Mocktails: What to Drink When You're Not Drinking
Who says you can’t enjoy a cocktail without alcohol?
Whether you’re expecting, trying to cut back on calories or just not much of a drinker, booze-free options abound.
READ: IS Alcohol an Aphrodisiac or Does it Put Sex on the Rocks?
Just like its less sober sibling, the mocktail requires expertise from a bartender to craft a perfectly-balanced beverage without adding liquor into the mix.
“Non-alcoholic options shows both consideration and responsibility on the part of a bar or party host, explains Natalie Bovis, author of "Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be." “Many people are interested in socializing without imbibing, and providing colorful, healthy options–by using fresh juices, homemade syrups, quality mixers and pretty stemware allows guests to feel part of the fun without feeling left out by not having a festive drink in their hand.”
And for those hosts who would like to indulge guests looking for a stronger punch in their drink, Bovis suggests placing bottles of rum, vodka or gin next to the mocktail batch, along with festive glassware.
“People who want to imbibe can help themselves, and those that don’t want to drink alcohol won’t feel excluded,” she adds.
Want to give the usual cold one a break or just looking for something to spice up a baby shower? Check out these tantalizing mocktails worth making (and savoring) tonight:
Piazza de Ricci
1 ginger wheel
1 inch of mint stem
¾ oz. lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
few dashes of Yuzu
non-alcoholic ginger beer
Add each ingredient in a chilled glass filed with ice. Garnish with mint stem, blueberries and raspberries.
(Antica Pesa in New York, Created by Gabriele Guidoni)
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. honey syrup (equal parts honey dissolved in warm water)
1 lemon wheel
Muddle the blackberries with lemon juice and honey syrup in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake well. Pour ½ the ginger ale over ice into a tall glass. Strain out contents of shaker and add to ginger ale. Stir briefly. Garnish with blackberry and lemon wheel on a skewer.
(The Empire Room in New York, Created by Jonathan Pogash)
4 ½ cups water
¾ cup sugar
½ cup agave nectar
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 large jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (about 1⁄2 cup)
2 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
9 lime wedges, divided
1 ½ cups fresh lime juice (about 10 limes)
4 cups ice cubes
Combine first three ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and jalapeño. Let stand 30 minutes. Pour jalapeño mixture into a large bowl; cover and chill at least three hours. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a shallow dish. Rub rims of 8 glasses with 1 lime wedge. Dip rims of glasses in sugar mixture. Strain cilantro mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, discarding solids. Stir in lime juice. Fill each prepared glass with 1⁄2 cup ice. Add 3⁄4 cup limeade to each glass. Garnish with remaining 8 lime wedges. Serves 8.
(“Cooking Light Good Mood Food”)
Minted Lemon-Lime Watermelon Agua Fresca
1 ¼ cups water
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp. grated lime rind
1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
12 cups cubed seeded watermelon
¼ cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Combine 1 ¼ cups water and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in mint, lime rind, and lemon rind. Let stand 20 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Place one-third each of sugar syrup and watermelon in a blender; process until smooth. Pour puree into a large pitcher. Repeat procedure twice with remaining sugar syrup and watermelon. Stir in lime juice and lemon juice. Serve over ice, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir before serving. Serves 9.
(“Cooking Light Good Mood Food”)
4 oz. grape flavored kombucha with chia seeds
2 oz. Acai + 10 Super Blend
1 lemon twist
Add each ingredient in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
(75 on Liberty Wharf in Boston)
The Mint Breezer
2 oz. pomegranate juice or Hong Cho (drink mix concentrate made with vinegar)
2 oz. pineapple juice
¾ oz. lime juice
2 oz. Sprite or club soda
1 pineapple slice
Mix the pineapple juice, lime juice and pomegranate juice (or Hong Cho) in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass and top with soda. Garnish with a pineapple slice and mint leaves.
(MONO + MONO in New York, Created by MJ Chung)
Watermelon Cucumber Punch
1 ¼ lbs. fresh seedless watermelon, cubed
2 Kirby cucumbers (seedless variety), peeled and cut into chunks
4 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. agave syrup
1 oz. aloe vera juice
Thinly slivered mint leaves for garnish
In a blender, puree watermelon until smooth. Strain and set aside 12 ounces of juice. Add cucumbers to blender with 1 tablespoon of water, puree until smooth, strain and set aside 1 ounce of juice. In a large pitcher, combine juices and all other ingredients. Stir well and keep refrigerated. When ready to serve pour over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with slivered mint leaves. Serves 4.
Juniper and Tonic
1 cup superfine sugar
2 oz. juniper berries, crushed
4 oz. fresh lime juice
16 oz. tonic water
1 lemon or lime slice
In a small sauce pan, combine sugar, 1 cup of water and juniper berries. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Let stand uncovered for a couple of hours and strain. In a large pitcher, combine lime juice and the juniper syrup. When ready to serve, pour one ounce of the mixture over ice in a all glass and top with tonic. Garnish with a lime or lemon slice. Serves 4.
Spiteful Yet Delightful Spritzer
2 oz. non-alcoholic ginger beer
1 oz. pineapple juice
2 sprigs of cilantro
4 slices of Serrano pepper
Muddle Serrano and one sprig of cilantro in glass. Add lime juice and fill with ice. Add pineapple juice and ginger beer. Top with soda water and garnish with second cilantro sprig.
(The Tip Tap Room in Boston)
The Liquid Muse Base for Party Punch
4 cups pineapple juice
1 cup guava juice
1 cup peach tea
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 cup non-alcoholic ginger beer
Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl and stir before serving.
(Recipe by Natalie Bovis-The Liquid Muse, Photo by Claire Barrett)