Coffee mornings can feel like the ultimate morning event. There’s no denying that for many of us, a driving motivator to get out of bed on a morning is simply because the kettle is downstairs, and you can’t reach it from where you are snuggled in your cosy duvet. Add in the promise of home-baked cakes and effortlessly supporting charity, and it’s no surprise that coffee mornings quickly became a much-loved event.
Then again, we’ve loved plenty of things over the years that, in hindsight, maybe could have been better for us. Jeans with dresses. Hyper-plucked eyebrows.
We’re not suggesting coffee mornings need to be scrapped – far from it! We’re simply suggesting they could be so much better. They could be healthier, they could be tastier, and they could be more exciting.
Enter the latest craze that’s bringing a splash of colour to the usual neutral hues of sponge cakes and milky coffee – mocktail mornings!
They could be healthier
Somewhere in the back of our minds, we all know that coffee isn’t really the best choice first thing on a morning. Whether you’re opting for a low-calorie black coffee or treating yourself to a borderline coffee milkshake from Starbucks, coffee just isn’t the morning miracle we think it is.
This is because we lose nearly a litre of water as we sleep. We’re waking up dehydrated, and with its hefty caffeine content, coffee dehydrates us further.
Not only does coffee dry us out first thing in the morning, but it can also make us more stressed. This is because when we wake up, our body starts producing a chemical called cortisol. It’s at its highest level during the first few hours after waking, and it is meant to increase our alertness. But drinking coffee as this is happening can interfere with this, making cortisol levels spike further or fall out of sync with our daily cycle. This can cause cortisol to bring along something beyond alertness – pure anxiety. Our coffee breaks are, therefore, best saved for late mornings or afternoons, as the caffeine will actually provide an energy boost then rather than amping up the alertness already given to us by cortisol.
Naturally then, water is the best choice first thing in the morning. But water mornings are a harder sell. There’s got to be a happy middle ground…and indeed, there is!
They could be tastier
We can drop the early caffeine boost without dropping flavour. Coffee mornings were meant to be something of a treat, and mocktail mornings can be that and then some. Here are two caffeine-free morning mocktail recipes that you could offer at your next charity event that pack plenty of taste:
Morning Mai Tai
This non-alcoholic morning Mai Tai is the perfect choice for those of us who like a little warmth in our drinks – if you love pumpkin-spiced coffee, try this fiery mocktail. Plus, the inclusion of apple cider vinegar adds a potential health kick to this morning drink, as apple cider vinegar could provide benefits such as killing bacteria and helping with weight loss.
Recipe (yields one drink):
- 45ml of chilled apple juice. Make it spiced for an extra kick!
- 15ml apple cider vinegar
- 15ml ginger syrup
- 15ml fresh lemon juice
- 15ml orgeat (almond syrup)
- 4 thin slices of red apple to garnish
Add the apple juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and orgeat to a shaker. Add ice cubes and shake it up! Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Add more crushed ice if you like, then splay a fan of apple slices on top.
Good Morning Sunburst
For a thirst-quenching drink that will wake you up with its beautiful bright hues alone, how could you say no to a Good Morning Sunburst? It’ll even deliver an early shot of vitamin C too.
Recipe (yields one drink):
- 120ml orange juice frozen into either four to six ice cubes or two spheres – using a silicone ice ball maker will make the frozen orange juice look like a rising sun in the glass!
- 240ml sparkling water
- 2 tablespoons of grenadine syrup
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla syrup
- 1 sprig rosemary
Place two orange juice ice balls or your orange juice ice cubes into a glass. Fill with sparkling water, then slowly add the grenadine. Add your vanilla syrup, then serve with a sprig of rosemary.
They could be more exciting
The best part about coffee mornings is that they help to raise money for charity, whether by bringing in home-baked goodies or through simple donations. The above mocktail ideas will help your mocktail morning event stand out from the crowd – the Good Morning Sunburst is particularly Insta-ready when it comes to snapping appealing photos to increase awareness of your charity drive! But of course, where would we be without a morning treat to go alongside our mocktails?
Why not make these unique lemon drizzle-style pancakes to sell at your charity event? With one of the ingredients being lemonade, you can stock up on lemonade to make these pancakes and a few mocktail recipes of your own.
Lemon Drizzle-Style Pancakes
For the sauce:
- 100g icing sugar
- 100ml Fentimans Victorian Lemonade
For the pancakes:
- 240g self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp of caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 190ml Fentimans Victorian Lemonade
Gently mix the lemonade and icing sugar together. Set this aside as your sauce. Then, sieve the flour into a bowl and add the caster sugar. Press a well into the flour and add in the egg and lemonade. Beat until smooth.
Add a tablespoon of oil to a frying pan and set to high heat. Reduce the heat and ladle the mixture into the pan. Flip once air bubbles start appearing on top. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Serve as a stack and drizzle the sauce over them all!