Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by Fiona Maclean
No Alcohol, Low Alcohol or Full Fat Elderflower Gin Fizz.
A few years ago if you asked for a no-alcohol cocktail or mocktail, your choices would be limited. Fruity, sweet concoctions always seemed to be the order of the day and personally, I would stick to plain tonic water with ice and a slice of lemon rather than overwhelm my tastebuds with sugary delights. The idea of a grown-up mocktail just didn’t exist – and the concept of low alcohol drinks wasn’t even a twinkle in the mixologist’s mind. Low alcohol beers and wines did exist – my mother who had to give up alcohol for health reasons hated most of them. Low alcohol spirits didn’t. Now, there are a wealth of new distilled low or no alcohol spirits on the market and, if like me you are trying to minimise your alcohol consumption, it’s well worth trying them out. I’m particularly keen on making low alcohol versions of some of my favourite cocktails. Using a substitute for the spirit means that I can indulge in something like this ‘gin’ and elderflower fizz without ending up under the table for the rest of the day.
I’ve made this drink three different ways – and if I’m honest, I like the low-alcohol version better than the no-alcohol option. Making it with gin is something I’d only do if I wasn’t planning on drinking anything else as I find mixing spirits and wine is just a little too much for me. The cocktail is a simple mixture of elderflower, gin and bitter lemon or lemon tonic water stirred and served on the rocks in a Collins Glass
For a zero alcohol mocktail use elderflower cordial in place of the St-Germain. And, use a gin substitute like CleanGin to add the aromatics and bitters. Make sure you use the best possible quality cordial and you’ll have a grown-up summer drink that doesn’t taste like a compromise.
For the low-alcohol option, the version I like best is made by substituting a zero alcohol or no alcohol spirit for the gin. CleanGin works well here with citrussy notes that complement St Germain and lemon tonic water. You’ll need a few slices of lemon to garnish – either fresh or Opies sliced lemon works well. It’s worth shelling out on a good quality mixer – I’m using two keys lemon tonic water which is softer than a regular bitter lemon. A lot will depend on your own taste though – you could even use a good quality lemonade. Since the only alcohol in this drink is 30ml of St Germain, the result is a delicious long drink with less alcohol than a small glass of wine!
The ‘full’ version, needless to say, is utterly delicious. Using a good quality gin goes without saying – I’ve made my Elderflower Gin Fizz with Tanqueray No. 10. I liked this so much I ended up making my own hampers up for a lockdown cocktail party
The little bottles are sold to be used for wedding favours, but I think they’d also make excellent ‘build your own cocktail’ options for a party.
If you’d like to try your own St-Germain Gin Fizz (or a St-Germain NoGin Fizz, or even an Elderflower Fizz) here’s the recipe.
An Easy Summer Cocktail, Mocktail or Low Alcohol Drink
- 30 ml St Germain Liqueur or elderflower cordial for the mocktail
- 40 ml Gin or non-alcoholic spirit of your choice - I used CleanGin
- 150 ml Bitter Lemon or Lemon Tonic Water
- 1 slice Lemon
Half fill a collins glass with ice
Mix St Germain and Gin (or alternatives) together in a small jug
Pour over the ice in the glass
Top up with lemon tonic or bitter lemon
Garnish with a slice of lemon
Calories will vary depending on whether you are making a mocktail, low-alcohol cocktail or cocktail with gin and St Germain, and on whether you use light tonic water. I have provide a rough estimate!
You can buy St Germain online from Amazon and Masters of Malt and from leading supermarkets and off licences.
You can buy CleanGin from Amazon or from their own website