss and detoxification, and is an energy an immunity booster.

Ingredients

  • 1-2/3 gallons homemade kombucha
  • 2 heaping cups ripe strawberries, chopped
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ounces fresh basil, chopped (1 cup)

Rose Petal Iced Tea by Um Safia on Food.com

rose petal ice tea

Prep time: 10 hours.

Health benefits:

  • Rose – rich in vitamin C, polyphenols and other antioxidants and is known to ease menstrual cramps.
  • Lemon – contains vitamin C.
  • Green tea – is used to aid weight loss and healthy cell regeneration, to improve circulation and lower cholesterol.

Ingredients

  • 3 large roses (petals only, white bases removed)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons rose water
  • 1 drop pink food colouring 
  • 3 green tea bags
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

15 Minutes or Less…

Cucumber and Mint Limeade by So Lets Hang Out

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Prep time: 15 minutes.

Health benefits:

  • Lime – contains vitamin C.
  • Mint – is used to help digestion, speed weight loss, improve memory, and to combat fatigue, colds, flu and headaches.
  • Cucumber – rehydrates, flushes out toxins and contains skin-loving minerals.

Ingredients

  • 1 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 4 sprigs of mint, de-stemmed
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp course sea salt
  • 3 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup ice
  • cucumber spears, mint leaves and lime wedges to garnish (optional)

Green Tea Mojito Mocktail by Imbibe

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Prep time: 10 minutes.

Health benefits:

  • Lime – contains vitamin C
  • Mint – is used to help digestion, speed weight loss, improve memory, and to combat fatigue, colds, flu and headaches.
  • Matcha – contains antioxidants and L-Theanine (induces relaxation without drowsiness, is a mood enhancer and improves memory), is an energy and immune booster, a detoxifier AND a calorie burner!

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. powdered matcha green tea
  • 3 oz. hot water
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 5 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. simple syrup
  • 2 lime wedges
  • Soda water
  • Ice cubes

Quick Fixes…

20 Infused Water Recipes by Style Me Pretty Living

infused water

Prep time: 2-3 minutes.

Health benefits:

  • Rehydration and detoxification.

Ingredients

Matcha Tea Lemonade by Lauren of The Perfect Pear

matchalemonade3

Prep time: 5 minutes.

Health benefits:

  • Lemons – vitamin C.
  • Matcha – contains antioxidants and L-Theanine (induces relaxation without drowsiness, is a mood enhancer and improves memory), is an energy and immune booster, a detoxifier AND a calorie burner!

Ingredients

  • One lemon
  • Desired amount of sugar
  • Matcha green tea powder
  • Ice and water

Health Shots by Faust’s Potions

potionpack

Prep time: 0 minutes. Would complement all of the above beverages.

Health benefits:

  • The Awake Potion contains electrolytes, green tea, guarana, ginseng, B vitamins and vitamin C. It acts as a pick-me-up and an immunity booster and would be the perfect way to greet your guests on arrival.
  • The Asleep Potion contains honey, 5-HTP and electrolytes. It acts as a sleep aid and a detoxifier. It would be the perfect party favour to send your guests home with at the end of the evening.
  • Both can be purchased online from the Faust’s Potions Shop.
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The Best Mixology Trend of 2014 – Herb Infused Cocktails

The year is drawing to a close… which means you have three sleeps to continue relishing the joys of excess before that ghastly New Year conscience kicks in and it’s all, ‘I’ll have a mung bean and alfalfa sprout smoothie please’. What better time to reflect upon your favourite mixology trend of the year gone by?

For us at Bane + Antidote 2014 was all about herb infused cocktails, as they represent the epitome of intelligent imbibing. Not only do these delightful concoctions provide a long overdue alternative to the banality of ‘variations-on-sweet’, many contain a hearty dose of medicinal properties, and represent a world of creative hosting opportunities to boot.

While every great dinner party begins with a cocktail, only an exquisite dinner party begins with a cocktail designed with the health needs of the guests in mind, or interjects with half-time cocktails that reflect and enliven the dishes being served. Below are our favourite herb infused cocktail recipes, with information on the properties and flavours of each. Enjoy! You have three days. GO!

Chamomile


Properties: Chamomile is used as a sleep aid, to calm the nerves, speed digestion, and to treat anxiety, fevers, colds, and stomach ailments. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Taste: Flowery, mild.

Chamomile Hot Toddy by Honestly Yum

chamomile.hot_.toddy_.recipe.10.1

Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz chamomile honey syrup
  • 4 oz hot water
  • 
lemon wedge and chamomile flowers for garnish

Chamomile Honey Syrup:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon dried chamomile

Ginger


Properties: Anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal. Ginger is used to ease nausea, aid digestion, combat colds and flu, improve circulation and provide energy. A great all-round health booster.

Taste: Spicy, peppery, earthy.

The Jim Dandy by Mike Lewicki of The Boys Club

jim dandy

Recipe:

  • 2 oz (60 ml) spiced rum
  • 3 oz (90 ml) of ginger beer
  • 1 oz (30 ml) of pear nectar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp (5 ml) fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 oz (15 ml) chai tea, cooled
  • 
2 dashes of bitters
  • infused ice cubes
  • pear slices, to garnish
  • lime quarter, to garnish

Lavender

Properties: Calming, uplifting, analgesic and antiseptic. Helps ward against coughs, colds and flu.

Taste: Floral, spicy.

Vodka Lavender Lemonade by The Effortless Chic

Vodka-Lavender-Lemonade-The-Effortless-Chic-11

Recipe:

  • 6 white sugar cubes
  • 2 ounces cold water
  • 
4 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • ice
  • 
four stems of lavender

Lemongrass

Properties: Lemongrass is widely used to relieve headaches (making it a perfect hair-of-the-dog ingredient). It is also believed to speed detoxification and aid digestion.

Taste: Fragrant, pungent, sharp.

Grapefruit Lemongrass Cocktail by Lauren Kathryn of Swooned

lemongrass

Recipe:

  • 1 handful of fresh Thai basil
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 1/5 ounce of rum
  • 1/2 grapefruit, juiced
  • 3 ounces of water
  • 
Dash of bitters
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar

Mint

Properties: mint is used to help digestion, speed weight loss, improve memory, and to combat fatigue, colds, flu and headaches.

Taste: Fresh, peppery, tangy.

The Ivy Gimlet by Cupcakes and Cashmere

ivy gimlet

Recipe:

  • 3 oz. of your favourite vodka, chilled
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar
  • 
8 fresh mint leaves, muddled

Thyme

Properties: Antibacterial, a strong antiseptic and a powerful antioxidant. Thyme is an expectorant and is believed to help fight cancer.

Taste: Tangy, warm, lemony.

Blackberry Thyme Sparkler by The Effortless Chic

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Recipe:

  • 1 c. blackberries + 8 more for garnish
  • 1 c. Water
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 bottle of champagne
  • 4 ounces or 1/2 c. gin
  • 4 long sprigs of thyme
  • 1 c. ice
  • gold baking sugar for the rim

December’s Punch of the Month

The Blackberry Thyme Sparkler by Jen Pinkston of The Effortless Chic.

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November was about heartwarming hot toddies and heavyweight #cocktails that reduced the winter chills to oblivion. Perhaps that is why this post is so late. December, however, requires a tad more finesse. Craftwork and care is the name of the game this month. A herb-and-seasonal-berry-infused Champagne in gold sugar rimmed flutes it is then.

Catch up on the last Punch of the Month here.