SCOTTISH Water has teamed up with one of Scotland’s leading bar groups to showcase the new spirit of Christmas – water-based ‘mocktails’.

Whether it is helping to focus the mind the morning after a Christmas party, ensuring that the evening’s designated driver sticks to their role, or acting as the base for your Christmas Day gravy – water is as essential as ever over the festive period.

But perhaps one unexpected way Scottish tap water can make its way into the limelight is through mocktails.

Mixology experts from Montpeliers have joined the wave to support Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign by designing a new range of themed water-based mocktails that anyone can make, including a Christmas Cooler and Santa’s Spritz (see full ingredients and method at end).

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, said:

“This range of new water-based mocktails shows what you can achieve with a few additions to our great and tasty tap water.

“In the excitement and buzz around the festive season, the benefits our tap water can easily be overlooked.

“It can be a busy time for many – shopping, visiting, and being out and about more than usual – so being well hydrated will boost energy levels whether you’re dashing around grabbing last minute gifts or partying with friends. It’ll also keep you on form through the New Year and into 2020.

“We know that Christmas is a great time for celebrations, but keeping hydrated is key to enjoying the time responsibly and ensuring that everyone has a happy and healthy Christmas.

“Equally, these delicious water-based mocktails may aid those to stick by their New Year resolutions or a dry January goal, by providing more alternatives to an alcoholic drink.”

Joey Medrington, Group Bar Development Manager at Edinburgh-based Montpeliers, said:

“The best way to make delicious water-based cocktails is to create infusions.

“Scotland’s tap water has the remarkable property of being able to absorb a huge amount of flavour molecules – think of it like a making a cup of tea: the longer you leave it to infuse the more flavour you’ll get.

“This can be done very easily by adding the fruits or herbs you want to infuse into a large jar or bottle and leaving it in the fridge overnight, then straining off the next morning to produce delicious flavoured water.”

Joey, whose Montpeliers group operates seven units in Edinburgh including Tigerlily and Candy Bar, added:

“From there, you can either enjoy the drink straight from the fridge, carbonate it with a Soda Stream or equivalent, or use as the base for delicious cocktails.

“To create cocktails we need to add a few more steps to amplify that flavour. The best way to do that is to enhance the ‘taste elements’ in our drink. By taste elements we mean sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. By adding balanced measures of some or all of these elements we can enhance the flavours of the fruits, herbs, teas and spices we use in our water to create truly delicious, Scottish Water based cocktails.

“The key word is balance. If we are adding a sour element, say lemon juice, we know we need to add a sweet ingredient, if we are using a bitter tea, then we need to balance that with something sweet and something sour and so on. This is the essence of mixology.”

Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign aims to encourage people to top up from the tap to benefit the planet, their health and their pocket.

To support the campaign the first 18 – in a series of what will eventually be 70 – Top up Taps have been installed at various locations across Scotland to showcase the benefits of using refillable bottles and Scotland’s tap water.

Last month, the ‘Your Water Your Life’ campaign hit a significant milestone as they celebrated Scottish tap water becoming the first in the world to gain international approval for keeping teeth healthy.

Clear, fresh drinking water is known to help boost concentration levels with Scottish Water delivering more than one billion litres of water a day to customers.

NHS Choices recommend drinking six to eight glasses of water per day while people often mistake hunger for being thirsty, which means drinking water can help weight loss.

Ingredients (makes 5 serves):

1 litre Scottish water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Zests of 4 lemons
Juice of 4 lemons
10 chopped strawberries
5 grams good quality Chai tea
100 g caster sugar

Method:

  • Remove the zests from the lemons using a peeler, saving the fruits in the fridge for later
  • Cut down the length of the vanilla pod to open up the seeds
  • Add first 4 ingredients to a Kilner jar and leave to infuse over night.
  • Strain off all through a sieve then carbonate the favoured water in a Soda Stream
  • Juice the lemons, add 25ml of the juice and 20g of caster sugar to a wine glass and stir until the sugar is dissolved
  • Add lots of ice and pour over 200ml of your flavoured water
  • Garnish with a strawberry and a mint sprig
  • Serve and enjoy
  • You can add 25ml of gin or vodka for those wanting to get in the Christmas spirit

Ingredients (makes 5 serves):

1 litre Scottish water
5 grams of good quality rooibos tea
15 raspberries
Zests of 1 pink grapefruit
Juice of 1 pink grapefruit
100g heather honey

Method:

  • Remove the zest from the grapefruit using a peeler, saving the fruit in the fridge for later
  • Add first 4 ingredients to a Kilner jar and leave to infuse over night.
  • Strain off all through a sieve and rebottle
  • Juice grapefruit and add 25ml of the juice and 2 spoons of honey to a highball glass and stir until the honey is dissolved
  • Add lots of ice and pour over 200ml of your flavoured water
  • Garnish with 3 raspberries and dust with icing sugar
  • Serve and enjoy
  • You can add 25ml of gin or vodka for those wanting to get in the Christmas spirit