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Pimp Your Drinks

Pimp Your Drinks:
Housekeeping Tip from Sarah:

This may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but I find it very satisfying to do a clean-out of my spice and dried herb cupboard. We all (or I do) end up with ingredients that we have bought for a single recipe and it’s just been sitting there since. I hate waste so I use google to find recipes to use up the weird or unfamiliar ingredients (like buckwheat flakes or lavender flowers). The trick is to not have to buy loads of other strange things in order to cook the original weirdos. Doing this keeps the cupboard from overflowing and it’s a bit of an indoor adventure because it expands your food repertoire. You may find that some of these spices or herbs are good to flavour drinks too.


I love to make up a herbal mocktail on a Friday evening; it’s a nice way to celebrate the weekend without waking up on Saturday with regrets and a sore head. I keep it simple with a quick method that can be swapped around depending on what ingredients you have. You’ll need your favourite dried herb: I love nettle, lavender, hibiscus or lemon balm.

Make a ½ cup of hot herbal tea with your chosen herb and stir in a spoon of honey or agave syrup until it dissolves. While that cools, grab a fancy cocktail glass and pop ice cubes in the bottom. Pour the strained tea mixture into your glass. Then add crushed mint leaves before topping with sparkling water. Et voila, you have yourself a happy Friday night (and Saturday morning) mocktail!

If you are still enjoying the ‘mulled-everything season’, but want to steer clear of alcohol, I recommend making a mulled fruit juice. Heat up a pan of pure juice – Biotta apple, beet and ginger works really well.

Add some cinnamon bark, star anise, cloves and fresh ginger, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in a few teaspoons of honey or agave syrup until it dissolves. This is a really warming and comforting drink and perfect to pop in a thermos and take along on a wintery weekend walk.


I find cold drinks difficult in the winter. It doesn’t make sense to me to pour cold, damp stuff into my body when I am trying to keep warm. I’ll pour some hot water in to bring my drinks up to body temperature. Herbal teas are brilliant for me. I can drink them all day without getting any extra sugary nonsense or caffeine that I shouldn’t overdo. Here are my favourites:


Yogi tea do an amazing Sweet Chili tea, naturally spicy-sweet and with a warming kick. It’s my favourite hot flask drink when I go on freezing winter picnics and beach walks. The spices make you feel comforted and cosy on the inside. It has fantastic box that reminds me of a Frida Kahlo painting.

I love fresh ginger; it’s got a very different taste and more heat and spiciness than a tea bag. A lovely simple drink is a slice of ginger and a slice of lemon infused in boiling water. Ginger is a great all-rounder. It’s used traditionally for lots of ailments including colds, nausea and even to boost circulation. Grate a little turmeric root into it for added punch.


If I want something that is fruity and refreshing (weaning myself off the wine) I like Molkosan Fruit that I make like a cordial with some water. It contains lovely Aronia berry and pomegranate to make it juicy and naturally sweet. Molkosan Fruit is one of these great old-fashioned cure-alls that are really big in Switzerland. It’s a lacto-fermented prebiotic that can help nourish the friendly bacteria in your gut. I like to use this if I’m bloated after greedy meals, or if I think that my digestive system needs some TLC.

Tulsi or holy basil is a gorgeous herb. If the smell of basil makes you instantly happier, then this is the herbal tea for you. It smells a little like cloves with something floral thrown in; it’s very exotic to me. It’s a revered herb in India and is used for many physical and physiological ailments.1 I love the taste and use it when I am grumpy or have cotton brain. You can get it in teabag form from Pukka Herbs.


Like Sarah, I’m not a fan of cold drinks – even in summer! A favourite trick whatever the season is to add a sprig of rosemary from the garden to a mug of hot water. Rosemary is fab for healthy circulation, supporting the well-being of your blood vessels.2

You can grow rosemary or peppermint in a pot on your windowsill if you don’t have garden room, and peppermint is one that many friends also appreciate in their drinks. Sage leaves are also great to steep in a little hot water, and supposedly aid clarity of mind: always gratefully received!

Echinaforce® Hot Drink is a go-to for many of us at this time of year. A melding of Echinaforce® and Elderberry, there’s nothing like the tang of the berries to waken your senses, whilst Echinacea quietly gets on with the job. Add a little hot water to 5ml of Echinaforce® Hot Drink – everyone has their own preference for how much to dilute it, but I like it fairly strong as the berry taste is so comforting.

Echinaforce® Hot Drink Cold & Flu Echinacea concentrate for oral solution Traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of the common cold and influenza type infections, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the leaflet.

1Jamshidi N, Cohen MM. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017; 2017:9217567.
2Friedman T. Journal of Restorative Medicine 2015; 4 (1): 50-59

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Pimp Your Drinks