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FOOD + DRINK
Five Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Summer
Keep cool and refreshed without booze with these festive, craft drinks
by Hans Aschim
on 06 June 2013

Kicking back with a cool beverage in the warmer months is one of life's simple pleasures. With the rise in popularity of craft cocktails, a similar rise in quality non-acoholic drinks has followed suit. Our round-up of summer's chillest booze-free libations offers tastes to keep everyone enjoying the party.

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Hibiscus Nojito

This take on the classic Cuban cocktail features the same refreshing blend of fresh mint and lime in traditional Mojitos, with a hit of Hibiscus syrup from P&H Soda Company. Hibiscus syrup adds a rich, sweet floral complexity while lime and mint keep this drink light enough for a leisurely brunch.

1.5 oz P&H Hibiscus syrup
1/2 lime, quartered
3 sprigs of mint
pinch of sugar
lime for garnish
6 oz sparkling water

Muddle sprigs of mint and quartered lime in syrup and a pinch of sugar. Top up with ice and sparkling water, garnish with fresh mint.

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English Summer

One sip of the English Summer and you'll feel like an honored guest in the Queen's court. Cold-brewed black tea concentrate from Kickstand Global provides an earthy, bitter base that tea enthusiasts will cling to in the warmer months. A burst of citrus and sweetness balance out the complexity of the black tea. Shake and serve up in a chilled martini glass with a twist of lemon for an upscale garden party vibe.

2 oz Kickstand black tea cold-brewed concentrate
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 1/2 oz simple syrup

Combine all ingredients, shake with ice. Strain into chilled martini glass, serve up with a twist of lemon.

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Toby's Espresso Julep

Nothing hits the spot like a cup of coffee after dinner. Step it up with this iced espresso take on the mint julep from our friends at Toby's Estate, featuring their famous Bedford Blend espresso. Rich notes of cocoa from the espresso are complemented by the refreshingly light addition of basil and mint in an easy-to-make infused simple syrup. Serve after dinner or in late afternoon for a sundowner pick-me-up.

2 shots of Toby's Estate Bedford Espresso blend
1.5 oz basil and mint infused simple syrup
4 oz lightly textured whole milk (or the milk of your choosing)
fresh mint for garnish

Pour two shots of espresso over ice. Add basil and mint-infused syrup, stir. Lightly texture milk by frothing enough to alter its viscosity. Try your hand at pouring latte art, but don't worry if you're no barista-Basquiat, the flavor will make up for any shortcomings. Garnish with mint and start sipping.

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Oolong Mango Kombucha

Often touted for its health benefits, kombucha is sometimes overlooked for its refreshing and satisfying taste. With a foundation of sweetened tea and a symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria, the potential for variations on kombucha flavors is endless. For experienced home-brewers check out Emma Christensen's "True Brews" for original kombucha recipes as well as other homemade libation inspirations. For kombucha beginners, we love the ease of the Kombucha Brooklyn home brew kit. Use Oolong tea for a partial fermentation that creates an even-toned base flavor. After the initial fermentation period, with the culture or "SCOBY" removed, add a one third ratio of fresh or frozen mango. Bottle and wait at least two days before enjoying your fizzy, probiotic homemade summer beverage.

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Pomegranate Dark and Breezy with homemade Jamaican ginger beer

This alcohol-free take on the nautical classic Dark and Stormy features a punchy Jamaican-style non-carbonated ginger beer base with a rich pomegranate molasses touch. The Arabica Food and Spice Company's Pomegranate Molasses is handmade by a women's cooperative in Jordan with 100% natural ingredients. Molasses, a key ingredient in dark rums found in Dark and Stormys, gives the drink its depth and complexity.

1 pound ginger, washed
10 cups hot, filtered water
3 cloves
1 tbsp Cream of Tartar
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups fresh lime juice
1 tsp Arabica pomegranate molasses
lime for garnish
sparkling water (optional, for carbonation)

First, the ginger beer. Blend one pound of fresh ginger with ten cups of hot, filtered water in batches. Place mixture into a large bowl along with three whole cloves and one tablespoon Cream of Tartar. Place in refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight.

Party time. Filter the mixture with a cheesecloth or fine strainer, add one cup sugar and one half cup freshly squeezed lime juice, stir well. For individual drinks, pour ginger beer over ice, if desired add sparkling water for carbonation. Stir in one teaspoon of pomegranate molasses, garnish with lime and enjoy the relaxing beverage worthy of its name.

Product images courtesy of their respective producers, studio images by Hans Aschim

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