Our 30 Best Nonalcoholic Cocktails for Flavor-Filled, Booze-Free Sipping

Cool off with one of these colorful mocktails.

June 24, 2021
Photo by Julia Gartland

Here's something to sip on: nonalcoholic cocktails. The next time you're craving a booze-free beverage that's refreshing, flavorful, and admittedly far more interesting than seltzer water mixed with a splash of cran or OJ, turn to these 30 recipes. From variations on homemade lemonade to a fizzy cooler that features a generous scoop of homemade orange sherbet (hey, you can have your ice cream and eat it, too!), these drinks are creative takes on punches, spritzes, and more.

These recipes call on beautiful seasonal produce like rhubarb during the spring; berries, watermelon, and stone fruit during the summer; and root vegetables like beets during the colder months. Rim a glass with fiery spices for a bit of heat, or add a sprig of thyme or rosemary for a subtle earthy flavor and a stunning visual aid. Low-ABV and nonalcoholic cocktails are finally getting their time in the spotlight, and we're so excited to celebrate them with these recipes from our superstar recipe developers.

1. The NYC Special From Lainey Collum

Mix up a thirst-quenching trio of Coca-Cola, a cinnamon- and coffee-infused simple syrup, and sweetened condensed milk together for one ultra-indulgent bubbly beverage. There's plenty of caffeine to give you a jolt whenever you need it...say, at 5 p.m.?

2. Grapefruit Radler From Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Make use of your favorite nonalcoholic beer (recipe developer Julia Bainbridge prefers Busch NA) in this citrus-forward, booze-free cocktail.

3. "Pimm's" Crown From Rob Brouse

Instead of using the original Pimm's liqueur, a gin- and fruit-based cordial, recipe developer Julia Bainbridge developed a genius, nonalcoholic version using an assortment of citrus fruit, two types of tea, raspberry vinegar, and juniper berries. Mix it with ginger ale and even more freshly squeezed lime juice for a pleasantly bitter beverage.

4. Jardín Verde From Bryan Dayton

Seedlip is the premier brand of nonalcoholic mixers, and here, recipe developer Julia Bainbridge paired her favorite flavor (an herby, grassy, floral elixir) simply with tonic water, a cucumber twist, and a sprig of fresh basil.

5. Yu the Great From Samantha Azarow

A homemade basil-matcha syrup paired with coconut milk and soda water is a graciously green nonalcoholic drink. "You really want Thai basil, which is less sweet, more herbal and licorice-like—spicy, even," says recipe developer Julia Bainbridge.

6. Padova Spritz From Tobin Shea

"It's 5 o'clock on a summer Friday. This is the drink for that," says recipe developer Julia Bainbridge. A four-ingredient cocktail made with chinotto soda (an amber-colored, orange-flavored bubbly), red verjus, soda water, and an orange twist sounds like it's exactly what we need.

7. Change of Address From Eric Nelson

Soy sauce, maple syrup, and Coca-Coca don't at all sound like three ingredients that go together, but trust us when we say it's the perfect not-too-sweet, not-too-savory mocktail.

8. Tepache From Yana Volfson

Whether or not you live in a warm, sunny climate, this mocktail will instantly transport you to the tropical vacation of your dreams.

9. Saffron & Cardamom Lemonade Concentrate

This extra-yellow nonalcoholic lemonade gets its super sunny hue from saffron. The strands are scarlet red, but once you infuse them into simple syrup, they release a vivid yellow color and floral flavor that works so well in this earthy mocktail.

10. Sparkling Rhubarb Lemonade

Move over, pie! We have a new use for rhubarb that we can't get enough of—it's this nonalcoholic cocktail. Cook the rhubarb with sugar, lemon zest, and fresh mint until it has released its pretty-in-pink color and tart flavor. From there, strain the mixture and then combine it with freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon-lime soda for a fun, fizzy drink.

11. Beet Tonic Spritzer

For a nonalcoholic cocktail that has a serious wow factor, shake up a trio of beet juice, honey syrup, and lemon juice. Strain the mixture into your favorite highball drinking glass and top with ginger beer and tonic water.

12. Blackberry Lemonade

We're switching things up from the usual strawberry lemonade with its berry beautiful relative—blackberries! They're puréed with lemon juice and then stirred into a homemade lemonade mixture for a purpley nonalcoholic cocktail that everyone will love.

13. Snow Peony Punch

We couldn't believe that this uber-elegant drink was nonalcoholic. It features an all-star cast of coconut water, ginger ale, and lychee syrup for the beautiful punch base. Rim each glass with flaked coconut for a peek at the flavor waiting inside the glass.

