My wife asked me a loaded question the other day. She said: “Are we going to have a barbecue this summer?”
To you, that may sound innocuous, but there’s some back-story here. Last summer we held a massive barbecue. Although we had a riotously good time, we weren’t very well prepared, especially when it dawned on us almost 20 of the guests would be children.
One challenge when hosting a barbecue like this is to provide refreshing drinks that adults and children alike will enjoy. When the guys at Iceland set me the challenge to make mocktails and cocktails I immediately thought of last year’s barbecue and how we struggled to provide a good variety of drinks.
By unleashing Iceland’s #poweroffrozen, I thought it should be straightforward to create drinks suitable for grown-ups and children alike, exactly the type of thing you would serve at a summer gathering of friends. All very well and good, but among the pizzas and frozen vegetables, could I find the ingredients to create good quality cocktails and mocktails at an Iceland store?
As it happens, it was much simpler than I expected. A quick bit of research on Iceland’s website revealed it sold a wide range of frozen fruit. With this knowledge, I then visited my local outlet with my kids.
One of the first freezer units we came across was full to bursting with various frozen fruits and pre-prepared smoothies. There were packs of frozen raspberries, blueberries and melons to name just a few. All the packs were very-well priced, most of them available for between £1 and £1.50 for a 100gram bag.
Relying on frozen fruit has a few advantages. Firstly, it is convenient and it retains much of its nutritional value. These drinks were going to help us get towards the 10-a-day nutritionists suggest we consume these days.
The mocktails would also keep the kids away from fizzy, sugary drinks and provide around three of their 10 a day. Let’s face it, it is a constant battle to get children to eat enough fruit and veg so using some frozen fruit to hit that target is a useful trick.
I present to you here, three recipes: two mocktails and one cocktail. You could easily replicate them at home. We’ve made and tried each recipe and you can take it from us they taste marvelous.
Mocktail 1: The Freelance
After going to Iceland and returning home with all manner of frozen fruit, I simply said to the kids: “Invent your own drink.” I named it The Freelance on the basis the kids weren’t following any rules or working for anyone else, they could make it exactly as they wanted.
You will need:
- Two child-sized handfuls of frozen pineapple, apple and mango
- Two handfuls of frozen berry mix
- A handful of pineapple, papaya and carrot smoothie mix
- A dash of orange juice and water to fill the glass to the top.
- Place all the ingredients in a blender.
- Mill them down and top up with water.
As an alternative, you can use coconut water (also available at Iceland) instead of tap water if you wish.
Mocktail 2: Juicy Julep
A very simple mocktail to make. It’s also one with relatively straightforward ingredients so ideal for children.
You will need:
- Three handfuls of frozen mango
- A good slug of orange juice
- Juice of one freshly-squeezed lime
- Place all the ingredients into a food blender.
- Mill them down until slushy, pour into a glass, add a straw and enjoy!
Cocktail: Pineapple rum punch
This one takes a little preparation, but rest assured it is still easy to make.
You will need:
- Three cups of frozen pineapple (you may want to let them defrost slightly)
- 1 ¼ cups of sugar
- ¾ of a cup of boiling water
- A cup and a half of rum
- Juice from around six lemons
- 1 ½ cups of chilled sparkling water
- Add the pineapple and stir. Leave until the pineapple has defrosted and then mash the mixture up.
- Let it sit at room temperature for two hours or alternatively, cover and place overnight in the fridge to infuse.
- Transfer the mixture to a larger jug.
- Add lemon juice and sparkling water then stir well.
- Pour into ice-filled glasses and enjoy with friends.
Those are my ideas for serving drinks at a barbecue that will get everyone into a party mood. If you try them out yourself, please do leave a comment below. Alternatively, if you have ideas and recipes yourself, please do let me know, I’d love to hear what you would make.
Disclosure: this post was produced in collaboration with Iceland.