Tall, light and refreshing, this delicious yuzu mocktail is your ticket to flavour town. Best of all, it’s so easy to make!
If you’ve ever been lounging in the warm sun and the mood for an ice-cold drink suddenly sets in, then you know there’s little else that’ll hit the spot.
But before you reach for a beer or classic G&T, check out this amazing non-alcoholic drink instead. This deliciously refreshing yuzu highball mocktail recipe is an easy way to enjoy the refreshment and complexity of a cocktail and drink better, without alcohol.
With just four useful, easy-to-find ingredients and no special equipment needed, this easy and breezy yuzu highball recipe will keep the refreshment coming with none of the fuss.
What is a highball?
The highball is a type of classic cocktail traditionally made by combining a measure of spirits and ice with a mixer like soda. Served in a tall ‘highball’ glass, these drinks are often fizzy, sometimes very colourful, but always ultimately refreshing.
It’s the kind of drink that you want in your hand when the weather is warm and the good times are a-rollin’.
Our favourite thing about a refreshing highball is that they’re often so simple to make. What’s more, this yuzu mocktail recipe only uses a couple of ingredients, and you don’t need any fancy mixology tools or skills to make it.
hero ingredient: yuzu soda
In a non-alcoholic mocktail recipe with so few ingredients – like this one – it’s a little difficult to pick out which ingredient shines the brightest. Every element in this yuzu highball recipe brings something noteworthy to the mix in terms of aroma, flavour and the overall feel of the drink.
But if we absolutely must choose, the hero of this yuzu mocktail has got to be the yuzu soda itself. We used Strangelove’s Yuzu from Japan, and it did not disappoint. It’s subtle, not too sweet and carries a delicious, jube-like aftertaste that makes this drink so easy to sip and savour.
The yuzu fruit itself is also an interesting case. It’s much more difficult to come by in Australian grocery stores, compared to those in Japan, it’s country of origin. Although with the fruit’s growing popularity as a uniquely delicious, high-end culinary ingredient, some cold-climate fruit growers in Australia have started cultivating and selling the yuzu citrus variety.
In terms of flavour, yuzu sits somewhere between a sweet lemon and a mandarin. It’s got some of the intense acidity and fragrance that you expect from a juicy lemon, but it’s well-tempered by a gentle sweetness that almost tastes like a lemon candy.
We also love how well this flavour lends itself to mixing with more intensely bitter or fragrant elements, like the herbaceous elderflower cordial and sharp, zippy kaffir lime leaves.
Absolutely! This recipe is completely alcohol-free, so you can enjoy a tall glass of refreshment without worrying about a hangover the next day. That makes it perfect for people who don’t drink, need a break from drinking or who are just looking for an alternative to alcoholic drinks
Yes! The unique flavour profile of yuzu lends itself to being combined with a whole range of ingredients. To stay in the spirit of balance, bitterness and effortless refreshment, we would recommend adding a nip of London dry gin and a touch more elderflower cordial to turn this drink into a true cocktail. You could even try it with a yuzu-infused sake to make a completely delicious sake spritz!
Instead of yuzu soda, you could try making this recipe with other yuzu drinks, like bottled juice. We think freshly-squeezed juice is always best, but since fresh yuzu fruit can be hard to come by, bottled is also a fine option. And with a good measure of plain soda, you’ll still get that fizzy refreshment from this variation.
Yuzu isn’t necessarily a common soda flavour, so you’ll probably have to look to boutique brands to deliver. We used Strangelove’s Yuzu from Japan, and it suits this recipe perfectly. Not too sweet, plenty fresh, it is an exceptional addition to any cocktail. For those in Australia, you can find it at select Woolworths and Dan Murphy's.
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