Non-alcoholic cocktails are boring. Fact. But if you’re having friends for lunch before a heavy afternoon of researching dissertations, working on articles or attending press launches (it’s a tough life), sometimes you make a sensible choice and opt for a non-alcoholic drink. Jazzing up regular drinks is surprisingly easy, all it takes is basic knowledge of sugar syrup then you can roam free and throw in whatever you want. Plus, there’s always room for a shot of gin if the occasion demands.
This one is especially good for autumn – it has just the right amount of spice and uses one of the season’s great champions, the pear.
- For the ginger sugar syrup
- . 1tbsp grated fresh ginger
- . ½ tbsp. ground ginger
- . ½ cup caster sugar
- . 1 cup water
- For the pear
- . Three Conference pairs
- For the lemonade
- . Six cans of lemonade. I’m not going to insist you make your own lemonade too.
- Put all the syrup ingredients into a small saucepan on a low-medium heat. Stir constantly to make sure the sugar dissolves and taste often. If you feel it’s too gingery, add some sugar.
- Strain the mixture with a small sieve into a jug, getting rid of the ginger pieces. Put into the fridge to cool.
- Chop up the pears, removing the pips and stalk. Place into a small glass bowl and, using a potato masher, muddle. (If you own a pestle and mortar obviously this is a better option)
- Push through a sieve with the back of a spoon, so the skin and nasty big fleshy bits don’t get through. You should be left with a smooth, brown-y mixture.
- Over ice, pour about a finger’s worth of each syrup and top off with lemonade. YUM.
Other delicious sugar syrups to try
Rosemary = replace the ginger with several sprigs of rosemary. Serve with lemonade.
Orange = use ¼ cup water, ¼ cup orange juice and add 1tbsp of orange peel. Delicious with ginger beer.
Mint = tear up some mint leaves to release their natural juices. This is divine with lemonade (and gin, of course).