Modern Tea Party – Escape Mocktails

Modern Tea Party

by Michelle Hereford,

Apparently, you never outgrow a tea party. My adult daughter and I are having one and we are so excited. This is a great idea for Mother’s Day. My sister and I did something similar one year and invited all the moms in our families to celebrate. As a special touch, we purchased colorful and inexpensive vases and filled them with fresh flowers for each attendee as a favor.

Even though this is just a small party for just the two us, we are sticking to a fairly traditional feast. Crustless sandwiches, cucumber and otherwise. We have petit fours and scones and a variety of cakes and cookies, a hot sweet onion tart, lemonade and of course tea.

To make these sandwiches, I am following a few suggestions I came across when looking up recipes. First, use thick bread; second freeze the bread for a little bit before using so that it doesn’t tear or flatten as easily. If you prefer very uniformed sandwiches, use a large cookie cutter for all the components, bread, meat, and cheese (if you so choose) so that they appear uniform in size when you build your sandwich stack. We decided to make cucumber, egg salad and roast beef. All of the sandwiches used thick white or wheat bread, micro greens and salt and pepper and do not have more than 5 ingredients each. Please see the simple menu below.

Afternoon Tea Party Menu

Cucumber Sandwiches (we used small Japanese cucumbers and a cheese spread. This recipe usually calls for butter and chives instead of the cheese spread)

Egg Salad Sandwiches(boiled eggs, chopped and mixed with mayonnaise)

Roast Beef Sandwiches(we used deli sliced ​​roast beef and a horseradish spread for a little kick)

Sweet Onion Tart (we wanted something hot, it was a Trader Joe’s find)

Petit Fours




Loaf cake

Variety of Tea

Sweet Lemon Mocktail (lemon juice, simple syrup, shot sweet potato vodka, lemonade, shaken with ice)

Once we had our menu together, we set about ensuring that this was also a feast for the eyes. We found edible flowers to embellish our desserts and we used a stacked tray to display our delicious food items.

For the tea, we used Earl Gray to stick with tradition and a mint tea because it’s one of my faves and always refreshing. See some tips below from Chatelaine for brewing the perfect cup of tea.

Tea Party Tea

  1. Choose your tea. Traditional choices are Earl Gray, English Breakfast or Darjeeling.
  2. Use loose-leaf tea. Never use a tea bag for Afternoon Tea. (We broke this rule with the mint tea)
  3. Fill the kettle with freshly drawn water. Never re-boil the water because water loses oxygen left standing and this noticeably when affects the taste of the tea.
  4. Warm the teapot by swishing boiling water in it, I do this to my teacup or mug too because I like my hot beverages scorching hot, like the last sip must be hot. You can also warm the teapot by leaving it near a hot burner.
  5. Add the tea leaves to the tea pot. Never use a tea ball though. Instead, use a strainer held under the spout as you pour.
  6. Let the tea steep for the proper amount of time, depending on the type of tea you’re preparing. Most, like Earl Gray take from 3-4 minutes.
  7. When serving the tea, no mugs allowed. Tea must be served from a teapot into teacups.

All that’s left is to enjoy and sip the tea for your modern day tea party!


More About Escape Mocktails

More About Escape Mocktails

June 10, 2021

A family with a history in the beverage business concocts alcohol free spirits and mocktails that mimic the flavor of alcohol minus the hangover.

PISMO BEACH, CA, USA, June 10, 2021 / — Natalie Jones, known as Mama with a Mocktail onInstagramand among her friends and family, has been working with her dad as the brains and taste buds behind Escape™ Mocktails. They are excited to announce their launch of 14 non-alcoholic spirits and mocktails. This daughter-father dynamic duo are no strangers to the intricacies of the beverage industry. With a combined 40 years of beverage experience, they have manufactured a myriad of excellent projects from mango and peach low calorie energy drinks to a fruit punch Blood Energy Potion. The business literally runs in their blood, with it all starting over 75 years ago with Natalie’s grandparents making beverages, and continuing today with the 4th generation of their family. That’s where the youngest of the beverage makers steps in, Natalie’s daughter, who helps with photoshoots while mixing mocktails, staging the background, and posing her mom. As compelling and successful as their other beverages have been, this passionate project hits even closer to home.

