Parveen The Spice Queen: Creative with cocktails & mocktails

Party season is upon us - and I just love it. I love the idea of getting all dressed up, getting together with friends, family and colleagues and enjoying the festivities.

Saturday, 16th December 2017, 7:02 am
Parveen's cocktails
Parveen's cocktails

However, I do have one teeny weeny complaint. There just doesn’t seem to be any drinks that don’t involve alcohol - and if you are not a drinker, like me, the choice of a good drink is limited.

Yes, there is the obligatory J20 or a Coke, which is OK but they are ever so sweet - and I have a sweet tooth! 

I want to have a drink that has flavour and is refreshing without that sweet, saccharine aftertaste in my mouth - enter my exotic cocktails/mocktails. Once teamed with sparking, flavoured water, they are the perfect blend of sweet, citric and freshness. As I said earlier, I don’t drink alcohol, so for myself and my teetotal friends and clients - I make mocktails or sometimes known as Virgin Cocktails. These are cocktails without any alcohol. I know you’re thinking, why bother? But it’s nice to have a drink that offers all the glamour, flavour and elegance of a cocktail, but without the hangover in the morning after. 

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So, let’s get creative with some exotic fruit juices. I like to use a variety of juices but my favourites are mango, lychee and pomegranate. Don’t worry if you cannot get fresh juices, they are quite difficult to get hold of this time of year, so just use bottled or carton fruit juice. Yes, they contain sugar but they work really well with flavoured sparkling water - and for that freshness of taste and hint of zest, just add a fresh lemon or lime - it works a treat.

So here are two recipes for my festive cocktails/mocktails. Give them a go and yes, as this week’s photo shows, I serve mine in glasses that light up!..Very bling and very Bollywood but also very in keeping with the festive season - just call me Parveen the light-up Queen.


Lychee, Gin & Lime Cocktail

Makes 4

250ml - Apple / Elderflower Sparkling Water

200ml - Lychee Juice

100ml - Gin (optional) 

Half freshly squeezed Lime

Small wedge of Lime for decoration 

200ml - crushed ice 

Mango & Passionate-fruit Cocktail

Makes 4

200ml - Mango Juice

150ml - Fresh Orange Juice 

100ml - Sparkling Lemonade

100ml - Passionfruit 

100ml - Vodka (optional) 

Half freshly squeezed Lemon

Small wedge of Lemon for decoration 

200ml - crushed ice 

To make the virgin cocktails - just leave out the alcohol - still tastes fab!