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July 18, 2022 10 min read


DIY Mocktails and Non-Alcoholic (NA) Mixology Recipes (with color changing blue syrup)

Our Approach

Advisory: Please be aware that these recipes do use some alcohol and it's not recommended for anyone looking to abstain completely from alcohol. Our recipes are intended for those who can use two to six shakes of bitters to make a mocktail. Two shakes should be near .05 alcohol, which is generally considered to be non-alcoholic.

We are excited to introduce to you recipes and methods for creating non-alcoholic (NA) cocktails, also called ‘mocktails’. Our mixology suggestions are based on many tried and true recipes which use infusions that you will craft at home. The infusions are where the flavors are produced and in combination with the recipes you can arrive at some unique and refreshing new drinks. 

 

There are two methods that you can use in creating the infusions. One is to use an alcohol base and then only use a few shakes of the infusion in your cocktails (less alcohol than a non-alcoholic beer). The other is to use a non-alcoholic base (simple syrup or vinegars), which can yield similar outcomes with zero alcohol.

 

Supplies needed

  • Mason jars, or large glass bottles with secure lids
  • If creating bitters, you will need a base alcohol of choice (typically vodka, bourbon, brandy or rye) for infusion base
  • Infusion ingredients (see below)
  • Fresh fruit, herbs or additional spice (see recipes for suggestions)

 

Barware and Mixology Bartender Staples 

If you’re hoping to demonstrate your bartending prowess and create compelling mocktails, you’ll want some basic barware and staples. Ideally a jigger as a way to measure your infusions and other mixing ingredients. A muddler or way to ‘muddle’ your fresh ingredients. A strainer for separating the final drink and any pulp, seeds of botanicals. Also, your bar should be stocked with fresh lemons, limes, bar cherries, tonic water and some fruit juices. 

 

Instructions

Our approach to making bitters for use as a base for your mocktails.

Typically you’ll want to fill a mason jar with the alcohol base and then place in spice and fruit over time based on the flavor profile you are trying to achieve. These recipes are recommendations, but you should feel free to experiment. We do not include the fruit suggested in these recipes.

Be sure to clean your mason jar and thoroughly wash your fruit before placing in infusion.

Store you infusion in a cool, dark place. The infusion should ‘rest’ for 1 to 3 weeks. You can and should taste as the infusion progresses, to make any changes you desire.

When you have achieved the desired infusion, strain the alcohol, removing any of the organic ingredients.

What you should know before you start:

  • You can make a simple syrup for your infusions, which will also be sweet. Simple syrup infusions are ready after you make them.
  • If you are making an alcohol based bitters, typically use a standard brand alcohol at a mid-price range for creating your infusion. Don’t buy the top-shelf for infusion, but also avoid the cheap stuff too. Smirnoff or Everclear is perfect for vodka infusions and can be used for most of these recipes.
  • Create a flavor profile which is for the intended cocktail you are envisioning it’s used in. 
  • If you are using alcohol for your infusion you want to give your infusion 2 to 3 weeks to build the flavor profile. If you want to highlight a flavor, keep it in longer and remove or add later, something which you want to be a complement.
  • Start out with less and add more if and as desired. The longer your infusion sits, the stronger the flavor profile. If you over flavor, you can dilute with more of the foundation alcohol.
  • When using citrus, use only the peel and make sure to scrape off the bitter white pith before use.

Infusions and Bitters Recipes

To make a great NA spirit or cocktail it’s important to first find a way to emulate the distinct character of a spirit. The best way to achieve this is to create an infusion and attempt to concentrate it. These recipes are for either bitters, scrubs or a simple syrup infusion. A bitter will use alcohol as the base of the concentration, a scrub will use vinegar (white, champagne), fruit and sugar and a simple syrup will use water and sugar. We will refer to these as an infusion for the recipes.

 

Traditional Infusion

(use Vinegar, Alcohol or Simple Syrup as the base)

1 teaspoon gentian root

2 pieces dried orange peel

1 cinnamon stick

2 cardamom pods, crushed

4 cloves, crushed


Classic Orange Infusion

(use Vinegar, Alcohol or Simple Syrup as the base)

1 1/2 tablespoons dried orange peel, about 5 pieces

½ teaspoon gentian root

¼ teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed

1 anise star

4 cloves, crushed


Lavender Infusion

(use Vinegar, Alcohol or Simple Syrup as the base)

2 teaspoons dried lavender

½ teaspoon gentian root

4 juniper berries, crushed

½ teaspoon coriander, crushed


Ginger Infusion

(use Vinegar, Alcohol or Simple Syrup as the base)

2 teaspoons dried ginger root

½ teaspoon gentian root

2 dried orange peels (for Apple Ginger Bitters replace with 2 apple slices)

½ teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed


Cardamom Infusion

(use Vinegar, Alcohol or Simple Syrup as the base)

1 ½ teaspoons cardamom pods, about 7-8, crushed

½ teaspoon gentian root

1 stick cinnamon

¼ teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

For fig bitters include 2 cut up figs


Smoky Chipotle Infusion

(use Vinegar, Alcohol or Simple Syrup as the base)

2 Chipotle Peppers, chopped

½ teaspoon gentian root

¼ teaspoon peppercorns, crushed

¼ teaspoon coriander, crushed

 

Mocktail Recipes

Apple Rye

2 oz of your Apple Ginger bitter Infusion or 4 shakes of apple bitters

6 oz tonic water.

