Shortly after quitting my job to work online for myself, I found that I was able to do all the things I had been dreaming about while I was stuck in that stuffy office, slaving away day after day, year after year. I started doing that morning run I’d always meant to do. I made time to take some courses. Most importantly, I worked when I wanted and took time off when I wanted.
And not just when, but where – I figured there was no point in staying in a miserable declining post-industrial town with a climate that sucked – so I relocated to the coast, where I could hit the beach every day and never feel too cold or too hot.
Part of my beach fantasy, before it became a reality, involved sipping on cocktails throughout the day. Of course, during my first few weeks living here, I indulged in plenty of beach cocktails, but never quite achieved the feeling of bliss that I had expected.
The reason was clear – the alcohol content of the cocktails was dehydrating me – not a good idea when you’re soaking up the rays on a sunny day. This left me feeling sleepy, weak and with a headache. I tried drinking water between cocktails but nothing changed much, until I decided to cut out the cocktails and drink fruit juice.
Now, I am a big fan of fruit juice, but I have to admit, there is a big difference in the experience of drinking a fruit juice and drinking a cocktail. So here’s what I did in order to be able to get all the delicious flavour of a cocktail on the beach, without the drowsiness and headaches. I bought an ice cooler and several flasks and filled it with mocktails I’d pre-made at home. Of course, I needed to buy an ice maker, which I found at Ice Maker Cubes, and find non-alcoholic replacements for the spirits which are used in many cocktails.
One of my favorite cocktails is a tropical mimosa. This I usually make with mango and orange juice, passion fruit rum and champagne. After adding passion fruit juice to my list of ingredients, I now had to find ways to recreate the tastes of rum and champagne without alcohol. I managed to recreate the rum flavour using ground toasted almonds, pineapple juice and molasses, all mixed into a fine paste, then diluted with water for consistency. The champagne taste I achieved by cooking sugar, water, syrup, grapefruit, orange then adding grenadine and ginger ale. It sounds like quite a roundabout route just to make one mocktail, but don’t forget, you can use the substitutes in any drink you want, not just one cocktail.
Another favourite of mine was the one I used to build up the confidence to talk to the opposite sex: The Long Island Iced Tea. Well, now that I have an awesome body and a great tan, thanks to my morning workouts and my beach lifestyle, I don’t need alcohol as a confidence booster. I look good and I know it, and so do they! I’m a baller but not a highballer, so I set about finding a way to recreate the flavour of all the ingredients of a Long Island. I expect you’ll find this to be extremely useful.
Now, this drink is made with one part each of tequila, vodka, rum, gin, triple sec, syrup, lemon juice and Coca-Cola. I’m not going to bother writing about how to recreate the flavour of Coca-Cola here – that’s for another day. If you really want to, you could try making it with Pepsi – it will be sweeter and more citrusy.
You can use the rum recipe I described above. You can recreate the taste of tequila by using tequila syrup which is available commercially. For the vodka I found it really difficult to try to recreate the strong taste of alcohol by myself and so I ended up going online and ordering a few bottles of Blue Zero Non-Alcoholic vodka which is popular in countries such as Kuwait and the UAE.
For the gin, there is a gin syrup which is available, or you could make a paste to dilute using pine nuts, juniper berries and citrus zest. It lacks a bit of bite and that’s something I’m looking to improve on. For the triple sec substitute you can just use orange extract or orange zest.
Now you can enjoy your day at the beach and still feel great at the end of it. Amaze your fellow beach-goers by nailing one cocktail after another, for hours on end, then going surfing and doing a full workout on the beach! No problem!