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Stylish drinks that won’t lose you your driving licence or give you a headache is a fast growing trend.

Fruity or zesty long drinks, colourfully decorated, are a treat for the eyes and the tastebuds.

Here are some ideas for drinks that are attractions in their own right and not merely a consolation for the lack of alcohol.


Minted fruit punch

8 cups hot strong tea
12 tablespoons chopped mint
3 cups lemon juice
5 cups orange juice
2 cups grapefruit juice
½ cup lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
Rind of 6 cucumbers cut into long strips
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
14 cups grape juice
4 x 750ml bottles dry gingerale
1 x 750ml bottles soda water
ice

Pour hot tea over mint. Add lemon, orange, grapefruit and lime juices, salt and cucumber rind.  Boil together sugar and water to make syrup. Add to punch. Let stand until cold. Strain, and chill. Just before serving add grape juice, gingerale and soda water. Serve with ice, and garnish with orange and lemon slices. Makes about 80 servings.


Passionate punch

Juice of 6 lemons
Juice of 18 grapefruit
Water
Sugar to taste
1.5 litres orange juice
1.5 litres pineapple juice
12 passion fruit or 230g of preserved pulp
6 x 750ml bottles gingerale
6 x 750ml bottles lemonade
ice

Measure the lemon and grapefruit juice. In a large container mix together the lemon and grapefruit juices and then add half again water. Add sugar to taste. Stir in the orange and pineapple juices and passion fruit pulp. Just before serving add gingerale, lemonade and ice. Decorate with slices of lemon, orange, cucumber and mint sprigs. Serve chilled. Makes 75 servings.


Spiced fruit punch

 

6 litres orange juice
6 litres pineapple juice
1.5 litres lemon juice
1.5 litres honey
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 packet whole cloves
4 x 750ml bottles gingerale
ice

Mix fruit juices, add honey and stir until dissolved. Add rind and spices and steep in juices. Chill. Strain, add gingerale and serve over ice.


Cranberry punch

3 litres cranberry juice
Juice of 12 lemons
1 litre tea
2 litres gingerale

Mix fruit juices and tea together and chill. Before serving add gingerale and serve over ice. Makes 24 servings.

 


Apple punch

3 litres apple juice
Juice of 12 lemons
1 litre pineapple juice
1 litre soda water

Mix apple, lemon and pineapple juice together. Before serving add soda water and serve over ice. makes 24 servings.


Old fashioned lemonade

This is delicious, wonderfully economical and can be made a few weeks ahead of time and stored in a cool place.

6 lemons
1.8kg sugar
30g tartaric acid
30g citric acid
60g Epsom salts
2 litres boiling water

Grate the rind from the lemons and then squeeze the juice. Dissolve the sugar, tartaric and citric acids, and Epsom salts in boiling water.  Mix in the grated rind and juice.  Pour into bottles.  Before serving, dilute with water to taste.

 


Super quick punch

Mix equal quantities of your favourite fruit juice with tonic or gingerale. Serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices and mint sprigs.


And don’t forget water!

Dress it up with lots of ice, and add your choice of:

  • lemon, orange or lime slices

  • strawberries

  • sprigs of mint

  • parsley

  • cucumber slices

  • raspberries, fresh or frozen

  • edible flowers

  • a piece of rosemary


The finishing touches …

  • Skewer on a toothpick a small wedge of fresh pineapple, a mint leaf and a cherry or raspberry

  • Gently fold a lemon, orange or lime slice and skewer with a toothpick

  • Thread raspberries and blueberries on a plastic skewer or swizzle stick

  • Freeze raspberries, blueberries or small edible flowers e.g. violets, pansies, dandelions, borage, nasturtiums, in ice cubes

  • A wedge of orange, lime or lemon and a raspberry or blueberry

  • A shred of orange, lime or lemon peel (invest in a zester – they’re worth every cent!)

  • Plastic cocktail animals to balance on the rim of the glass, or paper cocktail umbrellas

  • Frost the rims of your glasses - moisten rim of glass with lemon juice or water and then gently dip into a plate of caster sugar. If you want coloured sugar mix 2-3 drops of natural food colouring into 4 tablespoons of caster sugar.