Book Review: Teetotal Tipples by Helen McGinn

Anyone who knows me well will know I like experimenting with desserts and drinks. As a teetotaller you have to be much more creative what with your limited ingredients. When I saw a book with non-alcoholic drink recipes, I knew I have to give it a try.

The author Helen McGinn (aka @KnackeredMother) has been a wine taster for years so she knows a bit about beverages and that’s what makes this book so credible. The main reason for writing the book about non-alcoholic drinks is because she believes you can have an enjoyable grown up drink without putting your health at risk — her main concern being alcoholic content and sugar.  She draws comparisons to the original cocktail and the mocktail recipe. Also in the book is recommendations for good non-alcoholic drinks to buy as well as low alcohol substitutions for traditionally alcoholic drinks.

The book is also written in a very humorous and honest way, which I really liked.

I must admit I had to buy a lot of ingredients to get started like tonic water, bitter lemon and grenadine syrup to name a few.

So far I’ve only tried three recipes and this is my verdict:

1) Spiced Tea Latte — Like the author I also find chai lattes from coffee shops too sweet. The chai latte powder you can buy from supermarkets is also on the sweet side. Making at home means you can adjust sugar levels. However I thought this drink was too weak. I would double the spices set out in the recipe. As a coffee drinker, I couldn’t taste much tea either — not sure if I’m supposed to?!

2) Cos-No (like a Cosmo apparently) — A mixture of cranberry juice, fresh citrus juices..this was my favourite. It was a great palette cleanser before a meal, full of zing. I would make this for guests but involves too much squeezing of fruit to make in bulk!

3) Shirley — This was the easiest to make out of the three. Simply a mix of ginger ale, grenadine syrup and an orange. I made this for a guest who really enjoyed it too. Will be serving this at future dinner parties for sure!


Published by Robinson, Teetotal Tipples by Helen McGinn can be bought from Amazon.

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