Green Refresher

Tart, crisp, and easy to make, this is a non-alcoholic cocktail you'll want to make long after Dry January.

Green Refresher Drink

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Oset Babür-Winter

1 drink

When it comes to making a truly memorable non-alcoholic cocktail, it's important to consider the same guiding principles you'd use when making a boozy drink. That means looking for balance in your ingredients, thoughtfully choosing garnishes that add visual intrigue and flavor without overcomplicating the drinking experience, and being mindful of your glassware and ice selection.

In the Green Refresher, one of our favorite NA concoctions from master distiller and mixologist Sebastian Reaburn, the herbaceous, earthy notes of Japanese sencha tea perfectly complement the sweet, tart flavor of apple juice. As Japan's most consumed green tea, sencha thrives in full sunlight and is an ideal everyday choice with a bright, vegetal flavor. Its processing style is unique to Japan; after harvest, producers flash steam the leaves at high temperatures, which contributes to sencha's vibrant green color, quick brew extraction, and stewed vegetable profile (in comparison, for example, Chinese green teas are often dry "fried" on a wok without the steaming step). Called a "new tea," shincha is first flush sencha, meaning it's made with the very first leaves of camellia sinensis plants grown in full sunlight.

Don't have sencha on hand? Any other green tea will do the trick, but we prefer the brilliant green hue that it adds to this drink (which becomes golden with the addition of apple juice), as well as the delicate flavor it imparts.

For a garnish that also adds a delicate, vegetal flavor, we recommend using a microplane to get the thinnest slices of cucumber possible, though a thin pairing knife will also do in a pinch. Lastly, sure to use a highball glass instead of a coupe or rocks glass for this drink, as you'll want to keep most of those cucumber slices submerged in the drink both for flavor and ease of drinking.


  • Ice

  • 3 ounces chilled brewed green tea, preferably sencha

  • 1 ounce unfiltered apple juice

  • 3/4 ounce Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

  • 1 kirby cucumber, thinly sliced


  1. Fill a highball glass halfway with ice.

  2. Add green tea, apple juice, lime juice, and simple syrup to the glass, and stir to combine. Garnish with cucumber slices.

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