IT is surely the tipple at the bottom of anyone’s Christmas list during the season to be jolly.

But water-based “mocktails” are vying with Prosecco and mulled wine for the attention of festive revellers this year after Scottish Water teamed up with one of Scotland’s leading bar groups.

Mixology experts from Montpeliers are supporting Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign by designing a new range of themed water-based mocktails that anyone can make at home, including a Christmas Cooler and Santa’s Spritz.

They say Scotland’s “soft” water with its low mineral content means it can absorb a huge amount of flavour from any ingredients added to it.

The Santa’s Spritz is based on water infused with chai tea, lemon zest, freshly chopped strawberry and vanilla mixed in a glass with ice, freshly-squeezed lemon juice and sugar.

Joey Medrington, group bar development manager at Edinburgh-based Montpeliers, said: “The best way to make delicious water-based cocktails is to create infusions.

“Scotland’s tap water has the remarkable property of being able to absorb a huge amount of flavour molecules – think of it like making a cup of tea: the longer you leave it to infuse the more flavour you’ll get.

“This can be done very easily by adding the fruits or herbs you want to infuse into a large jar or bottle and leaving it in the fridge overnight, then straining off the next morning to produce delicious flavoured water.”

The campaign follows on from promotions by lager giant Tennent’s, which has marketed its pints as containing “the freshest water from Loch Katrine... topped up by the glorious Scottish rain”.

In September whisky lovers were also urged to mix their favourite spirit with a new brand of “wild water”, Larkfire, costing £1 per can.

The water is sourced from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides where three-billion-year-old gneiss rock is said to give it a “unique softness and natural purity”, which enhances the taste of whisky.

Scottish tap water also became the first in the world to gain international approval from the Oral Health Foundation in November after Scottish Water submitted evidence showing it was linked to healthier teeth and gums.

Brian Lironi, director of corporate affairs at Scottish Water, said the mocktails were a way of encouraging people to remain hydrated during the traditionally boozy party season, or to give drivers an alternative to plain water or soft drinks.

The NHS recommends the people consume the equivalent of six to eight glasses of water per day, which can include water consumed in the form of tea or coffee.

Drinking water is also associated with weight control as thirst is often mistaken for hunger.

Mr Lironi said: “This range of new water-based mocktails shows what you can achieve with a few additions to our great and tasty tap water.

“In the excitement and buzz around the festive season, the benefits of our tap water can easily be overlooked.

“It can be a busy time for many – shopping, visiting, and being out and about more than usual – so being well hydrated will boost energy levels whether you’re dashing around grabbing last minute gifts or partying with friends.

“It’ll also keep you on form through the New Year and into 2020.

“We know that Christmas is a great time for celebrations, but keeping hydrated is key to enjoying the time responsibly and ensuring that everyone has a happy and healthy Christmas. Equally, these delicious water-based mocktails may aid those to stick by their New Year resolutions or a dry January goal, by providing more alternatives to an alcoholic drink.”

Mr Medrington, whose Montpeliers group operates seven units in Edinburgh including Tigerlily and Candy Bar, also had tips for any would-be water mixologists at home.

He said: “To create cocktails we need to add a few more steps to amplify that flavour. The best way to do that is to enhance the ‘taste elements’ in our drink. By taste elements we mean sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. By adding balanced measures of some or all of these elements we can enhance the flavours of the fruits, herbs, teas and spices we use in our water to create truly delicious, Scottish Water-based cocktails.”