New Year’s Eve may be synonymous with Champagne, but not everyone wants to start the New Year with a blinding hangover. So at Well+Good we set ourselves the task of finding a festive mocktail so delicious that the flavors, not the alcohol, provide the buzz. We didn’t have to look any further than our friends at Pure Food and Wine. We figured if they can make decadent lasagna without using pasta or cheese, they’d know how to mix a to-die-for mocktail.
The White Light Tini, made with lemongrass-infused green tea, was created by the raw-food restaurant’s Italian sommelier, Joey Repice. Owner Sarma Melngailis explains its appeal, “This mocktail tastes exotic, refreshing, tart, and not too sweet. And I always love anything with lemongrass!” The virgin recipe is below, but the restaurant typically serves it with unfiltered sake called Summer Snow. Sometimes, however, you want to be pure as the driven snow.
WHITE LIGHT TINI
3 tablespoons loose green tea leaves
One 1-inch piece of fresh lemongrass, outer husk removed and thinly sliced or shaved with a peeler
4 cups hot, filtered water
½ cup ginger juice*
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
½ cup agave nectar
4 fresh orchid blossoms or other edible flowers (optional, for garnish)
Steep the tea and lemongrass in a little more than 1 cup hot water and let it sit for 30 minutes or more.
Strain the tea and let it chill completely in the refrigerator.
Combine the tea with the ginger juice, lime juice, and agave nectar, and stir to dissolve the agave. In a martini shaker, pour the chilled liquid over ice and shake or stir very well to chill. Strain and pour into martini glasses.
Garnish with orchid blossoms or other edible flowers.
* To make ginger juice, simply grate ginger on a fine grater and pack the pulp into a cheesecloth. Squeeze the cloth with your hand to extract the juice. Roughly one tablespoon of pulp will yield one teaspoon of juice.
Do you have a favorite non-alcoholic cocktail? Tell us, here!