As my alcohol free months continue, I have been on the look out for alcohol free cocktails. The main reason I gave up alcohol was to reduce my calorie intake. For me, one drink leads to two and then I’m much more likely to eat more food. I’ve found a lot of interesting alcohol free drinks, but sadly they most of them are full of sweet fruit juices and sugars. I’m not going to just swap one set of calories for another.
I came across a Gin-Free and Tonic recipe a week or so ago. I gave it a try and it was good, but it still had a bit too much sugar for my taste and frankly, not enough flavor. I threw that recipe away and started came up with my own version, starting from scratch.
I have named this cocktail Herbed Tonic because I added rosemary, lemongrass, lemon, juniper and black pepper. All these flavors meld together and mixed with some sweetness from all natural stevia and topped off with diet tonic water (I don’t usually incorporate “diet” ingredients, but to keep the calorie count down, I chose to go diet here).
If you are like me and give up drinking for awhile, give this recipe a try. It will help keep you on track and also give you a mock cocktail to enjoy.
- ¼ cup juniper berries
- 2 strips lemon peel
- 2 inches of lemongrass (white part, cut in ½ long ways)
- 5 black peppercorns
- 5 rosemary needles
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup stevia (I used Truvia)
- diet tonic water
- Start lightly smashing the juniper berries, either in a mortar and pestle or just with the side of a large knife. You want to smash them so they open up slightly and release their oils. Next, lightly smash the rosemary branch.
- Combine all ingredients except tonic and ice, in a saucepan with a lid. Over medium heat, mix until stevia is dissolved. Remove from heat and cover. Let rest for 10 minutes and then remove the rosemary needles. Let the mixture sit for another 40 minutes and strain. Place in fridge until ready for use.
- Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Pour 2 ounces of syrup over the ice, then top with tonic water. Stir and enjoy!