If you’re having a holiday party this season, you’ve probably given a lot of thought to what you’ll be serving and that usually includes a cocktail or two. But it’s a nice addition to have offers for guests who plan not to drink. Instead of providing the usual suspects like club soda, Blake Lively’s new line of alcohol-free sparkling blenders, Betty buzz, will make non-drinkers feel like there’s something special to sip too.
At a recent event, the actress and director shared how she uses blenders to make wonderful cocktails without spirits.
Lively and the team at Betty Buzz have spent the past three years making her low-calorie sparkling blends. The range offers drinks made from real juice, natural flavors and without colorings or sweeteners. Plus, all Betty Buzz drinks are non-GMO, kosher, vegan, and gluten-free. Flavors include tonic water, ginger beer, sparkling grapefruit, sparkling lemon-lime, and Meyer lemon soda (Lively’s favorite). After tiring of the flavor of traditional blenders not being able to stand on their own without alcohol, Lively, who does not drink alcohol, decided to take a different approach. “When I was trying out mixers, the alcohol was facing forward because it was supposed to be mixed with alcohol,” she said. “The blender should be the flavor of the hero. “
Blake Lively’s alcohol-free drinks for the holidays
For Lively, Betty Buzz is great for everyone because it’s delicious on its own, but it also works well when mixed with any type of spirits. When throwing a party, Lively turns her drinks into an interactive experience for her guests. She starts by preparing all of her different fillings, depending on the season. (For the holidays, you can consider apple, blood orange, pomegranate, and fresh mint.) Lively then cuts them into different shapes and sizes and arranges them. Next, she will display a beautiful bowl of ice cream, glassware, different flavors of Betty Buzz, and various spirits (for guests who are drinking). She says that this way the guests can try to make their own and it becomes a welcoming experience whether you drink alcohol or not.
Presentation is key when it comes to making a beautiful cocktail or mocktail, and it’s one aspect of accommodation that Lively is passionate about. While garnishing your drink, the actress says to avoid simply throwing a piece of fruit on the rim of your glass. When working with a lime or an orange, for example, she prefers to cut the citrus fruit into slices first. Once done, you can make a slit from the top of the sphere to the center of the fruit. Then place a finger on both sides of the slit and slowly turn the fruit until it forms a vertical spiral and lay it on the glass. Lively also prefers her decorative pieces to be hung near the top of the glass instead of letting them float downward. When using a cinnamon stick – a traditional garnish during the holiday season – Lively recommends pushing it into the center of an apple slice so it floats. Another way to make your drinks look good is to use large chunks of ice – Lively likes hers shaped like spheres or diamonds. “For some reason it makes it feel like it’s so much nicer to have a good ice cream,” she says. The actress also recommends that the ice cream almost come out of the top of the glass, a touch she finds really lovely as it melts and sparkles.
To whip up a holiday-themed drink with Betty Buzz, Lively begins by lining the rim of a highball glass with a crushed candy cane. She then adds ice to the glass and fills it almost to the top with tonic water. Next, Lively adds a small pinch of peppermint extract to the mixture, along with about an ounce of pomegranate juice. She completes the drink with more tonic water and decorates with fresh pomegranate seeds and a candy cane. As an alternative garnish, Lively says you can also use two mint leaves to mimic a holly leaf and place it in the center of your glass with the candy cane. If you want the flavor of alcohol, without feeling its effects, the creator of Betty Buzz says to add a dash of the alcohol of your choice on the top of the drink or on your garnish. This trick allows alcohol to be smelled and tasted lightly without using up the amount a classic cocktail would. “I don’t drink because I don’t like the effects of alcohol, but I like to be a part of it,” Lively says. “I like to be social, I like people to get together.”
Hero and Feature Image Credit: Courtesy of Betty Buzz / Guy Aroch
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