Just because you’ve gone off alcohol either temporarily or permanently doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy cocktails anymore. Thanks to the sober curious movement, mocktails – or non-alcoholic drinks – are becoming more and more popular both at parties and to gussy up an everyday weeknight dinner. With these mocktail recipes, you’ll be able to have a fun drink without the alcohol.
What Is a Mocktail Recipe?
Mocktail recipes are designed to mimic the taste, appearance, and mouthfeel of a traditional cocktail without adding alcoholic spirits.
These non-alcoholic drinks are typically made up of a variety of ingredients, including juices like fresh lime juice, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, or lemon juice. Mocktail recipes may also include other common cocktail ingredients such as club soda, coconut milk, and ginger beer.
The Difference Between a Cocktail and a Mocktail
The main difference between cocktails and mocktails is that cocktails tend to be more sour or bitter than mocktails. The most popular mocktails, like the virgin strawberry daiquiri, are made to provide a non-alcoholic option for a hot summer day.
What Are Mocktails Made Of?
The ingredients used in mocktails depend mainly on which cocktails they’re trying to mimic. A few examples of common mocktail ingredients include the following:
- orange juice
- lemon juice
- lime juice
- ginger ale
- fresh mint
- frozen strawberries
- pomegranate juice
- simple syrup
- honey syrup
- lemon-lime soda
- sparkling water
No matter which ingredients you put together for a mocktail, you’re sure to end up with a refreshing drink that is just as delicious as the alcoholic version.
Best Mocktail Recipes
The sky is the limit for the ingredients you can successfully include in a bespoke mocktail. However, there are certain virgin drinks that are almost as popular as the alcoholic version.
Here are just a few of the best fruity mocktail recipes you should master if you need a refreshing summertime drink:
- Virgin Mary: Bloody Mary cocktails are one of the most iconic alcoholic cocktails around. The Virgin Mary has many of the same delicious flavors as the popular drink if you’re avoiding alcohol. While most mocktails on this list are sweet, Virgin Mary mocktails lean into more savory elements such as tomato juice and black pepper.
- Shirley Temple: A mocktail that is similar to a rum and coke except that it only contains soda and grenadine. This mocktail has traditionally been used to treat children since it has a sweet cherry flavor that kids love.
- Virgin Piña Colada: This refreshing mocktail is another alcohol-free version of the classic coconut drink. This non-alcoholic mocktail version often features coconut milk to give it a creamy mouthfeel and a tropical flavor that is perfect for hot summer weather.
Many mocktails provide a refreshing non-alcoholic drink for people avoiding alcohol. But not all of them are full of sugary simple syrup and juice. Many lighter mocktail recipes feature fresh and light ingredients such as tonic water, fresh fruit, or a little mint.
Different Types of Mocktails
Mocktails can generally be broken down into two major categories: drinks that are made to be an alcohol-free version of an existing alcoholic cocktail, and bespoke mocktails.
More recently, mocktails are beginning to use virgin spirits such as botanical gin and faux whiskey. These spirits have been specifically designed to taste like alcohol when combined with other classic cocktail ingredients, such as bitters.
Benefits of Mocktails
Mocktails are a smart choice over abstaining from drinks altogether if you’re trying to avoid alcohol. The reason is that mocktails contain many ingredients that are considered beneficial to your physical and mental health.
These are a few of the benefits associated with swapping to a non-alcoholic version of your favorite cocktail:
- No hangovers. As fun as it is to make a night out of drinking cocktails, it usually involves a morning of headaches, digestive upset, and regret if you over-indulge on alcoholic drinks. Meanwhile, non-drinkers can drink mocktails all night without dealing with the consequences in the morning.
- No drunk driving or cabs. If you go out on the town drinking alcohol, your choices are to endanger yourself and others by driving intoxicated or pay extra to get a cab. A non-alcoholic drink allows you to socialize safely in public without having to worry about drunk driving.
- Healthy and hydrating. Unlike alcoholic drinks, which can leave you dehydrated and feeling sick, a non-alcoholic drink helps hydrate your body. The botanical extracts and fruit juices used to create mocktails are also associated with health benefits such as antioxidants and essential vitamins.
Mocktails have many of the same flavor and aesthetic qualities as a cocktail. Therefore, the health benefits are the icing on the cake. Once you learn to make good mocktails, you won’t even miss the alcohol.
