Our 25 Best Mocktails and Non-Alcoholic Drinks
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
This virgin riff on a classic mojito from F&W’s Justin Chapple takes just five minutes to make.
"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."
To complement their alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, Jack Falstaff restaurant specializes in fancy bar snacks such as fried sage leaves and pickled turnips.
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.
Unsweetened coconut milk tranforms this smoothie into a sophisticated nonalcoholic drink.
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.
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.
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.
Strawberry & Ginger Cooler
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.
This drink was originally part of a "Think Pink" menu that raised money for a local Chicago breast cancer charity.
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.
A super-thin slice of cucumber pressed against the glass adds an artistic twist to this refreshing cocktail.
Smoothies that Julie Reiner made when she lived on Oahu inspired this tangy mocktail, which would be a terrific mimosa stand-in at brunch.
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.
This terrific brunch mocktail combines multiple forms of citrus fruit: orange, lemon and mandarin orange juices, plus orange syrup and orange peel.
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.
"For a while, I was addicted to raspberry sorbet," says Sebastian Reaburn. "This mocktail is the liquid version of it."
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.
Lady Lavender's Mocktail
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."
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.