Natalie wants to set out to change how moms drink. “I was guilty of being a wine mom,” says Natalie. “It was my way to handle the daily pressures of being a mom and wife – not to mention the stress of Covid 19. There were times when Mama needed her wine! It would start with me having a glass of wine while making dinner or day drinking because I was home all day. I was ok with the excuses to drink because it was Wine Wednesday or Thirsty Thursday. Soon the wine changed to drinks on the rocks, but I didn’t think there was anything wrong with that. Then, last year brought a lot of changes for me. I realized my mommy drinking may not have been the best combination for me, for my health, and for my family. Now, it’s nice to escape with a non-alcoholic drink and not feel the effects of a hangover in the morning. I enjoy the taste of alcohol, but not always the way it makes me feel. I was excited when my dad came to me with the idea of ​​creating a mocktail business. I’m happy to be back in the beverage business, drinking less alcohol, and feeling better about myself. I’d really like other moms to think before they drink. I’d also like to be more open about my experiences with drinking. It’s ok to save drinking alcohol for special times when I don’t have the responsibility of working, being a mom, and keeping up with all that comes with that title.” Natalie will start to share her journey with being more mindful about her drinking and will be working on a campaign in June to get the word out to other moms to think before they drink.

Why mimic the taste of alcohol?
Alcohol gives you the feeling of being relaxed and lowers your stress level. But you can fool your brain to feel relaxed when you drink something that tastes like the alcoholic version, but doesn’t have the alcohol. quotes Julia Chester, professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University by saying: “You can mimic what’s happening in your brain by creating a drink that basically shared all the attributes of the drink that you like, with the absence of alcohol. This will remind your brain and you of feeling good drinking…but without the alcohol.” So, if a margarita takes the edge off your day, why not try one without alcohol?

The mocktail makers at Escape, spent months finding a formula that tastes great. From Moscow Mules and Mojitos to Old Fashions and Manhattans, Escape Mocktails™ offers something for everyone. Mocktails ship anywhere in the United States and Canada from California. To see our line of products .

Escape Mocktails was launched in 2021, with the goal of bringing a full line of non-alcoholic spirits and mixed cocktails to consumers looking for a healthy alternative to drinking without sacrificing flavor. With a focus on flavor, Escape™ Mocktails offers everyone a respite without the repercussions.

The Mocktail and Non- Alcoholic Spirits Lineup:
Mocktails: Moscow Mule, Mojito, Cadillac Margarita, Sweet Potato Vodka, Old Fashioned, Negroni, and Manhattan
Spirits: Cinnamon Fire Whiskey, Mezcal, Spiced Rum, Tequila, Peanut Butter Whiskey, Cognac, and Single Malt Scotch

You can follow Natalie Jones, Mama with a Mocktail on Instagram .


A Stress Free Activity – Escape Mocktails

A Stress Free Activity

Both Michelle and I share our experiences with gardening. It’s a stress free activity and way to be outside and with nature. Read more about how Michelle and I enjoy gardening.


Digging in the Dirt

By Michelle Hereford

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors in my yard. The reason is twofold; I’m still working from home so escaping outside regardless of the weather has become my thing. But also, it’s spring, the weather is great, and gardens need tending.

I have a little courtyard/patio area right outside my front door. I recommend everyone carve out a little seating area outside to read a book and enjoy a beverage. It doesn’t take much, a chair or two and anything you can balance a drink on as a table. It’s been getting warm and nice cool beverage is always welcomed. My beverage of choice lately is a from Escape Mocktails. Their sweet potato vodka is wonderful with orange juice. They actually have many wonderful flavors; I really like the Manhattan too.

Alcohol free sweet potato vodka

Once you’ve carved out your hang out spot if you really want to get with nature, just put in a little elbow grease and creativity and create a lush herb garden. Herb gardens are great because fresh herbs are wonderful to add to any meal and the beauty and fragrance of the plants are a bonus to the senses. A potting shelf filled with fresh herbs is a beautiful sight and you’d be surprised at how much usage you can get from fresh herbs. Besides adding basil and oregano to my spaghetti, I even put sprigs of mint in my lemonade and practically every dish needs a little parsley as a garnish.

