Mixing up mocktails


Mocktails are drinks that have all the flavor of traditional cocktails minus the alcohol. Whether you’re the designated driver, a non-drinker, looking to improve your health or simply seeking a refreshing sip, mocktails offer an elevated alternative for more conscious consumption.

History of Mocktails

In the 1800s, the temperance movement took off in the U.S., promoting moderation of or abstinence from alcohol. In response to this movement, bartenders started concocting flavorful drinks without alcohol. At the time, these zero-proof drinks were referred to as temperance drinks. However, as they became more popular, the term “mocktail” was born in 1916 (according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary).

Whether you’re the designated driver, a non-drinker, looking to improve your health or seeking a refreshing sip, #mocktails offer an elevated alternative. #saslife Click To Tweet

Rise of the Mocktail Movement

A few years after the term “mocktail” was born, the Prohibition Era began with the passing of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment banned the production and sale of alcohol, so as you can imagine, mocktails became even more popular and solidified their space in the drink market.

Fast forward to modern-day times and the mocktail momentum from the roaring 1920s hasn’t let up. Mocktails are more fashionable than ever and can be found on restaurant and bar menus around the world.

According to a report by Fior Markets, the non-alcoholic beverage market is expected to grow from $923 million in 2020 to more than $1.7 trillion by 2028 – a testament to consumer preference shifting towards healthier beverage options.

Mocktails and Your Health

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, if you do not currently drink alcohol, there is no reason to start. The American Cancer Society also agrees with this succinct advice in their 2020 guidelines: "It is best not to drink alcohol."

By choosing mocktails, or other non-alcoholic beverages, you can enjoy a fun drink without the un-fun health effects of alcohol including reduced cognitive function, impaired memory, liver damage, gut inflammation and increased risk of cancer.

This doesn’t mean you should have bottomless mocktails though! As with all things, moderation is key. Some mocktails are high in sugar and sweeteners like their cocktail counterparts. Be mindful of what you’re drinking and opt for lower sugar options like drinks with sparkling water instead of sugary syrups as the base.

Mocktail-Making Tips

Making mocktails can be as simple as omitting alcohol from your favorite cocktail, but it can also be an opportunity to experiment with new flavor profiles and combinations. You don’t have to follow a specific recipe, but like any good drink, there are some basic components to consider when it comes to balancing flavor:

  • Base: sparkling water (flavored or unflavored), coconut water or milk, tea, fruit juice, kombucha
  • Sour: apple cider vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, tart cherry juice, cranberry juice
  • Sweet: apple juice, pineapple juice, maple syrup, honey, simple syrup
  • Garnish: sliced fruit, muddled fruit, lemon or lime twist, mint or basil leaves, rosemary, cranberries, crystalized ginger, pomegranate arils

Once you’ve chosen your ingredients, blend, muddle, shake or stir. Then serve in a fun glass and garnish for an extra touch of elegance. Cheers!

For more mocktail inspiration, check out the recipes below (click here to print them) and ones from LaCroix and Bubly.


Strawberry Lime Spritzer

Serves 4-5
Recipe from: Haute & Healthy Living

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
juice of half a lime (or about 1 Tbsp)
3 Tbsp honey (or to taste)
4 cups unsweetened carbonated water
ice cubes

For garnish (optional)
½ cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 handful fresh basil leaves


  1. Puree one cup of strawberries with lime juice and honey in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Combine carbonated water and strawberry mixture in a large pitcher (be careful as you pour – bubbles!) and mix well.
  3. Add remaining ½ cup sliced strawberries and fresh basil leaves.
  4. Place in fridge for 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to combine.
  5. Stir once more, taste and adjust for sweetness as needed.
  6. Serve cold over ice cubes. Garnish each individual glass with extra strawberries and basil, if desired.


Coconut Mojito Mocktail

Serves 2
Recipe from: Cook at Home Mom

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk, light preferred
1 lime
8 oz lime flavored seltzer water
15-20 mint leaves

For garnish (optional)
¼ cup flakey sea salt
lime slices
mint leaves


  1. Cut the lime in half and run one piece along the edge of each glass. Pour sea salt in a shallow dish and dip each glass in. (Optional - can omit this step.)
  2. Divide mint leaves among 2 tall glasses.
  3. Squeeze the juice of half of a lime into each glass.
  4. Muddle the mint leaves into the lime juice, then pour ¼ cup of coconut milk into each glass.
  5. Add ice to the glasses, then top everything off with seltzer water (be careful as you pour – bubbles!).
  6. Garnish with extra lime slices and mint and serve.

About Author

Ashley Bailey, MS, RDN, LDN, IFNCP


Ashley is a Nutritionist at SAS Institute in Cary, NC. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner, Certified Biofeedback Instructor and also has a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management. Outside of work, Ashley enjoys crafting, cooking, walking and spending as much time as possible at the beach. Follow @abaileyRD on Twitter.

Leave A Reply

Back to Top