In recent years, the mocktail has sky-rocketed in popularity. What was once assumed to be a beverage option that lacked both complexity and flavor has proven to be just the opposite. In fact, it's not uncommon to find a handful of delicious mocktail options on the drinks menu at a variety of bars and restaurants. The mocktail has even comfortably found itself a home at plenty of at-home bars.
If you're ready to mix up a mocktail of your own, the alcohol-free sips ahead prove as the perfect blueprint.
The Recipe: Shirley Temple
The Hero Ingredient: Grenadine is the primary ingredient in the Shirley Temple, but it's the use of homemade grenadine that really sets this drink over the top.
Pro Tip: For an elevated Shirley Temple, A Couple Cooks suggest using clear ice. "Here’s a way to make your Shirley Temple drink really stand out: use clear ice! Clear ice is ice you can make that looks just like the kind they use in a fancy bar," they reveal.
Why We Love It: A childhood classic gets a mature twist with craft ingredients like homemade grenadine and fresh lime juice.
Mango Coconut Mocktail
The Recipe: Layered Mango Coconut Mocktails
The Key Ingredient: The use of frozen fruit (mango and pineapple) are key to making this mocktail deliciously frothy.
Pro Tip: With so many different ingredients, you'll want to make sure you complete your prep work before you start blending. "I recommend measuring and prepping all the ingredients before you get started blending, that way your slushie goodness won’t melt while waiting for you to prep the next layer," says Nicole Tingwall of Windy City Dinner Fairy.
Why We Love It: Even if you were sipping this mocktail in the North Pole, you'd think you were in the tropics thanks to the addition of mango, pineapple, coconut water and other fruity ingredients.
Elderflower Blueberry Lime Virgin Cocktail
The Recipe: Elderflower Blueberry Lime Virgin Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: The cocktail crowd is likely familiar with St. Germain, a popular elderflower liqueur. For a non-alcoholic take on St. Germain, elderflower syrup is a great pick, and is also an ingredient in this mocktail.
Pro Tip: According to Alice of Sugar Salted, you can use fresh or frozen blueberries. Just make sure you give them a good smash. "You can use fresh or frozen, that’s up to you. The key is in smashing them, so you get some of that blueberry flavor and color out," she explains.
Why We Love It: This mocktail proves that you don't have to throw in a ton of ingredients to create a tasty non-alcoholic drink.
Coconut Mint Green Tea Mocktail
The Recipe: Frosty Coconut Mint Green Tea Mocktail
The Hero Ingredient: There's a reason why coconut water is a base ingredient in many mocktails. It's both delicious and good for you!
Pro Tip: Strength And Sunshine's Rebecca Pytell reveals that not only does coconut water provide nutritional benefits, but the other ingredients in the Coconut Mint Green Tea Mocktail do as well. "Now take the benefits of coconut water and amp it up even further! Infuse it with some green tea, fresh mint, and ice," she says.
Why We Love It: The mint and coconut water present in this sip ensure that it's immensely refreshing.
The Consolation Prize
The Recipe: The Consolation Prize
The Hero Ingredient: This mocktail is ultra-rich and creamy thanks to the addition of coconut milk.
Pro Tip: Smitten Kitchen's Deb Perelman offers a quick tip for those who want to amp up the sweetness in their drink. "The sweetness level here is fairly low, the way we like it, but I have a hunch that some people might like it with more honey, so definitely adjust to taste, especially if you’re doing what I know you’re going to ask next," she says.
Why We Love It: Bubbly, rich and heavy on the citrus, The Consolation Prize is everything you want in a tasty mocktail.
The Recipe: Virgin Margarita
The Hero Ingredient: Pickle juice! Yes, pickle juice. The addition of pickle juice adds to the intrigue of this mocktail, and creates a flavor almost reminiscent of alcohol.
Pro Tip: If the idea of adding pickle juice to your mocktail is a little too much, A Couple Cooks reveal that this ingredient is optional. "It’s also totally optional, so you don’t have to do it, if it weirds you out. But after multiple taste tests, pickle juice in a virgin margarita was the clear winner," they explain.
Why We Love It: It's hard to believe that a mocktail version of the margarita tastes as good as the real thing, but this virgin marg is deliciously convincing.
Sparkling Apple-Pear Mock Sangria
The Recipe: Sparkling Apple-Pear Mock Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Bubbles are a great addition to mocktails, and the bubbles in this sip come courtesy of sparkling pear juice.
Pro Tip: The key to this flavorful mocktail? Letting select ingredients infuse for a couple of days, according to Boulder Locavore's Toni Dash. "Combine all ingredients except the ginger ale in a drink dispenser with a spigot, or a large sealable jar, and allow to infuse in the refrigerator for 2 days," she reveals.
Why We Love It: Although great all-year round, this mock sangria is an excellent option for a fall or winter brunch.
Apricot Strawberry Mocktail
The Recipe: Apricot Strawberry Mocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Apricot nectar adds a welcome touch of fruity flavor to this four-ingredient mocktail.
Pro Tip: The Charming Detroiter's Sarah DeLeon shares how you can easily make a boozy version of this mocktail. "If you’re looking to make this an alcoholic beverage, you can sub out the club soda for some champagne or even sparkling rosé – perfect for the summer!," she says.
Why We Love It: With only four ingredients, this mocktail is easy to mix up, and can easily be personalized depending on the type of club soda you use.
Virgin Banana Daiquiri
The Recipe: Virgin Banana Daiquiri
The Hero Ingredient: This virgin daiquiri cleverly calls for rum extract to give this sip a delicious rum flavor.
Pro Tip: For a decadent touch, Rebecca Pytell of Strength And Sunshine suggests topping this mocktail with whipped cream. "Pour into 2 glasses and serve with a slice of lime and maybe some 'whipped cream,'" she reveals.
Why We Love It: The tropics are never too far with a frosty mocktail like this Virgin Banana Daiquiri.
Grapefruit Ginger Mocktail
The Recipe: Grapefruit Ginger Mocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Aromatic bitters are a key ingredient in many cocktails, but don't let that steer you away from adding this delicious ingredient to your mocktail.
Pro Trip: Cynthia Ruff of Darling Down South offers a quick tip for those who want an easy, floral garnish. "Psssst: you don’t even have to get fancy with the flowers, just clip something that’s blooming from your yard (or around town, I won’t tell) and spray it with some vegetable cleaner before adorning your drink," she says.
Why We Love It: Not only is the Grapefruit Ginger Mocktail brimming with amazing ingredients, it's almost too pretty to drink. Almost.