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Americans, especially millennials, are reaching for nonalcoholic options more frequently than ever. And whats not to love? You can enjoy a beautifully crafted cocktail without any threat of a hangover and actually nourish and hydrate yourself at the same time. Even if you do plan on drinking, being able to offer non-drinkers a refreshing, sophisticated mixed drink to sip on is appreciated by kiddies and adults alike.
In the collection below, you’ll find drinks that range from sweet to savory, and from simple to a bit more specialty. If you’re intimidated by the idea of making multiple mixed drinks but want to offer both alcoholic and nonalcoholic options, all of the drinks below take well to the addition of a hard liquor of your choice. It’s hard to go wrong with fresh fruits, herbs, and ice, but the majority of the beverages below will pair best with gin, white rum, or vodka. A few may work better with sparkling or still wine. All recipes can easily be scaled up to fill a pitcher, just mix well with a wooden spoon instead of a cocktail shaker, and enjoy!
10+ Clean Cocktails Everyone Will Enjoy
1. Spanish summer classic: Sangria
In a stone fruit, alcohol-less twist on sangria, this drink is one you may want to cherry pick.
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
- 3 small apricots, sliced
- 2 plums, sliced
- 2 cups cherry juice
- 2 cups ginger beer
- 2 cups sparkling water or club soda
2. Sweet, but not too sweet: Honey Blackberry Mint Mocktail
Entirely free of refined sugar, this beautiful berry-honey blend is sweet but not too sweet.
- 8 fresh blackberries plus more for garnish
- 2 oz 1/4 cup honey
- A handful fresh mint leaves about 10, plus more for garnish
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups seltzer
3. For a bit of tropical sparkle and fermented flavor: Strawberry Orange Mango Kombucha Mocktail
Let this drink be an inspiration: kombucha goes incredibly well with just about any fruits you can find to put into it. Don’t hesitate to play around with different kombucha, fresh herb, and fresh or frozen fruit combinations you can think of.
- 2 16- ounce bottles kombucha (original recipe calls for Original Kombucha unflavored)
- 2 cups 100% orange-mango juice
- 1 ripe mango peeled, pitted, and chopped
- 2 cups fresh strawberries (chopped)
4. Savory sip: Not-so-bloody Mary
While not everybody readily takes to a Bloody Mary, this drink is an excellent alcohol-free version for those that dig the real thing.
- 6 cups tomato juice
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup dill pickle juice
5. A summery boost for your tummy: Probiotic Strawberry Soda
This microbiome boost can either be made with coconut water kefir from the store or, if you’re patient, with water or coconut water kefir you ferment at home. The only ingredient you may not already have at home for your fermentation is water kefir grains, but they can be easily ordered online. The exponential beverage and at-home probiotic potential is worth the wait.
6. For the fancy: Blueberry-lavender Fauxjito
The not-so-secret ingredient that takes this drink to the next level is lavender simple syrup made with culinary grade lavender. With specialized simple syrups like this one, the trickiest part is just getting your hands on the unique flavor infusion. Luckily, once you’ve got your syrup, it keeps well and can be used in a host of other alcoholic or nonalcoholic drinks (lavender lemonade, anyone?).
Lavender Simple Syrup
- ½ cup honey, coconut/raw sugar, or other sweetener of choice
- ½ cup purified water
- 1 tablespoon culinary lavender
- 2-3 tablespoons lavender syrup, or more to taste
- 6-8 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- 3 slices of lime OR juice of ½ lime, plus more for garnish
- ¼ cup frozen blueberries, plus more for garnish
- handful of ice
- Plain or lime flavored sparkling water (ex. San Pellegrino or La Croix Natural Lime Flavor)
7. A tart taste of the big island: Pineapple Hibiscus Mocktail
Bright hibiscus flowers add a floral, tangy tinge to this tropical treat. A ginger simple syrup adds a little heat, fresh pineapple brings the sweetness. If you don’t feel like investing time into making ginger simple syrup, ginger beer is a welcome substitute (grab one sweetened with stevia to avoid excess sugar). Since cilantro can be divisive, it’s an optional green garnish.
Ginger simple syrup:
- 2″ piece of fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup dried hibiscus petals (also called jaimaca flowers)
- 1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
- 2 fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)
8. An earthy, bright orange beverage: Carrot & Clementine Juice Mocktail
Another fantastic option if you’re on the lookout for a mocktail that is more on the mature, grounded side. The Thai basil makes this juicy drink feel like it’s straight from the garden.
- 2½ oz. fresh carrot juice
- 2 oz. fresh clementine juice
- ¼ oz. fresh lime juice
- ¾ oz. ginger beer
- 4 leaves fresh Thai basil for muddling
- Thai basil leaf for garnish
9. A clean, green, refreshing machine: Matcha Mint Iced Tea
Without any soda or required sweetener of any kind, this drink may just be the cleanest on this list. The matcha makes it far more interesting than a simple lime and mint water infusion, and also adds a little caffeine pick-me-up and gorgeous green color. No matcha whisk required!
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 teaspoons cooking grade matcha
- 2 cups crushed ice
- 1 lime, sliced
- Handfuls of mint
- Optional: honey or cane sugar (or minty simple syrup)
10. Finally as we head into fall: Cider, Thyme, & Tonic Mocktail
For a fall-friendly drink that’s still plenty light and refreshing, try out this thyme-infused, grown-up apple cider. A high quality tonic really takes this drink up a notch, and any leftover thyme simple syrup will give you more room for future herb-infused drink explorations.
Thyme Simple Syrup
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 12 ounces apple cider
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 ounces thyme simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1 bottle (9.3 ounces) tonic water (the higher quality the better)
- Additional thyme and lemon slices for garnish
On sweltering, late-summer days, few things can match sitting outside soaking up sun and enjoying a beverage or two with people you enjoy. Now, you’ve got some more beverage options.