Juniper Shrub and Tonic mocktail

If you love the herbaceous, piney flavor of a premium gin but want to avoid the alcohol, give this “virgin” version a try. Spiker’s Juniper Bay Shrub is made from many of the same ingredients used in gin — including grains of paradise, cubeb pepper, bay leaf, and citrus peel — so you will be able to enjoy the fragrance and taste of gin in each sip, with one important difference: No gin, no sin!

Be sure to use only premium tonic water in this recipe. Standard brands are too sweet and flavorless.

Raspberry Sencha Spritzer

Raspberry Bergamot shrub — a rich, plum-red infusion delicately scented with Italian bergamot oil — creates a heavenly spritzer when blended with Japanese Sencha green tea. The unique method of cold infusing (described below) was adapted from Sebastian Beckwith’s inspirational web site and description of tea traditions.


Moscow Mule Mocktail

It’s Mocktail Monday, and we’re on an alliteration kick. Mmm….Moscow Mule fits the bill. This vodka-based cocktail is making a resurgence, and we have found that it can easily be tweaked into a fabulous alcohol-free drink. Continue reading Moscow Mule Mocktail

Mocktail Monday: Apple-Cucumber Cooler

August is steaming up, and my plan for keeping cool is to put a bunch of glasses in the freezer to get frosty, and then whip up a pitcher of white tea infused with rosemary, brightened with a splash of Spiker’s Roasted Cinnamon Apple shrub, chilled cucumber juice, sliced peaches, and a bit of mineral water.

You don’t need a juicer to prepare the cucumber; a blender or food processor works just as well. (For those of you who want to spike this beverage with a spirit, try a bit of gin.)





Mocktail Monday: Spicy Mary

I’m one of the only people I know who adores a good Bloody Mary. By good, I don’t mean a can of tomato juice spiked with vodka. The best Mary drinks start with freshly pressed juice bursting with garden-fresh flavor. When blended with the proper spices, I almost don’t care if the booze is missing…which is what led me to develop this recipe for a light, alcohol-free take on a traditional Bloody Mary. Continue reading Mocktail Monday: Spicy Mary

Mocktail Monday: Raspberry Shrub Collins

When I was a child, one of my favorite treats to sneak from the fridge was my parents’ Tom Collins mixer. Even back then I had a thing for sweet/tart flavors, and the bottled Collins mix – with its tart fizzy taste and citrus notes – packed a lot more pleasure than a glass of cola or even ginger ale. To bring back these great taste memories, we concocted a mocktail recipe with the same sweet/tart/citrus profile of a traditional Tom Collins, but without the gin. Continue reading Mocktail Monday: Raspberry Shrub Collins

Mocktail Monday: Boomtown Rat-a-tat

We just heard from representatives of the Monday Anti-Defamation  (MAD) League; they’re upset that we’re giving the first day of the work week a bad rat — er, rap — by promoting the consumption of mocktails.

Hey, it’s not our fault that Monday is looked upon with dread. Or that it’s the day of the week you can’t have any fun.

Fact is, you can have plenty of fun on Mocktail Monday. Especially when you have a mocktail made with Spiker’s Shrubs. Without the fuzzy head, you can probably drive farther (and safer), stay awake longer (visit friends, watch a movie, fold your laundry). Plus, you can transfer the unspent alcohol calories on something like a take-out rotisserie chicken, or a veggie pizza (feel good about the veggies, feel bad about the cheese). Or chocolate truffles. Yum.

So hop on the wagon (or off the wagon, or whatever) and embrace Mocktail Monday with this week’s recipe. We’re tipping our hat to the Boomtown Rats for creating a song that has immortalized Mondays (although they were singing about the school week rather than work; somewhere out there in space, we’re still in 11th grade).

Mocktail Monday: The Wood Stacker

This year, our firewood delivery took place during an unseasonably warm stretch of weather here in Massachusetts. Understandably, we worked up quite a thirst while moving the logs from their dumping spot to the racks behind our shed.

Initially, I made several trips to the house to refill my water bottle. But plain H2O just wasn’t cutting it. And then I remembered how pioneers often would drink a vinegar-honey-ginger beverage called  “switchel” — also known as “Haymaker’s Punch” — to provide hydration during their long stints in the field. Using some of our newly-bottled Roasted Cinnamon Apple Shrub and some chilled seltzer, I created my own variation on this theme. Ahhh! Truly more refreshing than water, and a lot more interesting.