This post was created in partnership with Nuts.com.
With the long weekend coming up (4th of July aka Independence Day, for those of you who don’t live in the U.S. ;), we were inspired to come up with some kind of killer mocktail recipe. The reason for the mock part is that we mostly like to enjoy our drinks sans alcohol, especially on hot and sunny summer days that, for us, require clear-headed energy (because the sun is already tiring enough). Maybe you feel this way as well? It’s easy to feel left out of festivities when not participating in the drinking, and kombucha mocktails are life savers in those situations. They are still fizzy and feel special, and if you are a lightweight like us, you might even get a buzz from the trace amounts of alcohol in the kombucha (I know, insert rolling eyes emoji here). While we are on the subject, we found this episode of the One Part Podcast on the subject of ‘sober curiosity’ to be super interesting. With all of that being said, this drink could totally be spiked with vodka, tequila, mezcal, etc., and the result would be delicious!
Did you know that you can make simple syrup with pretty much any berries or fruit? It keeps well in the fridge, and, once you have it, is a serious shortcut to a tasty cocktail/mocktail/ice cream float, etc. We made ours with fresh, seasonal cherries and a bonus scoop VitaCherry powder from our amazing partner, Nuts.com, for a deeper cherry flavor (and a higher dose of antioxidants!). We also had to try making it with coconut sugar, because that’s our favorite, natural powdered sweetener. The conclusion: if you use coconut sugar, the syrup will definitely take on the deep, malty, almost burnt flavors of the sugar, which we personally enjoyed! If you prefer a more classic syrup flavor, use raw or regular sugar.
Another mocktail discovery: crushed up, freeze-dried berries make for the perfect cocktail glass rim. We used Nuts.com’s freeze-dried cherries and blueberries on the rims of our mocktails, and the berries truly add the perfect, special touch to the whole presentation. The flavor of the freeze-dried blueberries and cherries is sweet and sour at the same time, and the texture is light, airy, and totally non-intrusive. If you go with a tequila/margarita twist here, an addition of salt to the berry rim would be delicious as well.
We hope you try and enjoy this one, and we’d love to hear about your favorite, refreshing thing to drink this summer. We’ll be back with a baked donut recipe this weekend, sending love to you guys in the meantime :)
- handful freeze-dried cherries - crushed in a mortar and pestle (optional, for the rim)
- handful freeze-dried blueberries - crushed in a mortar and pestle (optional, for the rim)
- 1-2 tablespoons VitaCherry powder (optional, for the rim)
- cooked and chopped cherries (reserved from the syrup recipe, below)
- 1-2 sprigs of each basil and/or mint - sliced, plus more for garnish
- plain kombucha
- cherry syrup (recipe below)
- ¾ cup coconut sugar or raw sugar (see note)
- 1 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup pitted and halved cherries
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup purified water
- 2 tablespoons VitaCherry powder (optional)
- Place the crushed, freeze-dried berries and VitaCherry powder on a medium, flat plate, if using (if not using, proceed to the next step). Prepare small cocktail glasses. Wet the rim of each glass with a wedge of lime, sliding the lime around the rim of the glasses. One at a time, place each glass, rim down, on the prepared plate with the crushed, freeze-dried berries. Twist the glasses in the berries to get them to stick to the rim.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of the cooked and chopped cherries, reserved from the syrup, along with about a teaspoon of the chopped herbs in the bottom of each glass and muddle them with a muddler or a pestle. Fill each glass with ice, followed by the kombucha, then add about 2 tablespoons of the cherry syrup per glass. Squeeze some fresh lime juice into each glass and stir to mix. Garnish with more herbs and enjoy.
- Combine all the syrup ingredients, except the cherry powder, in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook, uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir periodically. Turn off the heat and whisk in the VitaCherry powder, if using, making sure to whisk well to avoid any clumping. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
- Mash the cherries with a potato masher right in the saucepan, to get their juices out. Strain the syrup into a clean jar through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve the leftover cherries and chop them up finely to use in the mocktail. Keep the syrup refrigerated in an air-tight container.