 

Bloody Mary 

1 Tbs Chipotle infusion

3 dashes worcheshire

small can of tomato juice

 dash hot sauce, salt and black pepper to taste

¼ tsp horseradish. 

Mix well and serve with celery stick on ice.

 

Brandy Bean

2 oz Fig and Cardamom infusion

add hot coffee

1 tsp sugar and cream

Stir well and serve on a cold day

Add whip cream and shake of cinnamon.

 

Ta-kill-ya

2 oz Chipotle and Anise infused Simple Syrup infusion or 4-6 shakes bitters

tropical juice (passion fruit, mango, papaya)

splash grenadine

serve over ice.

 

Mockarita 

2 oz Chipotle and Anise infused Simple Syrup infusion or 

4-6 shakes Orange infusion with 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice. 

Blend with ½ cup tonic water. 

Salt rim of glass.

 

Old Fashioned (NA) 

 Muddle cocktail cherries and orange peel in a chilled glass. 

Add 2 oz Simple Syrup infusion or 4-6 shakes of Traditional infusion. 

Add ½ cup tonic water. 

Add cherry and orange slice.


NA Gin & Tonic

Squeeze 2 fresh limes into chilled glass. 

4-6 dashes of Traditional infusion

Add tonic water and ice to taste. Garnish with lime slices.


 

Add citrus juice in a large glass with ice, add club soda and optional

gin. Slowly pour the blue flower syrup on top and watch the drink

change colors from blue to purple. Add a garnish of a slice of lemon.

 

Rum Tiki Old Fashioned (NA)

¼ cup Ginger infusion

1/4 oz pineapple rum

1 tsp lavender syrup

Pineapple wedge for garnish

 

Manhattan (NA)

1 oz simple syrup

2 dashes Traditional infusion

1/2 cup of tonic water

1 Maraschino cherry


In a short glass, combine bourbon, vermouth and Traditional Bitters over ice. Add the maraschino cherry and crush against side of the glass with a spoon. 


Bitters Mojito (NA)

1 teaspoon sugar

Juice of one lime (2 oz)

4 mint leaves, plus extra sprig for garnish

2 dashes Traditional infusion

2 oz Club Soda


Place the mint leaves in a tall glass (such as Collins or Highball) and squeeze lime over. Add sugar and muddle. Do not strain the mixture out.  Add crushed ice, rum, bitters and stir. Top off with Club Soda and garnish with mint sprig.


Lavender Champagne Cocktail

5 oz Sparking Water

1 Sugar Cube

3-4 dashes Lavender infusion

Lemon Peel for Garnish


In a champagne flute, soak sugar cube with Lavender Bitters. Slowly fill glass with champagne. Gently crush the lemon peel over the glass to release oils and drop in for garnish. Enjoy!


Lavender Lemonade (Hard or Non-Alcoholic)

Makes 8-10 Servings

6 lemons, juiced with peel saved for garnish

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

2-3 tablespoons Lavender infusion (Around 24-36 Dashes), plus more to taste

⅓ cup water, plus 8 cups


Mix sugar and ⅓ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is completely mixed in. Take off heat and let cool. Combine sugar syrup and remaining ingredients in a pitcher with ice. Try the lemonade and add more ingredients to taste. Garnish each glass with lemon peel.


Dark and Stormy with Ginger Bitters (NA)

5 oz Ginger Ale

3 dashes Ginger infusion, plus more to taste

Lime Wedge for Garnish


Fill a highball with ice and the ginger beer. Gently pour the rum to fill the glass, the rum will remain in a separate layer until mixed, thus giving the name “Dark and Stormy”. Finish with bitters and lime wedge garnish. 


Cardamom Old Fashioned (NA)

1 teaspoon simple syrup

2 dashes Cardamom infusion

Fresh orange peel for garnish

Maraschino Cherry for garnish


In an old-fashioned glass, mix simple syrup and Cardamom infusion. Gently roll the orange peel over the glass to release oils. Add a whiskey and a large ice cube. Drop in the orange peel and cherry. 


Orange Bitters Martini

½ oz dry seltzer water

2 dashes Traditional or Orange infusion

olive for garnish


 


 


Bitters Vinaigrette


⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 dashes bitters (about ½ tablespoon, Traditional or Orange suggested)

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste


Stir sugar into lemon juice. Whisk in mustard, bitters, salt and pepper and olive oil.


