Looking for a refreshing and alcohol-free drink to enjoy over the summer? You’re going to love our virgin mojito recipe! We’ve blended fresh lime with our Bergamot Juice and mint leaves for a drink so vibrant it will lift your mood instantly.
Do you love the cool, refreshing flavours of the mojito, but not the way alcohol makes you feel? As summer begins, the cool taste of mint and fresh tastes of lime and bergamot are never out of place, so we’ve mixed things up with our organic bergamot shot. Now, you can enjoy a mojito any time of the day, no matter the occasion or your plans afterwards.
Bergamot: A twist on citrus
Bergamot is the ingredient that gives the very English Earl Grey tea its distinct flavour. However, bergamot is actually a type of citrus native to Italy. It’s like a wrinkly cross between a lime and an orange, and tastes similar to bitter orange. A blend of tangy, floral, sour, and sweet notes, it is the basis of Grand Marnier’s flavour. We are proud to source our bergamot from Calabria, a region of Italy known for the best-quality fruits.
Other flavours in our cocktail
True to the mojito tradition, the chief ingredient in this recipe is mint. Its cooling flavour makes mint refreshing whether you’re drinking it as hot tea or an ice-cold cocktail. The addition of lime juice and slices add zest, with a sour, warmer, yet still fresh taste. Honey balances out the sour notes, and stands in for the sweet taste of rum. Our love for non-alcoholic cocktails is no secret. Through our experimentation with traditional alcohol substitutes, such as rose water, and new twists on old favourites, including this mojito recipe, our parties can be more inclusive to those who don’t drink, and new ways to use medicinal
herbs open up.
At Erbology, we aim to make herbal medicine a fun part of everyday life. Yes – bergamot may have several benefits for general health, which can add joy to your day beyond this delicious cocktail. Our Organic Bergamot Shot is made in small batches on farms in Calabria, Italy, which have been run by the same families for generations. Packed with vitamin C and other phytonutrients, it’s delicious as a stand-alone drink or as part of a juice or cocktail. If you want something simple, you can drink it as a juice shot or add one serving to sparkling water as a DIY soda.
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits
Many bergamot health benefits relate back to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities. As a citrus fruit, bergamot is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system thanks to its antioxidant properties. Even better, vitamin C plays a role in collagen production, a protein which is abundant in your skin, tendons, ligaments, and even bones. Bergamot contains a wide range of antioxidants known as flavonoids. Lab research shows that they may improve protection against oxidative free radicals. This leads to a reduction in inflammation, a normal response to tissue damage. Bergamot may also play a role in protecting the cells that line your blood vessels.(1)
In addition, bergamot may favourably impact triglyceride levels. This effect is linked to lower markers of cardiovascular damage, including inflammatory markers.(1) Evidence from the past decade has suggested that in order to protect your heart and blood vessels you should aim to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and keep blood lipids within the normal range (cholesterol and triglycerides). Inflammation and oxidation in the blood vessels can lead to cholesterol build-up which can reach harmful levels over the long-term if left untreated.
Bergamot may play a role in weight loss and metabolic health. In a study of 64 overweight volunteers, treatment with bergamot led to more visceral fat loss than the placebo, and greater cholesterol-lowering effects.(2) Visceral fat surrounds the organs, and is more dangerous than fat
lying underneath the skin because it has more serious metabolic consequences. There is a need for more robust studies on this topic before we can make claims around bergamot’s role in weight regulation and metabolic health.
Skin and hair health
The antioxidant properties of bergamot have been studied in relation to hair growth and skin health. Lab research demonstrates that, by protecting against cell and tissue damage, bergamot may support hair growth and increase skin collagen content.(1)
Mental and cognitive health
The essential oils in bergamot may balance mood and boost cognition. Bergamot essential oil may relieve anxiety. This means that if you’ve got an exam, sports event, or visit to your in-laws’ house coming up, a mocktail containing bergamot could ease your nerves. Other trials have found improved cognition across a range of tests, including the ability to recall more vocabulary and concepts off the top of participants’ heads. Bergamot may also boost abilities such as attention span, working memory, perseverance, and abstract thinking.(1) Again, we need more robust evidence in the form of large scale randomised controlled trials before we can confidently make claims around
bergamot and cognition.
Mint leaves health benefits
The other key ingredients of our Virgin Mojito are mint and lime, and they aren’t just there for flavour. Mint is a well-loved home remedy for digestive complaints, such as gas and bloating. It’s known in the herbal medicine world as a carminative, meaning that it relieves gas and spasms in the digestive tract. In fact, peppermint (which is very similar) is a key ingredient in popular herbal medicine formulas for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Mint may be especially beneficial in constipation-predominant IBS, as its relaxant effects can support colon function.(3) Additionally, mint is a gentle antimicrobial. Gas and cramps are often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines. If you suspect bacterial overgrowth, which can be measured by a breath test, it’s best to check with your doctor to determine how best to treat it.
Lime fruit and juice
Limes and bergamot are closely related, both belonging to the citrus family. They are therefore both rich sources of vitamin C and other antioxidants, able to protect your body against oxidative damage while supporting immunity. The combination of bergamot, lime juice, and fresh lime brings more benefits for your cardiovascular protection and skin collagen production compared to just one ingredient alone. As our Virgin Mojito has no alcohol, these antioxidant benefits can act unopposed. Another benefit of citrus is improved iron absorption, which is more important than ever as meat-free diets move into the mainstream. In fact, vitamin C enhances iron absorption from plant sources. It’s best to enjoy citrus drinks, such as any of our bergamot recipes, close to meals, and avoid green or black tea for a couple of hours.(4) Citrus fruits may protect against kidney stones, too. These are often described as worse than childbirth, so any means of prevention is a good thing. While increased calories, protein, and fat are linked with a higher risk of kidney stones, citrus fruits were strongly linked to protection in a large dietary study.(5)
How to enjoy our virgin mojito
With no alcohol in sight, you can enjoy this cocktail at any hour of the day. Like a cross between a champagne breakfast and a morning juice, you can start your day with our Virgin Mojito, or finish off dinner with a hit of citrus and mint.Drinks
10 fresh mint leaves + 6-8 extra for garnishing 2 tbsp lime juice