Browse By

Savoury mocktails: Experiment with umami this January

Try something new and dive into Dry January with these unique savoury mocktails. Hayley Baddiley from ceramics and homeware brand Denby shares her pick of indulgent drinks with a savoury twist.

Mocktails are a great way for the whole family to enjoy delicious drinks that are packed with flavour and feel decadent, whether you drink alcohol or not. Experimenting with savoury, umami flavours will bring some variety to your drinks selection this year, and what’s more, they pair brilliantly with party nibbles and balance out any rich, sweet desserts you might have indulged in. Here, I’ve shared the recipes for five distinctive mocktails that pack a punch.

Cucumber jalapeño margarita

This drink pairs cooling cucumber with a kick of chilli, for a unique tipple that’s refreshing and warming in equal measure. Perfect with savoury nibbles and appetisers, this variation of the happy-hour classic is so full of pep it doesn’t need the tequila.

Start off with a sweet yet fiery base made by cooking sugar syrup with chopped cucumbers and sliced, deseeded jalapeños. Once they have infused the syrup with flavour, discard the chopped vegetables and mix the syrup in a cocktail shaker with lime juice, soda water, and a handful of ice.

For beautiful presentation that gives your guests the star treatment, wet the rim of a long-stemmed gin glass with lime and dip into a coating of salt, lime zest, smoked paprika and chilli flakes. Add a final flourish by garnishing each one with a peeled ribbon of cucumber and a ring of jalapeño.

Green tea and sage sour

Certainly not your average cup of tea, this recipe makes a beautiful pale green mocktail that adds a splash of colour to any gathering. Refreshing and zesty, it’s the perfect palate cleanser to follow a rich, filling buffet.

Make a simple sage-infused syrup by heating sugar, water, and fresh sage leaves in a saucepan and leave this mixture to cool. Strain the cooked leaves away and shake the sage syrup with steeped green tea, fresh lime juice, aquafaba (also known as chickpea water), and ice. Once combined, pour your herbal concoction into a champagne coupe to bring an opulent, art deco flair to your January. Carefully top up with non-alcoholic bitters and a sage leaf for a clean, crisp finish.

Spicy tamarind mojito

A popular spice in Indian cuisine, tamarind has a slightly sweet yet sour flavour that makes it a perfect ingredient for a savoury mocktail. Add this fiery recipe to your drinks selection and it’s sure to inject a little variety into your spread.

Start by crushing washed mint leaves and green chilli in a pestle and mortar to form a paste. After soaking the seedless tamarind pods in warm water to soften them, squeeze their pulp out and combine with your chilli and mint paste, straining it through a fine mesh sieve with water. Once strained, combine this paste with lemon juice, sugar, rock salt, and roasted cumin powder. Top up this mixture with soda water and serve in a short tumbler with a handful of ice and mint leaves to garnish.

Virgin Red Snapper

The lesser-known cousin of the Bloody Mary, the Red Snapper is made with your favourite non-alcoholic gin rather than vodka. This adds a botanical twist to the classic savoury cocktail while removing the chance of a headache in the morning.

Shake together tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, Tabasco, celery salt, black pepper, and lemon juice, and strain into a small jug. To avoid diluting the consistency, shake without any ice and chill afterwards to allow the flavours to marinate. Pour this mix over your chosen non-alcoholic gin in a tall glass tumbler and garnish with the Bloody Mary’s iconic celery stick. For extra presentation points, serve the Red Snapper with a cocktail stick full of all things pickled: think stuffed olives, cocktail onions, and pepperoncino. It’s an appetiser in itself!

Cucumber and rosemary tonic

This simple yet effective recipe places all its emphasis on fresh, botanical flavours without the need for any non-alcoholic gin. Use the freshest ingredients and high-quality tonic to get the full potential from this mocktail, which makes for the perfect refreshing addition.

Using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin, slice the cucumber into ribbons before submerging them in your favourite tonic water: this allows more flavour to infuse the tonic than cutting it into discs. Add a handful of ice and garnish with a large sprig of fresh rosemary, which will also infuse the tonic with heady herbal aromas. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of peppercorns, which again gives a brilliant scent but also a very subtle spice to the drink. You can stick to black peppercorns, but for a pop of colour, why not use a mix of black, white, red, and green? Serve in a short crystal tumbler to add a touch of luxury and get the full gin and tonic experience.

Hayley Baddiley, Global Marketing Director at Denby explained:

“Mocktails are a great way to enjoy an extra special drink that is a little different to your every day tipple. Packed full of flavour, these savoury variations on some of the classics are the perfect accompaniment to party food and are guaranteed to delight your loved ones with something they may not have tried before.

“Alcoholic or not, serving drinks in the correct glassware will give your guests an authentic cocktail bar experience at home. And not only does this guarantee beautiful presentation every time, but the right glass also showcases the flavour of your drinks.”