• Emily Holland

A Mocktail For Every Season

I started following Emerald LaFortune and her sober curious journey on Instagram for her pictures of great looking mocktails, and her words. She was documenting a year of being sober, being outside, and creating delicious non-alcoholic drinks along the way. I loved how mindful and inquisitive she seemed from the small boxes and captions we see on the app.

We had the opportunity to connect and she will soon be a feature episode on the Nature Untold Podcast (coming soon!). In that conversation, we started chatting about mocktails and the fun she was having in getting creative with them. Emerald put together her favorites for each season. With the holidays coming up, no matter how you're celebrating through COVID, we wanted to share these recipes. Enjoy Emerald's recipes, photos and words below.

Spring: Turmeric Ginger Pineapple Slushy

From Bon Appetit Magazine

For the last decade, as a May baby, margaritas had marked both my birthday and the changing of the seasons. One thing I learned early in my year of sobriety was that mocktails were less about mimicking exact drinks, and more about nodding to the experience of them. These Turmeric Ginger Pineapple Slushies have just the right mix of spice and sweet, and a texture that says “here comes the sun” - great for in between trout on your favorite stretch of river.

Blend with two cups of ice:

4 cups frozen pineapple chunks⁠⠀

2½ cups coconut water⁠⠀

1 1½" piece ginger, peeled, finely grated⁠⠀

½ tsp. kosher salt⁠⠀

¾ tsp. ground turmeric⁠⠀

Pour into an insulated metal water bottle and lid.

Summer: Lemon Lavender Spritz

In the heat of the summer, I found myself in a La Croix rut - grabbing whatever was coldest and easiest out of the fridge. This spritz reminded me how a nice glass and infused simple syrup can elevate a can of sparkling water from meh to a true August treat. This mocktail is just right for after a long day hiking in the alpine or an after-work mountain bike with friends.

Make a lavender simple syrup:⁠⠀

- 1 cup water⁠⠀

- 1 cup sugar⁠⠀

- 1 tbsp lavender flowers ⁠⠀

- A few blueberries ⁠⠀

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan then simmer for ten minutes. Let cool, then strain into a jar.⁠⠀

Muddle a lemon, shake of orange bitters, and a splash of lavender syrup in the bottom of a glass.

Top with ice and whatever can of sparkling water survived your last river float. Stir and garnish.

Fall: Honey Roasted Pear Sparkler

Inspired by this Cotter Crunch Recipe

As the cottonwoods around the river started to change, I craved a drink that said, “autumn.” The pear base of this sparkler speaks to shortening days, with the balsamic adding a smoky, complex flavor to balance the sweetness of the fruit. This mocktail is the perfect complement to a morning of stalking elk through the timber.

Preheat oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, a pinch of cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. Brush over pears. Place pears in oven for about 20 minutes until pears are softened. Remove from oven and scoop out the seeds.

Place pears in a blender or food processor with a splash of vanilla and 2 tbsp water. Blend until pureed, then scoop puree into a lidded jar and cool.⠀

Rim a glass with brown sugar and fill with ice.⠀

Stir a scoop (about ¼ cup) of pear purée with two tbsp ginger simple syrup (buy or make your own - super easy).⠀

Pour through a fine mesh strainer into your glass.⠀

Top with a grapefruit spindrift or pamplemousse La Croix.

Winter: Hot Cocoa For Grownups

Growing up, I mostly agreed to ski trips with my family for the hot cocoa. There was something about what came out of the machine that tasted so much better than the stuff from a can at home. Or maybe everything tastes better when you can’t feel your toes. Regardless, the almond milk and real chocolate adds depth to this snow day treat, and don’t underestimate the joy a marshmallow can bring a cold day.

On stovetop, heat 1 ½ cups of unsweetened almond milk in a small saucepan.

Once warmed, but before boiling, add three heaping tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips and a splash of vanilla extract. Whisk until blended, making sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan.

Pour into an insulated ceramic mug.

Top with a marshmallow and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Thank you to Emerald for putting these together. Follow along with her and keep an eye out for her episode of Nature Untold coming soon.

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