How to blend an Alcohol Free cocktail using Saffron Cold Brew Tea

Alcohol Free cocktails? Bitter is better.

I get asked often “why is the Saffron Elixir kind of bitter?” It’s simple - because Saffron is a strong spice and bitter isn’t bad.

The vast majority of people aren’t familiar with the flavour of Saffron in a drink because it’s an uncommon ingredient in beverages. This is partly because it’s expensive to use and so has normally been more associated with food - where a little goes a long way. However the other, more obvious reason, is because most people do not associate bitterness with a positive attribute in food.

I’m not talking about the bitterness of burnt or acrid things left out too long. I mean the natural bitterness that comes with strong natural flavours - like Saffron, Cardamom, Star Anise etc. The way a Negroni or Aperol Spritz is enjoyed and regaled in spite of it carrying that subtle burning back note. Natural bitterness which, when harnessed correctly, can make a smooth, fragrant and grown up drink which you can make your go-to aperitif on the night’s off from alcohol - or indeed on any night when you’re teetotal. 

In the spirit of embracing a ‘good bitter’ - we’ve put together a few quick, easy recipes to blend your Saffron Elixir with. These make refreshing long drinks which will also let you stretch a bottle of Saffron Elixir over several drinks or days. Delicious AND economical? Now you have no reason not to!

Alcohol Free Cocktail Recipes (Disclaimer : we're not mixologists over here)

Ingredients & things you’ll need:

  • Highball glass or Gin goblet

  • Large ice cubes

  • 50 ml Saffron Elixir

  • 100 ml London Essence Grapefruit & Rosemary Tonic

OR for a slightly sweeter version

  • Highball glass or Gin goblet

  • Large ice cubes

  • 50 ml Saffron Elixir

  • 100 ml London Essence Ginger 

  • 1 teaspoon of honey

  • Orange or Grapefruit slice 

Decant your ice cubes first. If using fruit, you can muddle it slightly or add it straight to the glass. Top with Saffron Elixir and then cover with your Tonic. 

Adjust the Elixir to Tonic ratio to your taste depending on how strong or subtle you would like it.

For a tonic-free version try these with sparkling water : 

  • Highball glass or Gin goblet

  • Large ice cubes

  • 50 ml Saffron Elixir

  • 100 ml Sparkling water 

  • Slice of grapefruit, alternatively a few dashes of fresh grapefruit juice (you can substitute this with muddled fruit of your preference like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

(For added sweetness add honey or agave nectar)

A variation on this is :

  • Highball glass or Gin goblet

  • Large ice cubes

  • 50 ml Saffron Elixir

  • 100 ml Sparkling water 

  • 1 teaspoon Orange blossom water (or to taste)

  • Sprinkling of dried hibiscus flowers as garnish

  • Honey or agave nectar for sweetness

OR

  • Highball glass or Gin goblet

  • Large ice cubes

  • 50 ml Saffron Elixir

  • 100 ml Sparkling water 

  • Squeeze of Lime juice 

  • Pear juice for sweetness to taste

  • Pear slice & sprig of mint for garnish

Have a go, let me know how you find the balance of Saffron Elixir against the other flavours. Maybe you prefer Saffron Elixir on its own, in which case tell me that too so I can do a little happy dance. (12 months of product development is no joke my friends.) Alternatively, if you come up with cool, creative blends of you own - do share!

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