Tips for How to Make a Mocktail Recipe
Making mocktails isn’t difficult. But there are a few things you can do when mixing them to make them look and taste better. Follow these tips with any mocktail recipe to help improve your results:
- Use premium mixers. You’re going to get a much nicer cocktail from using fresh-squeezed lime juice or a high-end non-alcoholic spirit like Seedlip or Curious Elixirs than you would if you used lesser-quality ingredients in their place. Be sure to splurge to get a luxurious mocktail in return.
- Don’t skimp on the ice. Using plenty of ice while mixing and serving mocktails can help improve their flavor and appearance. Many mocktails also taste much better when they’re thoroughly chilled before drinking. Keep in mind that ice itself is a mixer and will help to dilute stronger mocktail flavors as it melts.
- Use small glasses and chill them. Some mocktails can taste less pleasant once they start to warm up. Using small glasses and chilling them ensures you can finish your mocktail before it warms up.
Can You Get Drunk on Mocktails?
Since mocktails don’t contain alcohol, you can’t get drunk on them. However, there are some mocktails that include cannabis infusions or other adaptogens that can induce a mellowed-out feeling similar to mild intoxication.
25 Mocktails for Every Season
No matter what your preferences are for a cocktail, there are plenty of mocktail recipes that are a delicious choice for every occasion. Below you’ll find twenty-five of the latest mocktail recipes to try for any season or social gathering.
Mocktail Recipes for Summer
1. Strawberry Rickey
If you’re craving the traditional flavors of an electric lemonade or a strawberry daiquiri but don’t want to include vodka and rum, this strawberry rickey mocktail at Lemons for Lulu is a healthy option.
2. Toasted Coconut and Lime Cream Soda
Craving a blended coconut tiki drink in the summer but you’re alcohol-free? A toasted coconut and lime cream soda from Nutrition in the Kitchen can help emulate the classic drink flavors of a coconut cocktail without weighing you down on hot summer days.
3. Strawberry Basil Shrub
Strawberry and basil are two of the most popular flavors of summer, and they combine beautifully in this mocktail shrub at Proportional Plate. The shrub syrup can be poured over soda water or tonic water in just the right amount to create a fizzy, refreshing drink.
4. Lemon and Lime Mocktail
Lemon juice and lime juice are two citrus flavors that always pair well together. Here, the two flavors are combined in a mocktail at Healthy Little Peach along with fresh mint leaves and honey for virgin drinks that are sure to please your company in warm weather.
5. Arnold Palmer
A refreshing cold drink for a hot day, the Arnold Palmer mocktail is a classic mix that is half lemonade, half iced tea. Learn how to make this summer punch over at Culinary Hill.
Fall Mocktail Recipes
6. Sparkling Elderberry Mocktail
The sparkling elderberry mocktail from Taste of Yummy is a good drink choice for fall since the elderberry juice in it is useful for fending off flu and the common cold.
7. Apple Ginger Fizz
Apple and ginger are two classic flavors that are common in fall cuisine, and this apple ginger fizz from Mindful Mocktail is a perfect example of the flavor combination in action.
Using ginger beer, sparkling cider, mint leaves, and cinnamon, it’s a wonderful drink to kick back with at your next fall bonfire.
8. Cranberry Apple Cider Mocktail
If you’re avoiding alcohol for health reasons, you might get to the point where you can’t stomach another iced tea or lemonade. The cranberry apple cider mocktail at The Rustic Foodie offers a delicious substitute.
9. Pear Ginger Mocktail
Ginger plays a strong role in many fall mocktail recipes, but at The Merry Thought we see it paired with pear instead of the traditional apple flavor seen in many autumn drinks.
10. Pomegranate Vanilla Fizz
Pomegranate is a popular flavor in fall and goes well with the vanilla in this mocktail recipe at A Red Spatula. The drink also looks beautiful during holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving.
Christmas Mocktail Recipes
11. Mulled Wine Mocktail
Nothing says the holidays quite like mulled wine. The mulled wine drink at Heal Me Delicious replaces traditional alcoholic wine with pomegranate juice, mixing it with clove, cinnamon, and orange juice flavors.
The warming nature of this mocktail makes it a popular choice for cold weather.
12. Carrot Cake Quencher Mocktail
The carrot cake quencher mocktail from Thirsty Radish is a great addition to any holiday brunch table. Combining classic carrot cake flavors in carrot juice, cinnamon, and sugar, this drink pairs well with savory breakfast foods and is a sweet option for any mocktail bar.
13. Christmas Punch
This non-alcoholic Christmas Punch recipe at Thyme and Joy combines classic holiday flavors such as aromatic spices, citrus zest, and fruit juices for a drink that goes great with every holiday gathering.
14. Blue Christmas Mocktail
Most Christmas mocktails are red or pink, but this mocktail at 3 Boys and a Dog uses alcohol-free Curacao to give it a glacier blue color.
