Why should boozy cocktails have all the fun? With non-alcoholic fizz, beer, cider and even spirits available in bars and on supermarket shelves everywhere, there’s never been a greater choice.
Whether you’re hosting a party or just having a chilled night with family or friends, it’s always a good idea to serve up a refreshing mocktail. Follow along for 9 delicious alcohol-free recipes you can enjoy at home.
1. Lemon martini mocktail
Sweet and sharp, this lemony martini mocktail is a real crowd-pleaser. And it’s flexible – you can make it with alcohol-free gin or water, whatever floats your boat!
Ingredients: 1/2 a lemon (zested, plus 15ml lemon juice), 1 tbsp golden caster sugar, 50ml alcohol-free gin (or water), 1 tsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp marmalade, ice for mixing.
Method: Combine the lemon zest and sugar on a small plate. Dip the rim of your glass in water, then dip it in the mixture. Next, put all of your other ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake until it feels cold and strain into your glass. Easy as pie!
2. Passionfruit martini mocktail
This one takes a little more work but oh my, it’s worth it. Passionfruit martinis are a popular choice of cocktail, but you can still enjoy all the flavour with an alcohol-free mix.
Ingredients: 3 passionfruit (halved), 1 lemon (juiced), 1 egg white, 100ml alcohol-free gin or alternative, 2 tsp sugar syrup, sparkling grape juice or alcohol-free prosecco to serve.
Method: Scoop out the flesh from 4 of the passionfruit halves and place into a cocktail shaker. Then add your lemon juice, egg white, alcohol-free gin and sugar syrup, and give it a good shake until frothy. Add your ice and shake again until it feels cold. Double strain into glasses, and top up with your sparkling grape juice or non-alcoholic fizz. Garnish with the remaining passionfruit halves.
3. Alcohol-free amaretto sour
If you love a tasty blend of sweet and sour, this one is for you! And the great news is, you can enjoy all the flavour of an amaretto sour without the alcohol.
Ingredients: 100ml pineapple juice, 50ml lemon juice, ½ egg white, 10ml syrup from cocktail cherries (or more if you prefer), a few drops of almond extract, plus cherries to serve.
Method: Pour the pineapple juice, lemon juice, egg white, cherry syrup, and almond extract into a blender. Whizz a few times at a high speed until the mixture is pale and increasing in volume. If can use ice in your blender, add a few handfuls and pulse twice more to chill the mixture. Alternatively, you can stir in some ice after. Pour into glasses and garnish with cherries to serve. Yum!
4. New York sour mocktail
Is there anywhere more exciting than New York? Well now everyone can enjoy a taste of it with this recipe for a New York sour mocktail. With tea, pomegranate, lemon, and maple syrup, it’s sure to be a talking point at your next gathering.
Ingredients: 1 tsp Assam tea leaves (50ml tea), a few drops of vanilla extract, 25ml lemon juice, 3 tsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp egg white, ice, 10ml pomegranate juice.
Method: Pour 150ml boiling water over the tea leaves, stir, and strain immediately. You’re aiming for strong, not stewed! Mix in the vanilla extract and leave to cool. Then, pour the lemon juice, maple syrup and 50ml of the tea into a cocktail shaker. Stir the egg white with a fork to loosen it, then add 1 tbsp to the shaker.
Give everything a good shake until the mixture is frothy. Add a generous handful of ice and shake again. Double strain into a glass filled with ice. Add water to the pomegranate juice to make it up to 20ml, then slowly pour that into the glass, too. Let it settle for a moment – the juice will float just underneath the foam.
5. Pineapple and lime mocktail
Bring the flavour to any party with this glitzy pineapple mocktail. Funky jam jar glass optional!
Ingredients: 1 tsp clear honey, edible gold glitter, small bunch coriander leaves, juice 1 lime, 750ml pineapple juice, a handful of ice, 400ml tonic water (swap for soda water if you want it slightly sweeter).
Method: Dip a pastry brush in the honey and paint a line down one side of 4 tumblers. Sprinkle some edible gold glitter over the honey, dust off the excess, then put the glasses in the fridge. Meanwhile, finely chop the coriander leaves and add to a cocktail shaker with the lime juice, 100ml pineapple juice and a handful of ice. Shake together until the outside of the shaker feels cold. Strain into the glasses, add extra ice cubes and divide 650ml pineapple juice and the tonic water between the glasses.
