Don't Mock It Till You Try It: 15 Easy Non-Alcoholic Drinks | Yummly

Don't Mock It Till You Try It: 15 Easy Non-Alcoholic Drinks

These delicious booze-free versions of classic cocktails make it so easy to enjoy all your favorite drinks

Virgin Margarita from A Couple Cooks

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Nowadays, Dry January and Sober October aren't just celebrated in January and October, but year-round. Thanks to the growing popularity of non-alcoholic spirits, mixers, beer, and wine — whether to take a little break from liquor or test out a lifestyle change — more and more people are passing on alcohol. Spirit-free bottle shops like Spirited Away in New York City and even bars are opening up across the world to accommodate this quick-growing category.

Going booze-free no longer means having to suffer through boring beverages like a club soda with lime. Fortunately, since mixologists and bartenders have more non-alcoholic ingredients to play with, they can easily create compelling non-alcoholic cocktails. 

For those who want to abstain from drinking with something familiar, I pulled together the recipes for the best non-alcoholic drinks based on classic cocktails. Throw them together for yourself or serve them up as alcohol-free alternatives at your cocktail parties.

Jump ahead to:

Non-alcoholic drink FAQs >>

Morning mocktails >>

Virgin vacation libations >>

Clean classics >>

Spirit-free ‘tinis >>

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Non-alcoholic drink FAQs

Answers to commonly asked questions about non-alcoholic cocktails

How to make non-alcoholic drinks? 

For a quick and easy non-alcoholic drink, stir up your favorite juice with fizz courtesy of soda water, sparkling water, seltzer, or some type of soda (birch beer, ginger beer, cola). And then garnish it with fruit and a mint sprig. Or shake up a juice of your choice with a little citrus juice and simple syrup.

What are some good non-alcoholic drinks?

With the zero-proof movement trending, there are fortunately plenty of ready-to-drink non-alcoholic beverages (such as Ghia and Curious Elixirs), non-alcoholic beers, and spirit-free spirits (such as Lyre, Kin, and Seedlip) now available at markets, Amazon, liquor stores, and even dedicated spirit-free bottle shops. But if you’re looking for something to make at home with ingredients you already have on hand, try the classic Shirley Temple with lime and lemon juices, grenadine, club soda, and a maraschino cherry. Or top off your favorite juice with ginger beer, which has more bite than ginger ale.

What ingredients can you use to make an interesting non-alcoholic drink?

For more layered flavors in a spirit-free drink, it’s all in the ingredients you choose. Sweeten it up with flavored simple syrup you make yourself, such as a lavender mint simple syrup or cucumber basil simple syrup. For some bubbly like in a spritz, trade the prosecco for a fun flavored sparkling water or a fruity seltzer. And if you want some complexity, slip in intriguing mixers like green tea or hibiscus tea, or even apple cider vinegar or kombucha for zing.

Morning mocktails

You don’t have to miss out on day-drinking opportunities with friends. Fix up these delicious non-alcoholic alternatives of brunch-time favorites.

Grapefruit Paloma Mocktail 

The pregnant recipe maker of this alcohol-free Paloma created it to serve alongside her salsa verde tacos on Cinco de Mayo. To make it, shake up freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker and then pour it over club soda.

Non-Alcoholic Sangria

The fresh fruit, lower sugar amount, and 100% pomegranate juice — versus red wine — make this a sangria that the whole family can enjoy. The sparkling white grape juice or sparkling cider provide the fizzy fun. This recipe makes enough for a party of six.

Triple Citrus Virgin Mimosa

This family-friendly mimosa recipe combines three fresh juices — orange, blood orange, and grapefruit — with sparkling water for a tantalizing sipper minus the refined sugar or the calorie load.

Virgin Mary Drink

Building a virgin bloody mary is as easy as leaving out the vodka since the beloved brunch drink is already flavorful due to the Worcestershire sauce. But this recipe increases the spice level even more with hot sauce and the savoriness with celery salt.

