Non-Alcoholic Indian-Style Mocktails

Here at EC, we’ve been catering South Asian events since 2001. Through countless weddings, birthdays and other special celebrations that required a spirit-free option, our Beverage Manager Tom Sierra has perfected a couple of party-ready recipes. Inspired by the colors, flavors and cultural traditions of the diverse ethnic and religious groups of the area, our Mangolicious Indian mocktail is a must-have at any event. Even within families with members that consume alcohol, the Mangolicious drink is a proven crowd-pleaser. Plus, it’s easily transformed into a stiff, spirituous cocktail with the addition of gin.

The Mangolicious mocktail is a mixture of bright mango puree, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, honey (for sweetness) and greek yogurt, which gives it the traditionally thick texture of a mango lassi. Lassis are thick Indian smoothies generally concocted with yogurt or milk bases. You could also call them fruit milkshakes. While lassis are typically finished with a dash of cinnamon or cardamom, our mango mocktail garnishes vary depending on the season or the preferences of the client. In the past, we’ve used anything from dehydrated red pepper to fresh mango slices to caramelized sugar sticks.

Recently, we catered an Indian wedding shower at Chez Chicago for a Sikh family who wanted an elevated non-alcoholic drink menu. Our mixologist seized the opportunity to get creative and really “wow” the clients and their guests. Pictured above is a sparkling “rose” lemonade, featuring the delicate blush color of its floral namesake. Because the event took place in early March, our kitchen was inspired by fresh, springy orchids. Each cocktail glass was finished with a single stunning orchid placed into the mouth of the glass to achieve a dramatic, romantic look appropriate to the season.

Lastly, we present the Citrus Splash, another one of our favorite non-alcoholic drinks for spring and summer affairs. This mocktail is so light and refreshing, it’s a must-have for any spring or summer celebration. Served in a stemless martini glass, we infuse this spiritless spirit with sugar cane, fresh lime juice and a splash of orange juice. The rim is dusted with pink sugar to give the mocktail presentation a festive flair.

Fresh and fruity Indian-style mocktails aren’t just for cultural celebrations—low-alcohol drinks (or no-alcohol drinks, in this case) are perfect for patio season. When weekend brunch starts with a pitcher of mimosas, you could be out for the count before noon! Spirit-free spritzers keep you energized and on your feet all day long. Even without the addition of a liquor, mocktails offer the same elevated flavor profiles and bright, eye-catching garnishes. Look for recipes featuring seasonal flavors like our bright mango concoction and rose lemonade to sip on something that feels special. Sugar- and salt-dusted rims are extra-indulgent.

Find more of our alcohol-free mocktails and Indian cocktail food here.