8 Summer Mocktails When You Don’t Feel Like Drinking
There are lots of valid reasons to cut back on your alcohol consumption — or give it up altogether — from improving your heart health and reducing your risk of certain cancers to losing weight or enhancing your mood and mental health. In fact, according to a 2021 NielsenIQ survey, 22% of consumers are drinking less alcohol these days. And with the sober-curious movement in full swing (and showing no signs of slowing down), it’s high time to start upping your zero-proof mixology game.
Whatever your reasoning may be for this lifestyle change, rest assured that there are lots of super tasty summer mocktails to try. The best part? You can enjoy a few hangover-free. Here are some fun alcohol-free beverages to sip solo — or serve to a crowd — this summer.
1. Mimosa Mocktail
Seeking the perfect sipper for laidback weekend brunches? This champagne-free take on the classic mimosa only requires two ingredients — a sparkling grapefruit soda (Fresca will do), and orange juice. You can also try swapping out the grapefruit soda for a non-alcoholic sparkling wine.
Serve it in a flute, of course, and for extra credit, garnish it with an orange slice and some fresh herbs.
Try the recipe from Nourish Nutrition.
2. Healthy Strawberry Limeade Spritzer
Whether you’re looking to serve summer mocktails at your next backyard barbecue, baby shower, or birthday party, this recipe is an ideal pick because it’s easy to batch-make in a pitcher ahead of time. With juicy strawberries, earthy basil, tart lime juice, a pinch of sweet honey, and a dash of sparkling water, it has a well-balanced flavor profile and just the right amount of fizz.
And did we mention that this mocktail is paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and contains no refined sugar?
Try the recipe from Haute Healthy Living.
3. Rosemary Pom Spritzer
What makes this recipe stand out amongst the other summer mocktails is the addition of rosemary-infused simple syrup — and while making it may require some additional time, it’s well worth the effort for the complex herbaceous flavor. Meanwhile, pomegranate juice and a squeeze of fresh lime give this drink a zingy twist that’s refreshing any time of year.
Note that you can also substitute the sparkling water with ginger ale, ginger beer, or lemon-lime soda — but any of those swaps will result in a noticeably sweeter bev. As for garnishes, try tossing in a slice of lime, fresh pomegranate arils, or a sprig of rosemary.
Try the recipe from Pinch of Yum.
4. The Consolation Prize
Smitten Kitchen blogger Deb Perelman calls this recipe “a glorious mash-up of a piña colada and a mojito” due to the combination of pineapple, honey, coconut milk, lime, and mint.
“This tastes like everything I miss about warm weather and sandy beaches,” she writes.
Before vigorously shaking the contents, make sure to lightly muddle the mint to release more flavor. Perelman also recommends topping off the drink with a splash of sparkling water to give it a dramatically foamy finish.
The final step? “Close your eyes and pretend you’re somewhere tropical,” Perelman suggests.
Try the recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
5. Sparkling Blueberry Ginger Mocktail
Enjoy this beautiful bubbly bev while relaxing poolside or hosting friends for an al fresco dinner party.
The star of the show here is a naturally sweetened simple syrup, which is concocted by simmering blueberries with rosemary, fresh ginger, and water. Pro tip: store any leftover syrup in an ice cube tray to punch up future summer mocktails.
Looking to kick things up a notch? Incorporate an alcohol-free gin, or add a few dashes of orange bitters.
Try the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
6. Refreshing Hibiscus Mocktail
This flavorful, hydrating mocktail gets its gorgeous pink hue from hibiscus tea, which you can likely find at your local grocery store or market. And you only need a few additional ingredients: honey simple syrup, fresh limes for juicing, and Topo Chico (or any other brand of seltzer or club soda). Per the blogger’s recommendations, you can also add a splash of homemade watermelon juice.
Consider brewing and chilling the tea and making the honey simple syrup ahead of time so that when you’re ready to enjoy, all you have to do is mix the ingredients and add a generous glug of sparkling water. This recipe can also be vegan-friendly if you trade in traditional simple syrup for honey syrup.
Try the recipe from Cookie and Kate.
7. Easy Mocktail
As far as summer mocktails go, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one simpler to make than this one — which only requires three simple ingredients: grapefruit juice, orange juice, and sparkling water. But if you’re looking to add a little complexity, blogger Megan Gilmore suggests adding pineapple juice or fresh mint or swapping out the sparkling water for tonic or ginger ale.
“I think the bitterness of the grapefruit mimics the flavor of a real cocktail,” she writes. “I juiced a fresh grapefruit for this recipe, but the bartender used bottled grapefruit juice, so either option works just fine.”
Because this mocktail recipe calls for a 1:1:1 ratio of juices and sparkling water, it’s super easy to adjust the recipe to make a larger batch for parties. Just add some slices of fresh oranges and grapefruits to give the punch bowl some visual appeal.
Try the recipe from Detoxinista.
8. Strawberry Mojito
Sweltering summer days call for this thirst quencher, which fuses strawberries, lime juice, and coconut water with a pinch of mint leaves and a dash of honey. Trust us: you won’t even miss the rum.
Note that you don’t have to stick with strawberries for this recipe — feel free to swap in blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or a blend of all types according to your preferences. You can also make this recipe into a booze-free slushie by adding all the ingredients to a blender with ice.
Try the recipe from Maple + Mango.
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