Our 25 Best Mocktails and Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Lady Lavender's Mocktail
Photo: PHOTO © WENDELL T. WEBBER

Not drinking alcohol? There's no reason to be stuck with another flat soda. Mocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails have gotten a lot more interesting in the past decade. Whether you're looking for a kid-friendly party punch or a citrusy brunch drink, there's a mocktail for every occasion. Read through our spectacular mocktails that aren't overly sweet, including everything from a cucumber cooler to an Emerald Palmer.

01 of 25

Meadow Mocktails

Meadow Mocktails
© Con Poulos

Johanna Corman makes this refreshing lavender-and-grapefruit spritzer in large batches for easy summer entertaining. To turn it into a cocktail, swap gin or vodka for some of the sparkling water.

02 of 25

Wise Guy

Wise Guy
© David Malosh

"Verjus is an incredible ingredient and is sadly underutilized behind the bar," says Lacy Hawkins, bartender at The NoMad in New York City. Verjus, the juice of unripened grapes, gives this julep-style mocktail a nuanced tanginess.

03 of 25

Chicha Morada

Chicha Morada
© Abby Hocking

Chicha morada, a refreshing sweet-tart Peruvian drink, gets its gorgeous hue from dried purple corn. Garnished with chunks of pineapple and apple and spiced with cinnamon and cloves, this sangria-like mocktail is the perfect summer drink.

04 of 25

Philippe Khallins

Philippe Khallins
© David Malosh

At Mission Chinese Food in New York City, Sam Anderson mixes coconut milk with gin and serves the drink in small soup bowls because the flavors are reminiscent of Thai tom kha gai soup. This mocktail variation is rich, creamy and incredibly aromatic.

05 of 25

Cucumber-and-Mint "Fauxjito"

Cucumber-and-Mint Fauxjito
© CON POULOS

This virgin riff on a classic mojito from F&W's Justin Chapple takes just five minutes to make.

06 of 25

Ginger-Lemongrass Soda

Ginger-Lemonade Soda.
© Quentin Bacon

F&W's Grace Parisi makes this soda with iSi's Twist 'n Sparkle soda maker, which carbonates beverages in less than 30 seconds. $50; williams-sonoma.com.

07 of 25

Tuscan Fresco

Tuscan Fresco 
PHOTO © TINA RUPP

"A lot of restaurants treat virgin cocktails like vegetarian dishes: They just make a drink from the regular menu and leave out the alcohol," says Boka Kitchen & Bar executive chef Seis Kamimura. "I love the challenge of creating original nonalcoholic drinks that are special in their own right."

08 of 25

Cucumber Cooler

Cucumber Cooler 
PHOTO © FRANCES JANISCH

To complement their alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, Jack Falstaff restaurant specializes in fancy bar snacks such as fried sage leaves and pickled turnips.

09 of 25

Fuji Apple Soda

Fuji Apple Soda

As soon as beverage director Sean Beck spotted a new line of apple-flavored juices and sodas at a grocery store, he decided to make one of his own. After a spirited discussion of apples with a winemaker, Beck chose the Fuji as the base for his drink.

10 of 25

Peachy Sweet

Peachy Sweet
© Tina Rupp

Unsweetened coconut milk tranforms this smoothie into a sophisticated nonalcoholic drink.

11 of 25

Hibiscus Swizzle

Hibiscus Swizzle

Swizzles are drinks that are typically served over crushed ice and churned with a swizzle stick until supercold. Small ice cubes are a fine substitute for crushed ice.

12 of 25

Emerald Palmers

Day 26: Emerald Palmers
DAVE LAURIDSEN

Susan Feniger's refreshing green tea-based mocktails would also be great spiked with gin. While the ingredients can be prepped in advance, it's best to blend everything together just before serving for the most vividly green drinks.

13 of 25

Pomegranate-Ginger-Chile Nojito

Pomegranate-Ginger-Chile Nojito
© Wendell T. Webber

All of Nacional 27's cocktails are collaborations with the kitchen. This one took shape after mixologist Adam Seger tasted an amazing mango-habanero salad dressing.

14 of 25

Strawberry & Ginger Cooler

5 Nonalcoholic Party Drinks for Graduation Celebrations
PHOTO © WENDELL T. WEBBER

At the Belle Epoque—style Absinthe Brasserie, general manager and cocktail book author Jeff Hollinger serves up modern adaptations of 19th-century classic drinks. His Strawberry & Ginger Cooler is one of the few nonalcoholic refreshers on the menu.

15 of 25

Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade

This drink was originally part of a "Think Pink" menu that raised money for a local Chicago breast cancer charity.

16 of 25

Sangrita

Sangrita

The Spanish Kitchen owner Greg Morris wanted his Mexican restaurant to feel authentic, so he imported its massive wood-and-wrought-iron doors—among other furnishings—from Mexico.

17 of 25

Cucumber-Lemonade Mocktail

Cucumber-Lemonade Mocktail

A super-thin slice of cucumber pressed against the glass adds an artistic twist to this refreshing cocktail.

18 of 25

Lilikoi

Lilikoi
© Wendell T. Webber

Smoothies that Julie Reiner made when she lived on Oahu inspired this tangy mocktail, which would be a terrific mimosa stand-in at brunch.

19 of 25

Sophisticated Lady

Sophisticated Lady
© Wendell T. Webber

Bar manager Jackson Cannon wanted to serve a mocktail that was neither soda-driven nor a supersweet "juice bomb." The result: this savory take on a cosmopolitan.

20 of 25

Rocking Orange

Rocking Orange

This terrific brunch mocktail combines multiple forms of citrus fruit: orange, lemon and mandarin orange juices, plus orange syrup and orange peel.

21 of 25

Almond-Fennel Cooler

Almond-Fennel Cooler

Like an old-fashioned soda-fountain drink, this mocktail relies on a delicious small-batch syrup. Its creator is Jennifer Colliau, a mixologist at San Francisco's Slanted Door restaurant and an artisanal syrup maker who also owns Small Hand Foods, which sells classic ingredients for pre-Prohibition era cocktails.

22 of 25

Raspberry Fizz

Raspberry Fizz

"For a while, I was addicted to raspberry sorbet," says Sebastian Reaburn. "This mocktail is the liquid version of it."

23 of 25

Coffee-Ginger Shakerato

Coffee-Ginger Shakerato
© Ailine Liefeld

Malin Elmlid's friend John Benjamin Savary sweetens this clever coffee mocktail with ginger syrup and orange marmalade. Marmalade made with Seville oranges is best because it has a pleasing bitter edge.

24 of 25

Lady Lavender's Mocktail

Lady Lavender's Mocktail
PHOTO © WENDELL T. WEBBER

This drink was mixologist Gregory Best's response to a woman dressed in lavender who tottered into Restaurant Eugene with friends for a nightcap. "My darling," she said, "one more will put me directly over the edge. Fruit juice, please."

25 of 25

Wassail

Wassail
Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

Need a warming non-alcoholic cocktail? You don't need to settle for a cup of tea. Wassail has the punch of ginger balanced with pineapple and cranberry juice, plus apple cider, for a hot mocktail that'll get your through the winter months.

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