15. Christmas Mocktail
Christmas mocktails are a delicious way to help celebrate the holidays without dealing with the hangover that comes after a night of indulging.
The Christmas mocktail at Love Bakes Good Cakes combines apple cider, ginger ale, cranberry juice, and orange juice for a drink with festive flair.
Mocktail Recipes for Kids
16. Raspberry Italian Soda
If you’re looking for a fancy mocktail for children to drink at a birthday party or holiday, look no further than this raspberry Italian soda at Lemons for Lulu.
Italian sodas combine fruit syrup, cream, and soda water for a drink with a similar vibe to an ice cream float. Serve this drink in a tall glass to show off its beautiful colors.
17. Shirley Temple
A Shirley Temple is a traditional drink served to children since it can be created with the same mixers used in most adult cocktails. All you need is a little lemon-lime soda and some maraschino cherries in their juice to make this famous mocktail at Simple Joy.
18. Blueberry Jam Lemonade Spritzer
Lemonade is a popular serving option for kids, but this blueberry jam lemonade at Milk and Cardamom help step it up a notch by adding blueberry jam and sparkling water.
19. Watermelon Kiwi Mocktail
The two-tone appearance of this watermelon kiwi mocktail at Hill City Bride is sure to tickle any kids at your next summer party. This fruity mixed drink is sophisticated enough for adult palates, too.
20. Ginger Beer
The flavor of ginger beer can provide a delicious and spicy alternative to sodas for serving children. For a mocktail that is fit for kids and adults alike, you’ll love this recipe at Through The Fibro Fog.
Healthy Mocktail Recipes
21. Grapefruit and Rosemary Mocktail
Both grapefruit juice and rosemary are full of botanical antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent a wide variety of degenerative diseases from heart disease to cancer.
The grapefruit and rosemary drink recipe at Yummy Notes has a similar feel to a classic Greyhound cocktail without the vodka.
22. Acai Refresher Mocktail
Acai is known as a superfood because this berry is chock full of antioxidants and vitamins. It has also been shown to boost brain function and athletic performance. The acai mocktail at Lemons for Lulu also includes apple cider vinegar, another healthy addition to the mix.
23. Lemon Cucumber Water
Categorized as a “detox mocktail,” this lemon cucumber water mocktail at Lemons for Lulu is one of the simplest mocktails you can make to help protect your health. Full of refreshing flavors and bright colors, lemon cucumber water is equally good for morning or night.
24. Simple Kombucha Mocktail
Kombucha is a popular fermented tea beverage that is famous for its ability to help promote digestive health with beneficial probiotics, bacteria that can bring a person’s gut flora back into balance.
The simple mix kombucha mocktail from Plant Based Narrative combines kombucha with fresh lemon juice, ice, and soda water.
25. Virgin Mimosa
Make a non-alcoholic version of the classic brunch cocktail by adding lemonade and lemon-lime flavored soda to orange juice instead of vodka. These virgin mimosas at Mocktail.net will make even a simple breakfast feel fancy.
Are Mocktail Recipes Good for Your Health?
Mocktail recipes are considered very good for your health. Most mocktail recipes are full of healthy ingredients and since they don’t contain alcohol, they don’t have any of the negative health risks associated with drinking alcoholic drinks.
When Should I Drink Mocktails?
Mocktails can be consumed at any point in the day. However, two popular times to drink mocktails are during the traditional cocktail hour – around 4-6 PM – and during brunch meals in mid-morning. The greatest thing about mocktail recipes is that you can drink them whenever you want!
What is the Point of Mocktails?
The point of mocktails is that they provide a pretty, pleasant-tasting drink that is alcohol-free and the whole family can enjoy together. Most mocktail recipes have the satisfying quality of a traditional cocktail but are less inclined to hurt your health.
There are many people who cannot drink alcoholic drinks, such as pregnant or breastfeeding women and people recovering from alcoholism. Mocktails are also popular with designated drivers.
Why Are Mocktails So Popular?
A big part of the rising popularity of mocktails is how healthy these recipes are compared to alcoholic drinks. Mocktails offer people the chance to get creative and experimental with their non-alcoholic drinks at home, even if they don’t want to get intoxicated.
Mocktail Recipes Conclusion
If you want to drink cocktails but you’re trying to cut back on alcohol, these mocktail recipes are a delicious way to dry out. Whether you’re looking to curl up with a good non-alcoholic holiday drink that won’t give you a hangover or you just need a spritzer for a hot day, mocktails have you covered.