6. Cheat’s ginger beer
Warm and fiery, a jug of ginger beer makes a brilliant addition to summer barbecues. And the best thing is, you can make the ginger mixture in advance, pop it in the fridge, and simply add the lemonade or sparkling water when you’re ready to serve.
Ingredients: 100g ginger (scrubbed and roughly chopped),1 lemon (chopped), 100g light muscovado sugar, 1-litre bottle chilled lemonade or sparkling water, to serve.
Method: Put the ginger and lemon in a bowl, pour over 300ml water and blitz with a hand blender until very smooth. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, then press the pulp to remove as much liquid as you can. Add the sugar to the bowl and blitz again. Decant into a bottle and chill until you’re ready to use it. Add the chilled lemonade or sparkling water before serving.
7. Virgin cosmopolitan
A really simple alcohol-free version of the classic cosmo to enjoy any time.
Ingredients: 90ml cranberry juice, 30ml freshly squeezed lime juice, 60ml sparkling water, 30ml orange juice.
Method: Pour the cranberry juice, lime, and soda in a cocktail shaker. Then, add plenty of ice and shake gently. Pour into a stylish martini glass, add a splash of orange juice and serve! You could also garnish with a lime – to make it extra fancy.
8. Watermelon mojito
The mint and lime in this mocktail blend with juicy watermelon to make a super refreshing drink.
Ingredients: 3 cups chopped watermelon, juice of 2 limes, 1½ tsp sugar, 4 fresh mint leaves, crushed ice, ginger ale, club soda.
Method: In a blender, mix watermelon, lime juice and 1 tsp sugar until smooth. In the bottom of each glass, combine 2 mint leaves with ¼ tsp sugar, then add the watermelon puree, until it’s about half full. Add ice, a splash of ginger ale and top with club soda. Stir to combine. Garnish with mint sprig and watermelon slice.
9. Lemonade iced tea
Made with freshly brewed tea, lemon juice and syrup, this is a delicious drink, enjoyed best on a hot day!
Ingredients: 2 cups tea (English Breakfast works great), sliced lemons, 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 cup of syrup, 1½ cups water, ice, fresh mint (optional).
Method: Make a simple syrup with a 1:1 ratio of sugar and boiling water – stir until dissolved. Keep that separate for now, then make your tea with boiling water and allow to cool. Combine your lemon juice, syrup and water and stir to combine. Add your cooled tea to the mixture and stir. Finish off by adding a few slices of lemon and mint to taste.
Drinking: the facts
Young people in the UK and USA are drinking less, with a new wave of Gen Zers growing up ‘sober curious’. Even if young people aren’t completely tee-total, many young adults are choosing not to drink on nights out or limiting their intake.
But while alcohol consumption is down among 16- to 24-year-olds in Britain, binge drinking is still an issue in this age group.
Research by Drinkaware shows that the number of young adult drinkers is falling – rising from 14% in 2017 to 21% in 2023. However, young adults who do drink alcohol are more likely to binge drink (75% vs 63%) and they’re twice as likely to drink at high-risk or possible dependent levels compared to the rest of the population (11% vs 6%).
Alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of depression and anxiety, as well as having a detrimental effect on our physical health and wellbeing.
Having a break from alcohol is a really healthy thing to do. It can help you put things in perspective, change your habits, get fit and save some money. But if you recognise you have an issue with alcohol, there is support.
- The Samaritans – local: 01642 217777 or national: 08457 90 90 90
- The Albert Centre, 3 Albert Terrace, Middleborough – 01642 221484.
Teesside University is proud to be a recovery-friendly campus and, in 2023, signed the Recovery-Friendly University pledge in partnership with Recovery Connections.
It outlines how the University will raise awareness around recovery; support students and their families; provide safe, welcoming spaces and a recovery hub on campus; and remove barriers to students pursuing higher education and seeking support.
Look out for the hot coffee bike around campus where students can grab a free drink in exchange for a quick chat about recovery. There are also drop-in sessions online and in-person. To learn more, visit Recovery Connections online or call 01642 351976. Students can also contact email@example.com for support.