HONEY MELON MOCKTAIL
The local muskmelons that are available here may vary in taste and appearance from its foreign counterparts, but they are delicious nevertheless. Unfortunately, many people tend to dislike the taste of local melons. This mocktail is made using a combination of fruit juices that does not disappoint in enhancing the taste of this underrated fruit.
2 cups cubed muskmelon
1 cup orange segment
1 cup coconut water
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp orange zest
Peel a melon, remove the inner seeds, and cut it into chunks. Try to use sweet melon because the sweeter the melon, the better the taste. Measure 2 cups of melon cubes from here and freeze them. To prepare the orange, remove the skin and take out the inner segments by cutting in carefully with a knife. 1 cup of orange segments will require about two oranges.
Grate the peel of the orange with a zester to attain 1 teaspoon of orange zest. Be careful not to include any white bit as they are bitter to taste.
In a blender, add the frozen muskmelon and orange segments at first. Blend this for a minute until it becomes a smooth and thick paste. Then pour in coconut water, honey, and orange zest. Blend all of these well on high speed to get a thick mixture, which is similar to a slush.
The end product will be your luscious honey lemon mocktail that is refreshing enough to calm you from the summer heat. If you want a thinner consistency, add more coconut water or plain water accordingly. However, this may also require extra helping of honey.
VIRGIN FRUIT SANGRIA
While traditional sangria is made using alcohol, here is a completely non-alcoholic version that is concocted using only fresh fruit juices, which is on many levels healthier and better than the original kind.
2 cups soda water
1 cup guava juice
1 cup pomegranate juice
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup pomegranate arils
¼ cup sliced red apples
¼ cup grapes
For the orange infused simple syrup —
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
Start by preparing the fruits for the sangria. Cut the apples into thin slices without removing the skin, then cut them further to get small triangular segments. Red apples will work best given their sweeter taste. Remove the arils from a bright red pomegranate to get the required number of jewels and cut your desired colour of grapes in halves of quarters. You can also use a combination of red, green, and black grapes.
To make the orange infused simple syrup, pour in equal parts of water and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat. Remove it from the heat once the sugar dissolves completely and it comes to a simmer. Take the rind of an orange and immediately add this to the hot simple syrup. As the syrup cools down, the orange flavour will infuse in it.
In a large pitcher, drop the sliced apples and grapes, and pomegranate arils at the bottom. Then, add guava juice, pomegranate juice, orange juice, and the prepared flavoured simple syrup to sweeten it up. Give it a light stir before adding in the soda water. Give it another stir and leave this to chill in the fridge before serving.
VIRGIN MANGO ORANGE MOJITO
This unique virgin mojito is made with everyone's favourite summer fruit — mangoes! It tastes fizzy, fruity, sweet, and tart all at once, making your taste buds tingle with deliciousness. Now is the best time of the year to make this virgin mango orange mojito when mangoes are at the peak of their glory, available in several varieties.
1 cup orange juice
1½ cup lemon soda
½ cup mango puree
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp sugar
Bunch of mint leaves
5-6 ice cubes
Peel off the skin from one large mango and finely puree its cheeks to get ½ cup of mango puree. Slightly muddle a handful of mint leaves with a tablespoon of sugar to attain a deep mint flavour. Be careful not to overdo it as this will extract the bitterness from the mint leaves. Grate the skin of one lime and one orange with a micro-plane grater to extricate their zest.
In a blender, blend the mango puree along with freshly squeezed orange juice and lime juice. Then, pour in lemon soda and sprinkle orange and lime zest and mix them together properly with a spoon. Drop a few ice cubes to your serving glass and add the muddled mint leaves first. Pour in the mango orange mojito mixture and garnish with slices of lime, orange, and mint leaves.
TRILAYER PINK MOCKTAIL
This three layered peachy pink mocktail is not only a treat to your taste buds but to your eyes as well. Concocted with a dash of this and a sprig of that, this gorgeous mocktail is the absolute summer treat. The addition of mint leaves, combined with the fruit juices of pineapple and strawberry gives this impressive drink a fresh and zesty taste.
1 cup pineapple chunks
1¾ cups coconut water
½ cup strawberry puree
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rose syrup
1 tsp lime zest
Few mint sprigs
Start by removing the leaves and tops from about a dozen strawberries and cut the individual pieces in half. Drop them in a blender and squeeze in the juice of a lime, along with its zest. Blitz this to get a fine strawberry puree and stir in the rose syrup. Mix everything well and keep the mixture aside.
Next, prepare a pineapple by removing the skin, head, and bottom of it. Then core it and cut the fruit into chunks. Finely chop some mint leaves to get a tablespoon of freshly chopped mint leaves. Put the fresh pineapple chunks into a blender accompanied with coconut water and mint leaves. Give these a whiz to get a homogenous mixture.
In your serving glass, pour in the strawberry mixture first, followed by steadily adding the pineapple juice. Within a couple of minutes, the layers will separate on their own to represent three layers. The bottom two layers will look like ombre shades of pink, one being clear and thin, while the other slightly deeper and thicker. The topmost layer should be a frothy white one.
Garnish this stunning mocktail with mint on the top, or pineapple chunks on the rim of your glass. You can also add a fun straw to add a nice pop of colour.
Food and Photo: Fariha Amber