Now that March is here, and with it a very early spring, we thought we’d spend some time with non-alcoholic mocktails, something we haven’t done since last January. So let’s start off with a bright, fresh Matcha Coconut Mocktail recipe that is perfect for this weather and all the buds that are just starting to pop on our trees. –Andrew
Matcha Coconut Mocktail
1 oz Matcha Syrup
1 oz Coconut Milk
1 oz Mint Tea, Unsweatened
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
To make the matcha syrup: combine a cup of white sugar, a cup of water, and a tablespoon of matcha powder in a sauce pan over low heat. Stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved and give it a whisk to make sure the matcha doesn’t clump. Bottle and refrigerate.
To make the mocktail: combine the syrup, coconut milk, mint tea, and juices in a cocktail shaker filled two-thirds with ice and shake well. Strain into a coupe glass and sprinkle powdered turmeric on top.
This drink is richly creamy and sweet-tart, with a vaguely tropical feel. The matcha – made from a finely ground green tea leaves – lends some verdant, astringent notes and a beautiful green color.
Without the turmeric garnish, this is a tasty drink, something like a funky smoothy. But the turmeric (which looks, appropriately, like pollen) adds just enough exotic spiciness, just a hint of bitterness, that the drink comes together as something complex enough to stand toe-to-toe with a cocktail.
Making good mocktails can actually be harder than making good cocktails. Liquor brings all sorts of complex flavors – sharp, astringent, bitter, bold – that are tricky to recreate without the real deal. But mocktails don’t have to be limp glasses of sweetened juice with a bit of soda. They can be complex and rich and layered too – they just require a little bit of extra work to find those magic ingredients that turn a drink into a real mocktail. And so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time, hold on to those ingredients – sharp spices like turmeric or bitter, astringent coffee are two good ones to remember!
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Glassware by Liquorary
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper