Sparkling Green Mocktail

In January I decided to drink less alcohol. I have had fun coming up with new and tasty drinks that give me the feel of a fun cocktail without any of the downside to my health. I have already seen big changes in how I feel, with this one small adjustment to my weekly rhythms.

This mocktail has all of my favorite flavors: ginger, cucumber, lime and mint. I just never tire of that combination. These ingredients are my ride or die. I weave them through much of my cooking and now in my mocktails!

I have also been playing around with Monkfruit as a sugar substitute. It tastes the most like traditional white cane sugar in my opinion and behaves similarly in recipes. I love that it substitutes for sugar with equal measurement. One exception to that is when making a Monkfruit simple syrup. If you are looking for ways to drop the calories and minimize the insulin spike of a traditional simple syrup, you may want to make your own Monkfruit simple syrup. It is easy and you won’t taste the difference!

Monkfruit Simple Syrup Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water (preferably filtered water)
  • 1/2 cup of granulated Monkfruit (I buy mine from Costco)
  • tiny pinch of xanthan gum (no more than a 16th of a teaspoon or the syrup becomes gummy)

Tips & Tricks for Simple Syrup

  1. Traditional simple syrup is most often made in a 1:1 ratio (one cup of sugar to one cup of water)
  2. Monkfruit syrup is more finicky and is best made at a 2:1 ratio (1/2 cup of Monkfruit sugar to one cup of water).
  3. Simple syrup made from Monkfruit has a tendency to crystallize quickly. To prevent this, add the tinniest pinch of xanthan gum. Please don’t freak out!
  4. Xanthan gum is a plant based thickener and stabilizer. In this recipe it helps to slow down the crystallization process of the Monkfruit. If your Monkfruit syrup does crystallize before you have used it all, simply reheat it again slowly.

Monkfruit Simple Syrup Instructions

  1. Add the granulated Monkfruit and the water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until all of the Monkfruit has dissolved. Stir often to avoid scorching the Monkfruit.
  2. Once it is dissolved, remove from the heat and sprinkle with a tiny pinch of xanthan gum. Whisk until the xanthan gum has dissolved.
  3. Let the syrup cool to room temperature then decant into a clean jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Mocktail Ingredients

  • Sliced English cucumber
  • Grated ginger root
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Sparking mineral water or Soda water
  • Simple syrup
  • Ginger beer (optional)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (optional)

Mocktail Instructions

  1. Muddle 1/2 tsp grated ginger, a few mint leaves, 1 slice of cucumber in the bottom of a glass. If you don’t have a muddler, you can use the back end of a wooden spoon or something similar.
  2. Squeeze one half a lime into the mixture and stir.
  3. You can either strain mixture into new glass or keep the muddled mixture. I prefer keeping it for more flavor, but if the texture bothers you, strain.
  4. Add simple syrup (made earlier) to the mixture and stir. Start with about 1 Tb.
  5. Add ice and top with soda water or sparkling mineral water. Adjust sweetness by adding more simple syrup if you wish.
  6. Garnish with extra cucumber, mint or limes and serve.
  7. If you prefer a more gingery flavor, swap out the simple syrup with a pour of ginger beer instead.
  8. I have also been adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to my mocktails at the end. It gives it that little bit of a bite of a normal cocktail, but has all the hidden health benefits. Bonus!