15 Grown-Up Mocktails That Are Totally Worth Making|Recipes Spots

  • on August 6, 2023
15 Grown-Up Mocktails That Are Totally Worth Making


Highball glasses of raspberry lime rickey set on a tray.
Sally Vargas

Lots of things in my life got awesome after I quit drinking, but the selection of interesting beverages at restaurants and social events wasn’t one of them. There are only so many ways you can add a twist of lime to Diet Coke.

Whether you’re sober for life or only for the day, you are too special a person to have to settle for boring drinks. Nowadays I just mix up my own N/A drinks to bring to gatherings, always with enough to share. I’ve also gotten pretty good at shrubs and syrup-spiked fizzy drinks. Here are plenty of creative and sophisticated mocktails you can make anytime, for any reason at all. Plenty of them have components that keep in the fridge, so your aperitif can be ready for you in moments. And if you’re wanting something with more of a base, slip in some N/A spirits to add that certain something. Finally, you’ll be able to save those Diet Cokes for your next movie night.

Early Grey Tea and Tonic

Earl gray bergamot tea and tonic drink
Elana Lepkowski

A concentrated Early Grey tea syrup adds weight and roundness that takes the place of alcohol in this delightfully complex drink.

Pear-Ginger Shrub

pear ginger shrub drink
Elana Lepkowski

Make a gingery pear syrup cut with apple cider vinegar and serve it over club soda. This enlivening sipper is just right for early fall vibes.

N/A Negroni

Two alcohol free negronis in rocks glasses with an orange wedge and bar nuts.
Sam Schick

If you’re wanting to build a library of N/A mixers and spirits, here’s the drink to get you started. It’s got Monday Zero Alcohol Gin (fun), Blutul Rosso Non Alcoholic Vermouth (useful), Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters (intriguing), and Ghia (LOVE!) It’s a year-round drink you’ll find yourself craving when it’s time to wind down.

Raspberry Lime Rickey

Best ever raspberry lime rickey in two glasses with a pitcher next to it.
Sally Vargas

This is for sure the only drink on this list that was once a staple of New England soda fountains. It ascended during Prohibition, and it deserves a spot in any contemporary N/A drink list.

N/A Mexican Mule

Non-alcoholic Mexican mule
Sam Schick

The Moscow mule takes a sassy detour. Grab a bottle of N/A tequila (try Ritual), your favorite ginger beer (Reed’s all the way!), lime, agave nectar, and a sprig of mint from that unruly patch in your neighbor’s yard.

Ginger Switchel

Switchel recipe with ginger
Leela Cyd

Who’d have thought vinegar, lemon, honey, and ginger could be so satisfying? This is an old-timey drink of summer that’s very much worth enjoying today.

Cucumber Mint Shrub

Cucumber Mint Soda
Elise Bauer

Don’t go dismissing this drink as salad in a glass. It’s the epitome of fresh. White wine vinegar is the vinegar of choice in this invigorating shrub.

Rosemary Rhubarb Spritzer

Close-up of a champagne flute of rhubarb spritzer
Elise Bauer

There’s something cheerfully subversive about mocktails, and this one especially. The rosemary element is just enough to pique your attention, but not so much you’ll scrunch up your face. All that, plus rhubarb! If every bar has this as their default mocktail, I’d be a very happy lady.

Jamu

Two glasses of jamu
Kalisa Marie Martin

Turmeric, lime, ginger, and honey make this Indonesian drink colorful and vibrant-tasting. It’s packed with body-boosting compounds, to boot. You’ll need fresh turmeric root to make this.

Tepache

Tepache in two glasses.
Simply Recipes / Elana Lepkowski

Trendy tepache can dent your wallet. Luckily, tepache is a good starter ferment. It’s just pineapple, water, and sugar, fermented together until a wee bit sprightly.

Spiced Apple Core Simple Syrup

Spiced apple core simple syrup in glass cup
Lori Rice / Simply Recipes

Eat the apples and save the cores to make this lightly spiced syrup to serve with fizzy water. Or step it up and mix it with iced chamomile tea.

Homemade Ginger Ale

Close up of a ginger drink with a lime garnish.
Eliezer Martinez

Before you scroll on past, take pause. This is not just any ginger ale. You decide how sweet it is when you mix the simple syrup, spicy ginger root infusion, and club soda. This customization makes it just right for your own palate.

Agua de Jamaica

Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea) Served with Ice and a Lime Slice Next to a Kitchen Towel and Another Glass of Hibiscus Tea
Simply Recipes / Annika Panikker

This Mexican agua fresca get its tartness and hue from dried hibiscus blossoms (know as sorrel in Jamaica). It’s got just a hint of tannic grip, especially when you cut down the sugar. I modify this recipe by doing an overnight cold infusion in the fridge, straining out the solids, and then adding just a few squirts of agave nectar.

Lavender Lemonade

Lavender Lemonade
Elise Bauer

Don’t open up your underwear drawer sachet for this one; you’ll need special culinary lavender for just the right balance. You can find it in a well-stocked spice section, or order it online.

How to Make Kombucha at home

Filled jars of kombucha with the flip-tops on
Emma Christensen

If you’re tired of spending a small fortune to satisfy your booch habit, take the leap and make your own. You can flavor it all kinds of ways and ferment it to just the fizz level you like. For extra credit, spike it with the N/A spirits of your choice (Seedlip Grove comes to mind).

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