Our yard is small, I don’t really have an area that I can devote to a garden, so I used pots instead. A potted herb garden is perfect for those in apartments or condos too. I also wanted instant results, so I went to the produce section of my supermarket (I love this tip because I didn’t have to make a special trip to the nursery) and picked up starter plants of basil, mint, oregano, and parsley for just $2.99 ​​each. I came home and potted them using a potting soil with nutrients and I placed them on a potting shelf in my backyard. They will also thrive on a windowsill in your home. It’s so nice to be able to grab my scissors and snip fresh herbs for my drinks and meals.

I used some of the tomatoes a neighbor grew and shared along with my fresh basil to make these adorable little pizzas. I tried to get the tomatoes and basil to look like cherries. If you look real hard and maybe squint a little you might see it. Lol. This was really easy to make. I used ready-made pizza crust, added pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. Then I sliced ​​the tomatoes in half, placing the cut side down. I used the basil leaves and stems as the “cherry” leaves and stems. It’s just a cute little example of how delicious herbs and homegrown veggies can be used to enhance meals. Digging in the dirt is good for you and definitely therapeutic, also the sense of pride you’ll get when you see your plants thriving is real. Time to get some dirt under your fingernails.



Gardening, One of My Stress Free Activities

by Natalie Jones

I come from a gardening family! All of us have flowers in bloom, spend time on the weekend in the yard and have fun planting a variety of plants. I’ve started to involve my daughter in the gardening activities and I can tell she also enjoys being outside and watching the flowers grow. It’s been fun to come home with different plants and watch the blooms. Recently, it was an orange Iceland poppy flowers. I love the delicate petals and the flowers remind me of springtime as a child.

I’ve been replanting areas in both the front and backyard. Being out in the garden is for sure a stress free activity for me. In the front, I had overgrown rosemary plants. The herb is great as a ground cover and for cooking. The herb is my favorite in dishes like lamb and other Mediterranean foods. The rosemary went wild so I had to take it out. I planted more succulents, cactus and colorful plants. I keep things more low maintenance in the front yard. For the backyard, I’ve updated some plants in pots with more colorful blooms. From the dining table, I can see outside. I wanted to see more colorful plants. Seeing bright, colorful areas makes me happy! See a picture of the colorful blooms I have below.

Like Michelle, I have an herb garden. I’ve had mint that keeps coming back each year. That stuff is so easy to grow! I have 3 different types of mint. The mint is great for snipping off for photos in mocktails. I also have oregano, basil and rosemary. Herbs are a great way to add flavor to things you are eating and drinking.

We made our version of homemade pizza and I added basil and Italian seasoning to mine. My daughter is a little picky with food flavors so I made my own pizza sauce. It was so easy too! I took tomato sauce and tomato paste and mixed the two together until I came up with a thicker sauce. For her sauce I just added salt. Since the tomato sauce and paste had no other added ingredients, I didn’t have to worry about the flavor being something she didn’t like.

We also like to make mini pizzas so these crescent rolls are perfect since they are small! I use them like pizza dough and they come out more flakey. Instead of rolling up the dough, I just flatten it out and cook it for a few minutes. Then, I top it with the sauce and toppings. It’s also fun to have my daughter in the kitchen cooking with me. She’s a great helper and a good way to introduce her to different types of food and cooking. Cooking is also a stress free activity for me!

For our mini pizzas, I enjoy an alcohol free Lagunitas.


Cinnamon Whiskey Mocktail Recipes – Escape Mocktails

Cinnamon Whiskey Mocktail Recipes

Here’s some recipes with our non-alcoholic Cinnamon Whiskey


Cinnamon and Spice Egg Nog

Fill a glass with egg nog, top with a shot of Escape Mocktails Cinnamon Whiskey and Spiced Rum liqueur.

Holiday Sangria Mocktail – Cranberry and Orange Mocktail

Mix a bottle of Fre Merlot, cranberry juice, Escape Mocktails Orange Cognac (3-4 shots), Escape Mocktails Cinnamon Whiskey, add Cranberry sparkling water, cherries, orange, and cranberries. For extra sweetness, add in honey or agave.


No Boos Punch


I was lucky enough to get one of these coveted ghost mugs from Target last year. My sister actually drove to the next town to get us one.


