The recent sunny weather has got me well and truly pining for summer. Like most Brits, as soon as the sun is in the sky, we migrate from inside to outside. After having our garden landscaped last year, we now have a great space where we can spend time as a family – be it playing, relaxing, socialising or enjoying a barbecue. Well, until we do that other stereotypical British thing of complaining that it’s too hot when the mercury reaches 20ºC.
Nice weather just opens up so many possibilities. Of course, you can still do things in winter, but I’ve found that we’re often restricted in what we can do. During summer though, the world once again becomes open and free – whether that’s playing in the woods, having a picnic at the park or getting the paddling pool out in the back garden.
Now that Toddler L is that bit older, I can see us spending a lot of time in the garden this summer. She’s (obviously) come on a lot in the last year and is able to entertain herself without needing me. I’ll still be there to play, but the thought of relaxing in a deck chair and sipping a cold drink as the sun beats down is definitely more appealing than squeezing into her playhouse.
With this in mind, Iceland set me a new challenge to create some tasty and refreshing drinks for the summer months using their frozen fruit and smoothie range. The idea was to use the frozen fruit as a basis for some homemade cocktails or mocktails, which could then be enjoyed whilst soaking in the sun. Although a nice mojito, margarita or daiquiri sounded awesome, I rarely drink booze around Toddler L so instead decided to focus on the non-alcoholic variety. The downsides of parenting…
So, with a few ideas in mind, I popped down to my local Iceland. I managed to find all the ingredients I needed for my mocktails – which included various soft drinks, four varieties of frozen fruit and fresh limes and lemons – and spent just over £15. The next step was to get it home and start mixing.
We’re no strangers to frozen ingredients. Obviously I’ve worked with Iceland a number of times now to showcase some of their frozen products and the #PowerOfFrozen. However, particularly in summer, frozen fruit is something we have in the house as standard. Not only does fresh fruit not last as long when it’s warmer, but frozen fruit is a great basis for homemade smoothies, slushies, milkshakes, mocktails, cocktails and lollipops. This means you have something tasty to help you cool down, which also delivers some of your five-a-day – or 10-a-day according to recent research!
With the ingredients bought, I decided to make three different mocktails. The first is a Tropical Splash, which features frozen mango, pineapple and kiwi with lemonade and fresh lemon juice. The second is a Mixed Berry Punch, which uses frozen raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, strawberries and bananas, with cranberry juice and ginger ale. The third is a Melon Margarita, which uses frozen melon balls and lime juice, with a bit of orange juice and apple juice. Below, you’ll find the ingredients and method to make these mocktails yourself.
Mocktail 1: Tropical Splash
Ingredients (to serve 2):
- 300g Iceland Frozen Tropical Fruits Smoothie Mix (mango, pineapple and kiwi)
- 3 Lemons (2 to juice, 1 sliced for serving)
- 200ml Orange Juice
- 100ml Water
- 300ml Diet Lemonade
1) Put the frozen fruit mix into a blender, along with the squeezed lemon juice, orange juice and water. Blend until smooth. (N.B. You may wish to defrost the frozen fruit first so that it’s more of a juice than a slushy).
2) Pour the mixture from the blender into a jug through a sieve in order to remove the bits.
3) Pour half the mixture into a glass, then top up with lemonade.
4) Serve with a slice of lemon, drink and enjoy!
Mocktail 2: Mixed Berry Punch
Ingredients (to serve 4):
- 300g Iceland Frozen Berry Mix Of Red Fruits (raspberry, blackberry, redcurrant and blackcurrant)
- 300g Iceland Frozen Strawberry And Banana Smoothie Mix (strawberry and banana)
- 1l Ginger Ale
- 300ml Cranberry Juice
- 100ml Water
- 2tbsp Granulated Sugar
1) Put the frozen fruit mix into a blender, along with the cranberry juice and water. Blend until smooth. (N.B. You may wish to defrost the frozen fruit first so that it’s more of a juice than a slushy).
2) Pour the mixture from the blender into a jug. (N.B. Use a sieve if you wish to remove the bits – I didn’t).
3) Add the ginger ale to the jug. Do this very slowly as it will fizz up.
4) Pour the drink into a glass and add a couple of berries from the frozen fruit mix to keep it cool.
5) Drink and enjoy!
Mocktail 3: Melon Margarita
Ingredients (to serve 2):
- 100g Frozen Melon Balls
- 2 Limes (juiced)
- 200ml Orange Juice
- 200ml Apple Juice
1) Rub the inside of a cut lime around the rim of each glass. Pour salt onto a plate and dip the rim of the glass into the salt. Place in the fridge to cool.
2) Put the melon balls into a glass and add the squeezed lime juice. (N.B. The melon balls will need to have thawed).
3) Use a muddler (or the end of a rolling pin) to mash up the melon balls to release the flavour and juice.
4) Add the orange juice and apple juice to the glass and give everything a good mix. (N.B. Use more apple juice than orange juice if you want it to be less citrussy).
5) Take the salted glass out of the fridge and use a strainer to pour the drink directly into the glass.
6) Drink and enjoy!
So those are the three mocktail recipes I created using the frozen fruit from Iceland. All of them were nice, but without doubt, my favourite was the Melon Margarita. I love the sharp, citrusy taste of a margarita and this version certainly delivered that punch. So much so that you should have seen Toddler L’s face when she asked for a sip. Strangely, despite being non-alcoholic, it felt like I was still drinking a regular margarita – that’s a win win situation in my book!
What is your favourite mocktail and cocktail? Do you ever use frozen fruit to make your own drinks in summer? Let me know below!
N.B This is a commissioned post written in collaboration with Iceland.