Bitters Marinade -for use with about 1 ½ pounds of meat or vegetables


2 tablespoons vinegar (red or white wine, apple cider or balsamic) 

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1-2 crushed garlic cloves

¼ cup olive oil

6 dashes bitters (about ½ tablespoon, Traditional, Orange or Chipotle suggested) 

Salt and Pepper to taste


Add ingredients in a ziploc bag, and shake to combine. Add your choice of meat or vegetables. Reseal and let sit for 2-3 hours, shaking occasionally, or freeze for up to 2 weeks. 


 





                                    Home Made Gin and Cocktail Bitters Instructions


Bitters have been made by many cultures all around the world. The oldest known mention of bitters are from the Ancient Egyptians, making herbal wine infusions. The herbs included in bitters were traditionally chosen based on their pharmaceutical applications, and to aid digestion. Around the turn of the nineteenth century, cocktails came into fashion in England, with bitters making a star appearance. Angostura Bitters, the classic Old Fashioned cocktail bitters, were created byDr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert in Venezuela in 1824 as a cure for seasickness and stomach pain, but quickly became a classic cocktail ingredients. 


For the best flavor expression, you will need 100 proof liquor. We recommend using a neutral spirit with 150-proof or higher. You can also play around with other high proof alcohols, such as 151-proof rum, 101-proof bourbon, or vodkas as long as they are at least 50 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Spirits that are 75% ABV needs to be watered down to make it a more palpable 50 percent alcohol by volume. This adds another step to your process, but you end up saving money because you use less alcohol, and high ABV liquors usually extract faster and more efficiently.. 


We recommend crushing all the spices that are easy to do, such as cloves, cardamom, caraway seeds, black peppercorns, coriander and juniper berries. This helps release the oils to bring out the flavors. You can crush them with a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a heavy glass on a cutting board. Put the dry ingredients in a jar with the spirits and let sit for at least a week, usually 7-10 days. If you are experimenting with dried fruit, this could be more like 2-3 weeks. If you are using nuts, remove the shells because they contain a lot of tannins which can over-power your flavors. Fresh ingredients such as fruit or herbs usually reach maximum potency within 3 or 4 days. Shake the jar once a day. It’s recommended to check your bitters every couple days-- it’s ready whenever you decide the flavors are strong enough. The flavor will get increasingly bitter, so be wary of letting it sit too long. Some people prefer to infuse all of the spices separately, but we found that steeping them all together allows the flavors to blend. It is not recommended to use ground spices instead of whole. We use gentian root as our primary bittering agent, however many other traditional bittering agents can be used such as black walnut leaf, cinchona or quassia bark, calamus or dandelion root, catechu, wormwood, and angelica root. Also, many other better known bitter ingredients can be substituted including coffee, cocoa nibs, hops, black or green tea. Some people like adding sugar to their bitters, but we found it wasn’t necessary. Try experimenting with adding sweet flavors if you are interested.  


Strain the botanical additions out of the liquid, if the cheesecloth isn’t fine enough, try using a coffee filter. All of recipes are made to fit in the provided 5 oz bottles, and since they last so long, we figured you don’t need much more than that. If stored in a cool, dark place, bitters can last for years, but we recommend using them within a year.

Instructions


You will need:

A mason jar with a tight fitting lid (at least 8 oz)

4 oz (about 1/2 cup) of high ABV spirits or 6 oz (about ¾ cup) vodka or other spirits with 50% alcohol per volume


Clean a mason jar well.


Crush the cardamom and the cloves in a mortar and pestle or with a heavy glass. The cinnamon sticks are very hard and do not need to be cut. If there are some flavors you would like to highlight or downplay, feel free to improvise. It is recommended to take notes so you can tailor the recipe specifically to your tastes in future batches. 


Place the spices in the bottom of jar and pour the alcohol over it. Close the jar and give your bitters a good shake.


Place your bitters in a cool dark place. Shake your bitters every day, or whenever you remember.


Sample the bitters every couple days. When the flavor is to your liking, strain the botanicals out of the alcohol using the cheesecloth. We let ours sit for about 10 days. 


If using High ABV spirits:

Do not throw the spices away. Place the spices in 1 cup of water and bring to a boil for half an hour, or until the water changes color and becomes fragrant. Boil with the lid on, so the water won’t evaporate. Let the mixture cool. Strain the solids out of your water.


Mix the strained spirits with the strained water in a 1:1 ratio. The bottle provided is 5 oz, so this will be about ⅓ of a cup of each to fill the bottle. This helps dilute the spirit to about 40-50% alcohol by volume, so you can focus on the flavors of the spices, not the alcohol. 


If using Vodka, or other spirits with a lower alcohol content:

You do not have to add water. Move on to the next step. 


With the help of the funnel, put your bitters in the provided bottles, label and enjoy! If you are not happy with the clarity of your bitters, you can strain it through the cheesecloth or a coffee filter a final time.

Store your bitters in a cool, dark place. 


When chopping the chipotle peppers, you may choose to leave out the seeds if you would like your bitters less spicy. 





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