Whether you’re cutting back on alcohol for your mental health, physical health, or another reason, we know it’s not easy—alcohol is so deeply ingrained in our culture and society, and it’s hard to avoid. But just because you aren’t drinking alcohol, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious craft beverage. And you don’t just have to settle for a diet soda or seltzer and lime; these mocktail recipes use herbs, spices, zero-proof spirits, and other fresh ingredients for enjoyable sipping.
Sometimes making a cocktail is all about the ritual of it. So if you’re missing your post-work or weekend adult beverage, make happy hour fun again with these 13 alcohol-free concoctions. Feel like a mixologist as you muddle, mix, and whip up something everyone can enjoy.
Margarita and Tequila Mocktails
Nothing beats a tried-and-true margarita, and this Agave Lime Virgin Margarita recipe from Heart of a Baker proves you don’t even need tequila to enjoy it. (Feel free to cut back on the agave for a lower-sugar beverage!)
If you’re craving a Paloma, try Ritual’s Paloma recipe made with Ritual zero-proof tequila, which embodies the bold taste of tequila without the hangover. All you need to do is add lime juice and grapefruit soda. If you want to skip out on the sugar of conventional grapefruit soda, substitute with 2 ounces of club soda and 2 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice.
Nothing beats a spicy margarita. This Spicy Jalapeño Margarita Mocktail from The Wooden Skillet gets its heat from fresh jalapeño peppers, and the fresh-squeezed juice makes it refreshing—you don’t even need to add zero-proof tequila.
Mix up your traditional margarita with this refreshing Cucumber & Pineapple Margarita Mocktail from De La Heart. This recipe works best with fresh-squeezed juice and a cocktail shaker.
Fresh and Fruity Mocktails
Of all the citrus fruits, fresh-squeezed blood orange juice has a light, sweet flavor that pairs well in cocktails. We can’t wait to try this Blood Orange Mocktail from One Lovely Life, which also includes fresh mint, lime juice, and sparkling water.
If you’re looking for a way to use fresh strawberries, try this Strawberry Mocktail Spritzer from Haute & Healthy Living. It’s made with strawberry puree, lime juice, basil, and sparkling water. This recipe makes multiple servings, so you can make a pitcher to share.
Missing a mojito? Try this Mojito Mocktail from The Live-In Kitchen made with fresh mint leaves, lime, club soda, and homemade honey syrup. Although Lindsay, the blogger behind The Live-In Kitchen, recommends using a muddler to get all the essence out of the mint leaves, you can also use the back of a wooden spoon or rub the mint leaves together.
Alcohol-Removed Wine Mocktails
While alcohol-removed wine is nice to sip on its own, you can also get creative and mix up mocktails with it. If you’re looking for something frozen, try this Strawberry Merlot Slushy Mocktail made with alcohol-removed merlot and strawberries. Note: if you don’t have fresh strawberries on hand, you can also use frozen.
Alcohol-removed sparkling brut makes an effervescent base for wine mocktails, and this Alcohol-Removed Pink Lemon Drop from Fre wines is divine. It only uses three ingredients, so it can be whipped up in a snap. Sip in a champagne flute or coupe to feel extra fancy.
Fre also came through on the booze-free wine mocktails with this Grapefruit Chardonnay Spritzer using alcohol-removed chardonnay, grapefruit soda, and simple syrup.
Other Zero-Proof Spirit Mocktails
Sometimes you do need a zero-proof spirit to make the perfect mocktail. Seedlip makes a few non-alcohol spirits, and this CosNOpolitan recipe using Seedlip Grove has all the ingredients of the real deal.
Try a booze-free spin on spiced cider with this Apple Cider Spiced Rum Mocktail recipe from Marley’s Menu. It’s made with Ritual’s zero-proof rum, apple cider, and warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Another zero-proof spirit that our coworkers recommend is Ghia, which is a delicious, alcohol-free alternative to a Mediterranean aperitivo. Ghia lists this recipe for Your Main Squeeze made with lemon and sage on its website, and it looks amazing.
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