It was a cool and festive night in Shoreditch, East London. The street lamps lit up just the lower parts of the buildings, which made everything feel a lot smaller and cosier than it usually did in the city. My co-worker went to get everyone drinks. A group of us were out for post-work cocktails in Shoreditch and I'd asked for a herbal tea. Unable to buy one at the bar he walked back to our office to make one and returned 30 minutes later having smuggled it back into the bar in a Claridges bag. I thought it was ever so charming and most inventive!
Alas, he isn't on hand to magic up herbal teas all the time and some might say that tea is a bit pedestrian for parties, so I have been exploring other alternatives and neat recipes for non-alcoholic posh drinks.
I’m calling these new non-alcoholic drinks, Sun Risers, named after those who drink them. They've been selected for one or more of the following qualities:
I hope you like these non-alcoholic options, each named after a literary icon. Let me know how you get on.
1. Neruda Nights
1 lime, include juice and pith
Sprig of mint leaves
1 Grapefruit, peeled and blended
1 borage flower
Juice the lime and muddle the lime pith and skin along with mint leaves in the bottom of a high ball glass. Add a measure of sparkling water and top up with bitter lemon. Garnish with a borage flower.
Quote: “Love! Love until the night collapses!” Pablo Neruda, Machu Picchu
2. Ivana Gooseberry
Blend 250g gooseberries, 1 tbsp caster sugar, 200g plain or Greek yoghurt with 1 tsp natural vanilla extract. Add 200ml coconut cream/coconut water and serve in a stemless glass with a gooseberry for garnish.
Read: Chekhovs short story, 'Gooseberries'
3. Take Me Tagore
A creamy drink featuring lots of tropical fruits. Add your preferred amount of Pineapple, mango, banana and passion fruit to a blender with some coconut milk and the juice of a lime. Blend until smooth and serve in a snifter with an umbrella and a smile.
Quote: "The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence". Rabindranath Tagore
4. The H.E Bates In Blue
Prepare a blue tea using butterfly pea flowers.
Stir in a spoon of bee honey or dandelion honey
Add a few chamomile flowers and allow to cool
Serve in a tall glass with ice and a sprinkling of your favourite berry cordial.
Read: Short Story, 'The Grapes Of Paradise' by H.E. Bates
A shot of espresso + a coconut cream ice cube.
Serve in a short glass or small espresso glass.
(you can make coconut cream ice cubes by freezing coconut cream in a regular ice tray)
Read: 'The Unquiet Grave' by Palinurus
6. Crystal Clare
Add 2 medium cuttings of rosemary to a tall glass of filtered water.
Simple and serene, like a John Clare nature poem.
7. Be Beatnik
Juice 3 raw beets.
Serve on the rocks or serve as shots.
You can also freeze these beet shots in the ice tray and serve as part of other drinks.
Quote: “Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! every day is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel!” (“Footnote to Howl”) - Allen Ginsberg, Beatnik Poet
8. My-My, Shropshire Lad
Peel and chop 2 pears and blend with a little water.
Add the juice of half a lemon.
Serve in a Coupe glass with a little cinnamon on top.
Read: A Shropshire Lad, by A. E Housman (1859)
9. Kabir Cooler
Think pure lime + coconut water + Himalayan pink salt
Add the juice of a lime to a little coconut water
Serve in a martini glass, with very little Himalayan pink salt around the rim.
Quote: "The river that flows in you also flows in me." - Kabir
10. Allende Bender
Peel 2 lemons and blend until smooth, sweeten with sugar or a sugar alternative. Top up with purified water and sprinkle rose petals on top. You could also add a tiny drop of rose water.
Read: The book ' The Sum Of Our Days', by Isabele Allende
11. The Mother (of Pondicherry)
Add your favourite edible flowers to the ice cube tray while making ice.
Take a tall glass of filtered water and add a sprig of sage.
Serve the glass of water with a tower of frozen floral ice cubes.