7 Mocktails for Grown-up Tastes

The hottest new trend is … sobriety?

Glasses of Off-Russian
(Photo by Oleksandra Naumenko on Shutterstock)

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The hottest new trend is… sobriety? With “sober bars” popping up in Los Angeles, Austin, and Brooklyn, people are discovering the joys of a night out without the looming hangover. What’s more, mocktails are getting better. A dry crowd yearning for complex tastes without the booze is demanding more than a Shirley Temple. You could grab a bottle of nonalcoholic spirit (like Seedlip or Kin) to craft your virgin concoctions, or you could go with these creative takes on the classics.

Pineapple Ginger Fauxjito

A glass of Fauxjito.
(Photo by Alexandra Anschiz on Shutterstock)


  • Pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 10 mint sprigs
  • 1 oz. lime-ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
  • Club soda
  • Lime slices, for garnish
  • Lime-ginger simple syrup:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (or substitute ½ cup agave syrup)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-inch knob of ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lime


  1. For the lime-ginger simple syrup, add water, sugar (or agave syrup), and sliced ginger to a pot. Add zest and juice of one lime. Bring the pot to boil, then lower to simmer. Let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Strain and chill.
  2. Muddle 3 pineapple pieces with 8 mint leaves in a rocks glass. Add ice, simple syrup, and top with club soda. Garnish with lime wedges, mint leaves, and pineapple leaves.


Glasses of Apolonia, with sliced grapefruit and limes.
(Photo by apolonia on Shutterstock)


  • 4 oz. pink grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • Mineral water (like Gerolsteiner or Topo Chico)
  • Chili salt (or substitute Himalayan pink salt)
  • Dried grapefruit slices, for garnish
  • Rosemary sprigs, for garnish


  1. Fill a shaker with ice. Pour in grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake thoroughly (until the shaker is too cold to hold comfortably).
  2. Fill a saucer with lime juice, and another with chili salt (or Himalayan pink salt). Turn over a Collins glass first into the lime juice then into the salt to coat the rim.
  3. Fill the Collins glass with ice. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Garnish with dried grapefruit slices and rosemary sprigs.

Salt Lake City Mule

Bronze cup of Mule drink.
(Photo by Newikky on Shutterstock)


  • 1 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • Lime slices
  • Blood orange slices
  • Fresh basil
  • Non-alcoholic ginger beer (like Fever Tree or Gosling’s)


In a copper mug, muddle an orange slice, a lime slice, and one basil leaf with orange juice. Fill with ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with citrus slices and basil leaves.

Blueberry Kombucha Smash

A glass of Smash, with a cherry floating on its ice.
(Photo by witsanu singkaew on Shutterstock)


  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • Lemon slices
  • ½ tbsp. brown sugar
  • Kombucha (like GT’s Synergy or Health-Ade Ginger-Lemon)
  • Crushed ice
  • Cherry, for garnish


In a rocks glass, muddle blueberries, a lemon slice, and brown sugar. Fill the glass with crushed ice, and top it off with your favorite kombucha.

Flaming Virgin Mary

A glass of Bloody Mary, with shrimp, bacon, tomato, and olives.
(Photo by Brent Hofacker on Shutterstock)


  • 4 oz. tomato juice
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp prepared horseradish
  • 10 dashes hot sauce (like Tobasco, Sriracha, or Cholula Chipotle)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Habanero salt
  • Celery stalks with leaves, for garnish
  • Possible garnishes: lemon wedge, pickled carrots, shrimp


  1. Fill one saucer with lemon juice and another with habanero salt. Dip the rim of a tumbler into the lemon juice then the salt to coat it. Fill the tumbler with ice.
  2. Combine tomato juice, lemon juice, horseradish, hot sauce, and pepper in a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into tumbler. Garnish with anything your heart desires!

Lavender Lemonade

Glasses of Levender
(Photo by Fortyforks on Shutterstock)

Yield: one pitcher


  • Lavender simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 cups water
  • Lemon slices, for garnish
  • Lavender simple syrup:
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (or substitute ½ cup agave syrup)
  • 3 tbsp dried lavender


  1. Combine ingredients for lavender simple syrup in a pot. Bring the pot to boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes. Chill.
  2. Combine water, lemon juice, and lavender simple syrup into a pitcher. Stir and chill. Serve on ice and garnish with lemon slices.

Optional: Add red and blue food coloring to make this mocktail as purple as the fields of Provence.

Off-White Russian

Glasses of Off-Russian
(Photo by Oleksandra Naumenko on Shutterstock)


  • Coffee ice cubes
  • 3 oz. milk
  • 1 oz. heavy cream or half and half
  • 2 drops of hazelnut extract


  1. Make the coffee ice cubes ahead of time. Fill an ice cube tray with drip coffee and freeze overnight.
  2. Fill a rocks glass with coffee ice cubes. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir lightly.

Featured image: Oleksandra Naumenko on Shutterstock

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  1. As a non ‘drinker’ myself, I LOVE this feature! These aren’t difficult to make, and give you the genuine (though faux) feeling you’re having a real drink too. Martinelli’s is always my favorite choice for ‘champagne’, but these choices and ideas are fantastique Nicholas, except for two—but that’s my opinion; I own it.

    Love the Pineapple Ginger Fauxjito, Blueberry Kombucha Smash, Lavendar Lemonade and the Off-White Russian. NO however on the Paloma and the Flaming Virgin Mary. Let me know if you have any recipes for drinks using a mixture of cherry syrup and pineapple por favor!


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