Summer means more time for social get togethers, which, typically means more booze. But, even at the best parties someone has to be the designated driver. 

What makes an interesting, grown-up alternative mocktail that's both alcohol free and sugar free? If it sounds like an almost impossible ask, it is!

Start searching for alcohol alternatives and you'll come up time and time again with added sugar or something artificially sweet, even from the clean-eating brigade.

Gladly, time's a changing. Perhaps we are getting more sophisticated palates, or more of just want to be on the virtuous side of sugar consumption. 

Here are some ideas for summer 2017 that are based on primary ingredient of zero sugar or low sugar natural tree water The tree waters have a more adult taste making them ideal for mocktails.  My favourite is Bamboo water which tastes like a more refreshing green tea, whereas many swear by Birch water, probably the best known of the tree waters.

I've added a Maple water idea too, a naturally sweet option if you struggle with the bitter tastes. Once you've chosen your tree water, add the fruit. 

Tree water + add seasonal fruit

Use ingredients that are at their best, I've chosen season apricots, blueberries and kiwis as they all look and taste great with some year round favourites such as vitamin C rich lime and pomegranate. These will add life and colour to your drink, as well as natural sweetness. I love to use some cocktail bitters and herbs to really add some punch and depth of flavour.

I spent a very pleasant afternoon coming up with these three mocktail recipes that I'm delighted to say went down well in the BBC radio studio!

Bamboo water, bitters, basil, lime and pomegranate

  • 1/2 bottle Bamboo water
  • Couple of drops of bitters, such as Angostura
  • Pinch of fresh basil
  • Handful of pomegranate seeds
  • Chopped fresh lime slices and squeeze of half a lime 

 Maple, kiwi & blueberry

  • 1/2 bottle Maple water
  • 1/2 chopped kiwi
  • Handful of blueberries 

  Birch, apricot, cucumber & freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/2 bottle Birch water
  • Chopped apricot slices
  • Chopped cucumber (or ribbons look even better!)
  • juice from 1/2 lemon 


Other sugar free mocktail ideas include using sparkling water as a base and adding some fruit, herb and spice combinations. Scooped out passion fruit, lime juice, pinch of finely chopped ginger and chopped fresh mint is a good place to start! Enjoy!