This year, I thought I’d make a mocktail with it. Here’s how I made it:

Spiced Chai tea (got mine from Trader Joe’s)

1/4 cup cranberry juice

1 shot Escape, alcohol free Cinnamon Whiskey

1 shot Escape, alcohol free Orange Cognac

Serve warm and enjoy this warm mocktail on the cold night of Halloween. 👻


Sparkling Apple Cinnamon Mocktail

Sparkling Apple Cider

1 shot of Escape Mocktails Cinnamon Whiskey

Grab your pretty glass and add some sparkling apple juice and our Escape Mocktails Cinnamon Whiskey. Top it with an apple slice for a touch of fall.

Sparkling Apple Mocktail

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Apple Ginger Mocktail

I love Reed’s Ginger Beer with 0 sugar. It’s my go to drink and it pairs well with a lot of our mocktails.

Pour 3/4 of a glass with Reed’s Ginger Beer

Add 1-2 shots of Cinnamon Whiskey

Apple Ginger Mocktail

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Peachy Cinnamon Twist Mocktail

Country Peach Juice, from Trader Joe’s *

Shot or 2 of our Escape Mocktails, Cinnamon Whiskey (depends on how much cinnamon spice you like)

Country Peach Juice is made up of pineapple, mango, peach, apple, grape, and pear juice.

Ginger Cinnamon Twist Mocktail

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California Sweet Tea


Peach tea

Shot of Escape Mocktails, non-alcoholic Cinnamon Whiskey

Fresh mint

Brew a cup of peach tea.

It was peach tea, with a shot of our non-alcoholic Cinnamon Whiskey, and mint from my garden. It looks like a drink, tastes like a drink, but it wasn’t a drink with alcohol.


Sangria Mocktail

Above are the ingredients that were used in our Sangria Mocktail.


Escape Mocktails, non-alcoholic Cinnamon Whiskey

Escape Mocktails, non-alcoholic Cognac

Cranberry juice

Sparkling orange water

FRE, alcohol removed wine

Fruit slices

Fill a pitched with a half bottle of alcohol free wine, add in 3 shots of Cognac and 2 shots of Cinnamon Whiskey, top with sparkling water and add in fruit slices.


Low Calorie Mocktails – Escape Mocktails

Low Calorie Mocktails

With the rise in non-alcoholic drinks, people may be drinking to their health. Not drinking alcohol comes with many health benefits, including consuming something that has less calories. For many alcoholic free beverages, they have less calories than their alcoholic version..

We have 9 low calorie mocktails and spirits that are less than 35 calories per serving. Having both non alcoholic versions of popular mocktails and popular spirits. An alcoholic spirit has 70 calories for 1 oz. serving size. If you look at Escape Mocktails alcohol free spirits, many of them have 35 calories or less for 2 oz of product.

The best way to drink on a diet would be to reach for a low calorie mocktail since it doesn’t have any alcohol. Think of the last time you were out with friends after drinking alcohol.

Let’s look at a strong IPA beer. It has 200-300 calories a serving. If you look at a sugary mixed drink, it can have 150-250 calories a serving. One drink many times turns into 2. Then, add on fried bar food to munch on and you are looking at a 1,000 calorie in addition to what you’ve already had to eat and drink for that day.

Contributor Ester Ellis from says that, “beverage choices are just as important as food choices. Drinking sugary beverages can contribute unnecessary calories.”

If you are looking to cut back on your drinking and on calories here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Choose low calorie mocktails that are made with real fruit juices. For example, if you are wanting a margarita, why not add in some fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon juice and lime juice. That way you are getting the sugar naturally, from the juice.
  • Savor your drink so you don’t feel like you need another one.
  • Eat before you decide to spend the day celebrating with friends. Choose healthy options at home to fill up on so you aren’t tempted to order fries, nachos and jalapeño poppers
  • Add sparkling flavored water to your drink of choice. This is a great way to get the bubbly added in and the extra flavor, without the calories. Bubbly water has less calories than soda.

Here are 5 reasons why low calorie mocktails are your best low calorie option.

1. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor by drinking an Escape Mocktail!

Alcohol is an acquired taste. Your favorite cocktail is probably your favorite, because you truly enjoy the flavor. That can be really difficult to give up without a good alternative. Thankfully, cutting back on calories doesn’t have to mean sacrificing great taste!Escape Mocktails™ left the flavor and ditched the alcohol that drives up the calorie count in your favorite drink. Who doesn’t want to enjoy the flavor of your favorite cocktail without the calorie commitment? It’s a win-win!