Virgin vacation libations

Enjoy all the vacation vibes without any of the hangover with these warm-weather, booze-free coolers.

Virgin Margarita

This tangy and refreshing zero-proof margarita is a tasty stand-in for the classic tequila refresher. But a surprising ingredient — pickle juice — makes this more than just tonic water with lime-lemon juice and sweetener. The recipe writer recommends using tonic water instead of sparkling water since it adds that subtle bitterness and sweetness that makes the drink interesting. 

Virgin Mojito

Basil seems like an odd ingredient to add to a non-alcoholic version of a cocktail traditionally made up of mint, lime, and rum. But mixed with the mint, it creates a beautifully subtle floral note. To make it, simply add the herbs, lime wedges, and cane juice to a shaker and gently muddle them with a wooden spoon. Then fizz it up with sparkling water, stir to combine, and pour into two glasses.

Virgin Piña Colada

This rum-less colada is so rich tasting, you may not even miss the booze. Unlike the cocktail recipe, this one subs out the cream of coconut for unsweetened coconut milk and brown sugar. And since this recipe uses frozen pineapple chunks, you don’t have to use a lot of ice, which would dilute the drink. Just blend it until it reaches a creamy consistency, and don’t forget the paper umbrella.

Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri

The combination of fresh strawberries and frozen strawberries make this spirit-free strawberry daiquiri berrylicious and extra-cold without the dilution that comes with using ice. The beauty of this recipe is that you can customize it to taste, making it as sweet, tart, and thick as you want it.

Clean classics

You won’t miss the buzz with these amazing non-alcoholic cocktails. They take the classic cocktail recipes and add a twist for even more flavor than the potent originals.

Whiskey Sour Mocktail

To make this alcohol-free whiskey sour, you’ll need a non-alcoholic whiskey alternative that emulates the oak, smoke, caramel, and warmth of the spirit. Ritual, one of the more popular brands, is available on Amazon. Shake the N/A spirit with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup, maple syrup, or honey, and then strain it over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish it with an orange slice and a cherry, and your drinking buddies won’t know you’re sipping on a zero-proof sour.

Apple-Ginger Moscow Mule Mocktail

This Moscow mule mocktail is even more flavorful than the traditional cocktail thanks to the cinnamon and nutmeg spices as well as the 4 ounces of apple cider. Even though the copper mug used to serve the cocktail is purely decorative, go ahead and break it out for this booze-free bevvy.

Queen Garden Swizzle

Love the classic Queen’s Park Swizzle but want it without the alcohol? Try this extra-refreshing non-alcoholic version that’s made with Seedlip Garden, mint tea, pineapple gum syrup, and a barspoon of plum vinegar. The mint tea is flash brewed, meaning you infuse it for just one minute. The result is a subtle hint of mint in the drink.

Alcohol-Free Negroni

For this zero-ABV aperitivo, cold brew coffee and tonic water are used to sub in for the complexity of sweet vermouth in the original cocktail, while lime and an aperitif syrup that’s reminiscent of Aperol stand in for the gin and Campari.

Pomegranate Americano

This mocktail is simply pomegranate juice and some Angostura bitters (which does have a tiny bit of alcohol). But the five dashes of bitters add just the right amount of bitterness and herbaceousness that echos Campari.

Spirit-free ‘tinis

Toast with these fun, alcohol-free takes on "It" cocktails served at the hottest bars 

Non-Alcoholic Espresso Martini

Non-drinkers can now enjoy the cocktail of the moment without any of the booze. Non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip Spice 94 shaken up with chilled espresso and light brown sugar-rich syrup makes for a compelling spirit-free nightcap.

Virgin Cosmopolitan

With this alcohol-free Cosmo, cranberry juice seizes the spotlight while tangerine juice backs it up, replacing the vodka. That vibrant red color make this mocktail the perfect option for teetotalers during the holidays.

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