14. Tea Thyme Soda

"This recipe is a riff on a delightful iced tea that gets served in the summer at both Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant and Stumptown Coffee in Portland, Oregon," said recipe developer hardlikearmour. Skip the bourbon for a nonalcoholic sip.

15. Cucumber-Fennel Fizz

The fresh flavor of puréed cucumber and fennel adds a delightful crispness to this fizzy beverage. Garnish with a sprig of fennel fronds and a sprinkling of frozen blueberries, which add a purple-blue pop of color.

16. Mango Lemonade

The juice of poached mangoes is blended with sugar, saffron, and lemon juice for a tropical twist on a classic drink. It serves four, but you can easily double (or triple!) the recipe to satisfy a crowd of summertime partygoers. 

17. Retro Raspberry Lime Rickeys

Let's take a trip back in time to something simple and delicious—like this nonalcoholic drink inspired by the original lime cocktail. We dressed our version up with macerated, syrupy raspberries and fizzy sparkling water for pizzazz.

18. Watermelonade

Puréed watermelon juice is mixed with a three-ingredient homemade lemonade (simple syrup, water, and freshly squeezed lemon juice) for a thirst-quenching mocktail.

19. Fizzy Orange Sherbet Cooler

Cool off with this family-friendly nonalcoholic cocktail that features a refreshing combination of homemade orange sherbet bobbing about in orange juice and seltzer. If you need us, we'll be on the front porch sipping on this all summer long.

20. Red Bull Cranberry Mocktail

A Red Bull and vodka is a fierce cocktail, but this nonalcoholic version pairs ginger beer, apple cider, and Red Bull together (with an assortment of warm spices and herbs) for a fragrant beverage that will soothe the soul come fall.

21. Seedlip's Stewart Howard

When you need delicious, high-quality nonalcoholic mixers, turn to the brand Seedlip. Here, we've made use of their Spice 94 (a blend of allspice, cardamom, and citrus) by shaking it with lemon and grapefruit juices and simple syrup.

22. Lemonade

No powdered mix here! Keep things simple, sweet, and a touch sour with our recipe for homemade lemonade. All you need is the zest and juice of 4 or 5 lemons, granulated sugar, and water to make this nonalcoholic drink.

23. Moonlight Sonata

"If Beethoven had been a mixologist instead of a composer, this might have been one of his signature pieces. It's sweet and pleasant at first, with a bit more excitement as the limeade melts and makes its presence known," says recipe developer AntoniaJames. It may sound too good to be true, but we promise it's not—try it for yourself.

24. Vanilla-Thyme Lemonade

For a little sweetness, a little earthiness, a little tartness, and an all-around delicious drink, try making this simple infused lemonade, which serves four thirsty pals.

25. Rhubarb Lime Spritzer

Normally when we hear rhubarb, we instantly think of its partner-in-crime: strawberry. However, we decided to pair it with something entirely new and just as complementary: lime!

26. Andrew Chau & Bin Chen's Japanese Coffee Cola

Think of this as an American Coke Float, said recipe developers Andrew Chau and Bin Chen. A cool combination of cold-brew coffee and cola is poured over ice and topped with the most decadent salted buttercream, because why not?

27. Mango & Basil Fizz Mocktail

Sweet mango and fragrant basil are truly a genius pairing (if we do say so ourselves) in this marvelous, measured mocktail.

28. Tomato Shrub

Skip the vodka and make this nonalcoholic version of a Bloody Mary. We didn't skimp on the flavor—chopped tomatoes sit overnight with a combination of spices (whole coriander seeds, whole cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, and red pepper flakes) and white wine vinegar for a serious sip.

29. Spicy Mango Limeade

There's a double dose of spice in this mocktail—the glasses are rimmed in a combination of smoked paprika and sea salt, and then are filled with a juicy combination of mango nectar, lime juice, and a homemade jalapeño simple syrup.

30. Kristin Donnelly's Watermelon Agua Fresca

Six cups of watermelon are blended into a smooth purée and mixed with club soda, fresh lime juice, and lots of drops of Angostura bitters. The best part (aside from the refreshing taste) is that you can make the base a couple of days in advance, which will make party prep feel like a light summer breeze.

Which type of mocktail seems the most refreshing to you? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 Comment

Shelley.E June 21, 2021
Love these recipes! PRO TIP: Don't discard the rhubarb solids after making rhubarb juice for drinks. You can use it in a delicious sweet OR savory compote.