2. There are way less calories in an Escape Mocktail!

Trust me, there are WAY less calories in an Escape Mocktail than in yourfavorite cocktail. If you’re out at a bar and want to enjoy a Mojito, one drink alone is 161 calories! Whereas you can have the same flavor experience with aMojitio mocktail that only sets you back 30 calories. Here’s how all of our mocktails stack up to their alcoholic counterparts!


Escape Mocktail Calories

Alcoholic Drink Calories

Sweet Potato Vodka



Cadillac Margarita









Moscow Mule






Old Fashioned



3. A mocktail won’t result in a hangover.

After a night out drinking, your weight fluctuation won’t be the only frustrating part of your day. Hangovers are the worst and 100 percent avoidable!Escape Mocktails allow you to be fun and sociable without the pounding headache in the morning.

4. Escape Mocktails have less sugar than soda!

If you’re counting calories, you’re probably also being cognizant of your sugar intake. If you want a non-alcoholic drink that still feels like a treat, soda isn’t the answer. In one 12 oz. can of Coca-Cola, there’s 39 grams of sugar. That’s well over theAmerican Heart Association‘s recommended 24 grams for women! OurCadillac Margarita only has five grams of added sugar, making it a beverage decision your doctor can get behind.

5. Escape Mocktails aren’t boring.

Calorie counters are always looking for ways to feel like they’re having a cheat day without taking a caloric hit, but girl, sometimes carbonated water just can’t quench your thirst! Sure, it’s zero calories, but if you don’t indulge your taste buds, you’ll just find yourself committing a real cheat. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to slip up and then regret it. Just drink aManhattan Mocktail and call it a day.

Next time you are looking for a low calorie option, reach for a low calorie mocktail by Escape Mocktails.


Words for the year – Escape Mocktails

words of the year

Words for the year 

Over the past few years, starting on January 1st, I’ve focused on a word to try to live my year by. Words from the past years have been ones like simple and joy. 

This year, I wanted to teach this tradition to my daughter. We’ve been trying to get more in touch with our feelings and emotions. So, using positive feelings words like love, kindness, joy, happy, fun, brave, patient, organized, and strong, my daughter and I came up with some words to live our year by. 

Here’s how I started the exercise: 
	⁃	I explained that it was the new year. I let her know some people like to have goals for the year. I like to choose a word that I think about for the year. I word is a good (positive) word. 
	⁃	The word is something that we want to think about for the year and make sure that everyday we try to practice and live our day trying to focus on that word. 
	⁃	I read a list of words to her and said she should let me know the words she liked and that stood out to her. 
	⁃	She wrote all the words she liked on a piece of paper. 
	⁃	Next, I asked her the one she wanted for the year. She actually circled 3, and I just went with it because who wouldn’t want more positive in their life! 
	⁃	When we came up with the 3 words, I asked her what the words meant to her and how she could act on those words each day. I even read her the simple definition of the word so she could understand it more. 
	⁃	Then, we created a project with the words. I got out a canvas and we wrote the words on the canvas and then decorated it. 
	⁃	We found a place to hang the canvas so we would see the words everyday. 
	⁃	In the past week, I remind her of the words we are living by. 
	⁃	When people come over or she FaceTimes friends and family, we share our words project with them. 
	⁃	I’ll also be looking for examples of how we can live by those words. For example, one of the words is friendship. One way to be a good friend would be to color a picture and send that to your friend. 
	⁃	If I see our words out and about I may buy a card to put up with the words. 
	⁃	If I see examples of us using the words, I’ll point them out. 

We have this sign board, so my daughter changed the sign to show our words for the year. 

I may also add in a goal for the year. It make it a general goal and one that would be easy for her to achieve. A few years ago, her goal was to learn to swim. Some ideas for simple goals for the year for your children might be ones like: ⁃ To have a cleaner room ⁃ To help out more ⁃ To earn money from chores ⁃ Read more ⁃ To be a better listener ⁃ Eat healthier Once the general idea is written down, then you can talk about ways to reach the goal and talk about how you can help them achieve that goal. If the goal was to read more, maybe you’ll go to the library together once a month. Or if the goal was to eat healthier, then take your child to the store or Farmer’s Market to pick out food they want. Your child’s goal may also turn into a goal for the family. If your child sees you doing it, they may feel more supported. It’s still January and still time to create ways to make a change about being more positive in 2022.