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Plum And Ginger Cordial Mocktail (For A 0 ABV Thanksgiving And Holiday) Recipe

mocktail in a wine glass
mocktail in a wine glass - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Holidays aren't exactly easy on sober lifestyles. With families gathering and friends coming home, the general consensus is that the drinks should stay flowing throughout the week and well into the weekend. With the hustle and bustle of the day and a feast to look forward to, 0% ABV options tend to fall to the wayside. While everyone is enjoying glasses of wine, some are stuck with their seventh cup of water — not that there's anything wrong with being really, really well-hydrated.

It's about time to give some attention to alcohol-free drinks. Easy solutions can be juice or sparkling water, but it's nice, on a special occasion, to have something out of the ordinary. After all, why does a celebratory libation have to come with a buzz?

Making a good mocktail is more than just substituting spirits. It's about layering flavors, offering a unique beverage that can't necessarily be poured out of a bottle but feels just right in a cocktail glass. This recipe by developer Michelle McGlinn layers fall-forward plums with ginger and white tea for an herbal but juicy flavor. Topped with sparkling water, the punchy flavors turn into a spritz that can be drunk easily all night long. It's not overly sweet, putting it in an entirely different category than juice or soda — a sophisticated category, with 0% ABV to boot.

Read more: The 40 Absolute Best Cocktails That Feature Only 2 Ingredients

Gather The Ingredients For A Plum And Ginger Cordial Mocktail

plum ginger drink ingredients on a table
plum ginger drink ingredients on a table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

To make this mocktail, you'll need a few fresh plums. There are many varieties of plums, and the type doesn't matter too much as long as they are ripe. Likely, you'll find common plum varieties like black and blood plums, which are sweet and juicy. The riper the plum, the sweeter your cordial will be, so focus on finding soft and supple fruits.

From there, you'll just need fresh ginger, orange juice, sugar, still water, sparkling water, and white tea. If you can't find white tea, which has a delicate floral flavor, you can use the more robust black tea instead.

Step 1: Start The Cordial

plum and sugar in saucepan
plum and sugar in saucepan - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add plums, ginger, orange juice, sugar, and 1 cup water to a saucepan.

Step 2: Simmer Until Jammy

cooked plums in saucepan
cooked plums in saucepan - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until plums are broken down, about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Strain The Cordial

straining cooked plums over bowl
straining cooked plums over bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Step 4: Boil Water For The Tea

boiling water in saucepan
boiling water in saucepan - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

In the meantime, boil the remaining 1 cup water.

Step 5: Steep The Tea

steeping tea in saucepan
steeping tea in saucepan - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Remove from the heat and steep the white tea bags until infused, about 5 minutes.

Step 6: Fill Glasses With Ice

wine glass filled with ice
wine glass filled with ice - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

To build the cocktail, fill glasses with ice.

Step 7: Add The Tea

pouring tea over ice in wine glass
pouring tea over ice in wine glass - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add 1 ounce brewed white tea to each glass.

Step 8: Add The Cordial

pouring plum juice over ice
pouring plum juice over ice - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add 2 ounces plum-ginger cordial to each glass.

Step 9: Top With Sparkling Water

pouring sparkling water in wine glass
pouring sparkling water in wine glass - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Top each glass with 4 ounces sparkling water and stir.

Step 10: Serve

mocktail with plum garnish
mocktail with plum garnish - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Garnish with sliced plums before serving.

How Can I Make My Plum And Ginger Cordial Mocktail Sweeter?

plum mocktail in a glass
plum mocktail in a glass - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

This mocktail is meant to be just lightly sweet, so it truly tastes like a cocktail and not just a glass of juice. However, you can certainly adjust the sugar level to your taste. The plum cordial adds flavor and sweetness, and the simplest way to sweeten the mocktail is to add more of the syrup. If it still doesn't taste quite right (maybe your plums weren't very ripe, for example), you can swap the sparkling water for a sweeter alternative. For example, pour in a sweet soda like Sprite or 7-up instead, which will add sugar and a lemon-lime flavor. You can also swap the water for ginger beer, which will bring out the ginger flavor in the cordial. If you like the sparkling water and just want a hint of sweetness, try adding honey or agave. And if you can't find ripe plums, try a sweeter fruit like blueberry, raspberry, or cherries instead. To do this, just follow the recipe as written, swapping the plums for your chosen fruit.

How Can I Make This Plum And Ginger Cordial Mocktail Ahead Of Time?

mocktail with plums
mocktail with plums - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

We get it, you don't exactly have the time or space to be steeping tea and boiling cordials while there's a turkey in the oven and potatoes on the stove. The best way to save yourself stress and make hosting easier is to prepare this mocktail ahead of time. To do this, make the plum cordial up to 2 weeks in advance and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve. A day or two before your gathering, steep the tea and store it in sealed jars in the refrigerator, too. When the time to assemble the mocktails comes, you can simply pour the cordial and tea into glasses and top with fresh sparkling water. This recipe makes enough for 4 mocktails, so if you plan to serve more, consider doubling the batch so you don't run out the day of.

Plum And Ginger Cordial Mocktail (For A 0 ABV Thanksgiving And Holiday) Recipe

mocktails in wine glasss on table
mocktails in wine glasss on table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 10mCook Time: 11mYield: 4 mocktailsIngredients

  • 4 plums, quartered, pits removed, plus more for garnish

  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 2 cups water, divided

  • 2 white tea bags

  • 1 cup sparkling water

Directions

  1. Add plums, ginger, orange juice, sugar, and 1 cup water to a saucepan.

  2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until plums are broken down, about 10 minutes.

  3. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

  4. In the meantime, boil the remaining 1 cup water.

  5. Remove from the heat and steep the white tea bags until infused, about 5 minutes.

  6. To build the cocktail, fill glasses with ice.

  7. Add 1 ounce brewed white tea to each glass.

  8. Add 2 ounces plum-ginger cordial to each glass.

  9. Top each glass with 4 ounces sparkling water and stir.

  10. Garnish with sliced plums before serving.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.