I had a chat with Natalie Battaglia about her story, the art of mocktail making and much more!
What inspired you to start the mindful mocktail?
Natalie: In early 2020 I decided to take a break from alcohol, but I really missed the ceremony of making myself a special drink in the evening. I've always been a foodie at heart, and I love creating new things in the kitchen.
When I researched alcohol free alternatives, so many bottled drinks were packed with sugar - the alcohol free space has come a long way since then!
Not wanting to put unnecessary sugar and preservatives in my body, I turned my attention from food to drinks and started creating alcohol free cocktails at home. Instead of sugary syrups and bottled fruit juice (which mocktails are unfortunately known for!) I used fresh fruit and vegetables, and herbs from my garden.
I shared my recipes with friends and family, and received such amazing feedback I decided to start The Mindful Mocktail. The response was incredible, and soon I was connecting with people all over the world who were ready to say goodbye to alcohol and make a healthier choice.
What’s the difference between a mocktail and a non alcoholic cocktail?
Honestly, not much! I use the words 'mocktails', 'alcohol free cocktail' and 'non alcoholic cocktail' interchangeably, and they essentially mean the same thing. I suppose the one difference is the word ‘mocktail’ means that the drink is trying to replicate an existing and popular alcoholic cocktail, such as a Mimosa, Pina Colada or Bloody Mary. The alcohol free versions are ‘mock ups’ of these, which is where the term mocktail comes from.
I'm loving gin mocktails at the moment. What is your current favourite?
That’s a really hard one - I have so many favourites! I adore a bit of spice so I am loving Virgin Bloody Marys at the moment, and if you use my recipe you’ll also get 1 serve of your daily vegetable intake - it’s a win win!
Mocktails can be a bit of a faff to make – why are they worth the effort?
It’s funny you ask this, because a friend and I were talking about it just the other day. I think there are generally two types of people. Those who prefer premixed drinks, where all they need to do is pop the lid and serve over ice, and they’re done. Then there are those who prefer to take their time, use fresh ingredients and make something really special. I fall into the latter category.
For me, it’s like a form of self care. It’s not that I don’t LOVE all the ready to drink alcohol alternatives that are coming to market - but there will always be a special place in my heart for making an alcohol free cocktail from scratch.
What are your top tips for making a good mocktail?
Can I give you three?! Take your time, make it with love, and follow the instructions!
Is there any essential equipment that you couldn’t live without?
I swear by my cocktail shaker and muddler, because they are fun and easy to use, and add to the aesthetic of it all!
But if you don’t have either of these, it doesn’t matter. A great replacement for a cocktail shaker is a mason jar or a drink bottle - anything with a lid. A great replacement for a muddler is the back end of a wooden spoon or similar.
Anything else you think Sans Customers should know?
The alcohol free space is coming ahead in leaps and bounds, which is just so exciting to see. I encourage you to try some of the incredible non-alcoholic spirits that make the mocktail making experience even better.
You can follow the Mindful Mocktail on Instagram here. Tell her Irene says hi!
Try this: Seadrift Coast Gin Mocktail
Get the recipe: Seadrift Coast Gin Mocktail
Get the Ingredients: