Sans Drinks

Sans Drinks

I found out about Sans Drinks via an article in either SMH or Guardian – about the new popularity of non-alcoholic drinks.
So the major newspapers are finally waking up.

But I’m happy. SansDrinks have a huge range of all of my favourite mixers, non-alcoholic wines and non-alcoholic spirits, all in one place. So I can place a single order and have it arrive in one hit. It’s a lot better than my experience in ordering direct from Lyres, where it took weeks to arrive. Yes, I’m in a small country town, but seriously, it’s only 20mins to Byron Bay. Australia Post comes past every day – and once I build a bigger letter box I’m sure they’ll leave more than just a delivery note. /endrant.

It’s an easy shopping experience. They have a HUGE range of wines, bubbles and spirits. So it’s a great way to broaden your horizons by ordering a bundle pack.

Despite never liking beer, I’m really tempted to order some of the Sobah range – it’s pretty hard to go past the idea of a Davidson Plum Gluten-Free Ale – and the customer reviews are positive. One for my next order….

Yes, I’m an affiliate, and if the moon and tides are in alignment I may even get a commission 🙂

Preparing for Dry July with mocktails

Preparing for Dry July with mocktails

I started this site after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The morning after the operation when I mentioned celebrating with champagne, they stopped me flat and said – “alcohol is a risk factor”.

I do still enjoy the odd glass of champagne to be honest, feeling a little guilty each time, although a lime and soda is actually much more refreshing, cheaper, and so much better for your health. And we do have a few bottles of wine and beer at home for special occasions and to offer guests.

This week I’m celebrating reaching 5 years cancer-free, and it’s time to give back and raise some funds for cancer with Dry July.

It’s easy to be tempted, so the best way to stay on the wagon is to be prepared.

Make it easy to grab the non-alcoholic option each day. Stock your fridge and cupboards with the tools and ingredients to make a quick, simple mocktail at the drop of a hat. Or make it a special occasion and prepare some frozen ice cubes with flowers for decorating,

Here are my tips on preparing for Dry July:

  • Get a Sodastream, and have a spare refill.
  • Stock up on unusual cordials. Woolworths has lovely ones: elderflower, ginger, lemon barley, lime, lemongrass, pink grapefruit, raspberry. Go crazy here. My favourite is elderflower and rose.
  • Frozen fruit. Particularly raspberries and blueberries and strawberries, the most perfect fruits on earth. These are great for muddling, garnishing, blending.
  • Fresh fruit – oranges, limes, lemons. Lime is the perfect alternative to alcohol – slightly tart, refreshing, exotic. Lime forms the basis for a gazillion mocktails and makes a beautiful garnish. Ditto strawberries. You’ll never have enough limes and strawberries. Plant some. My lime tree is too young, but my strawberry plants are just coming to fruit now.
  • Sweeteners. Sugar has a bad name, and so many mocktails use sugar syrup as a basis. For impulse mocktails I generally use agave syrup instead of making a batch of sugar syrup and waiting for it to cool. But for a whole month of Dry July, you’ll need to have a batch of sugar syrup in the fridge, or an alternative.
  • Plan your mocktail recipes. As mentioned, many of them use sugar syrups as the basis. When you start wallowing in recipes, you’ll find a large number of sugar syrup variations that you’ll want to make up front and store (labelled) in the fridge: rosemary sugar syrup, basil sugar syrup, ginger sugar syrup.
  • A blender. I’ve been living in a tiny house and technically a blender wasn’t supposed to be part of the necessities. But it’s at the back of the cupboard and waiting to be unpacked. Seriously, try the Liquid Love frozen strawberry mocktail if you’ve got a blender.
  • Non-alcoholic champagne. As a life-long Woolies shopper, I’ve been fond of Edenvale’s sparkling offerings.
  • Non-alcoholic gin. I’ve been pretty happy with Seedlip G&Ts, but am currently waiting for the Lyre’s range to arrive. Their recipes look awesome.
  • Freeze some ice cube trays. Stick a few flowers inside.

Seriously plan your mocktails, to make sure you have the ingredients ready. It can be annoying when you find the perfect recipe and discover at the last minute that you don’t have all the ingredients.

Now that we’re rural, we only go down the “mountain” to the shops once a week, so we can’t pop in for some last-minute limes or a fancy garnish. I’m hoping my garden mint, basil and rosemary will help me out here.

Go on. It’s a good cause.

Lyre’s – the most awarded non-alcoholic spirit beverages in the world.

Lyre’s – the most awarded non-alcoholic spirit beverages in the world.

I’m late to the party. The Lyre’s party.

Lyre’s are making it a gazillion times easier to make some pretty impressive mocktails.

I’ve had fun so far with Seedlip non-alcoholic gins, Wood Lane sparkling botanicals, Edenvale non-alcoholic sparkling wine, and a myriad of lime-and-agave fruit mocktails, but Lyre’s is taking mocktails to the next level.

This is the list of mocktail recipes they currently have on their site:

Dry Martini
Espresso Martini
Amalfi Spritz
Rosa Negronic
Salted Caramel Espresso Martini
Absinthe & Lemonade
Amaretti Affogato
Amaretti Sour
American Malt & Cola
Aperitif Dry on ice
Basil Gimlet
Biano Spritz
Breakfast Club Punch
Brunch Intentions
Coffee Affogato
Dark n Spicy
Eggnog Cocktail
Festival Spritz
Festive Mimosa
Italian Orange & Tonic
Mai Tai
Maple Coffee Cocktail
Clover Club
Cuba Libre

I’d seen the odd reference to Lyre’s, but it was an article at that really highlighted how good this is going to be.

I couldn’t afford to order all of the range – which is a pity, given that the 30 recipes above would cover Dry July nicely. But there are a small number of bottles on order that should arrive next week. Then I can start experimenting.

Obviously without having tried them personally yet, I can’t recommend them as yet, but based on the reputation, this looks like being a winner.

Tiny Living

Tiny Living

I’m currently living in a tiny house.

The entire contents of my life, including 25 years of accumulated stuff from the same house, were downsized to:

  • A piano and 5 plastic storage boxes – now in storage
  • Whatever I could fit in my car as I drove to the hottie’s place, to stay for a few initial months

Selling my old house meant that the kids moved out, so they got pretty much everything – furniture, kitchen contents, fridge and washing machine. Including all of my fancy glassware. We are building a new house, and at some stage I’ll retrieve some nice glasses, particularly the ones my mum had had.

But in the meantime, in the tiny we only have 2 plastic wine glasses and tumblers and plastic plates.

We’ve gone rural, so we only go grocery shopping once a week. No more casual strolls around the corner to pick up an exotic fruit garnish from the grocer.

So the mocktail-making had slowed a little, as the house was priority. But I’m in the mood for making some mocktails now, so it’s time to bring out the plastic glasses, grab some mint leaves from the garden, pump the soda stream, and let the party begin!


A Delicious Bunch

A Delicious Bunch

A Delicious Bunch – a delightful book about growing edible flowers. Can’t wait to have violas to decorate my drinks.