If your December was anything like ours, it was filled with a lot eating and a lot of copious drinking, all in the good name of celebrating the holidays. As amazing this food and booze-filled month can be, come January, we’re all ready for a serious break. For some, that means going way lighter on the drinks, at least for a few weeks.
Enter the mocktail, with all of the flavors and excitement of a regular cocktail, sans the alcohol. These particular drinks are so delicious you won’t even miss the liquor. We’ve modeled the recipes after our favorite, classic bar drinks, because no one should be stuck drinking club soda with lime at the bar when everyone else has a marg in hand.
This booze-less twist on the spicy ginger cocktail gets a hint of sweetness from honey. And yes, you can still drink it in a copper mug.
1 half lime
2 ounces fresh lime juice
3 ounces ginger beer
Make the honey simple syrup: Add equal parts honey and water to a small saucepan and heat until the honey melts completely into the water. Set aside, and let cool. Muddle lime and 1 oz of honey syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the lime juice and shake with ice for 10 seconds. Strain into a glass or copper mug. Top with ginger beer and stir.
Virgin piña colada
You may be thinking: what’s a piña colada without the rum? Well, it’s still just as delicious, thanks to pineapple juice and coconut cream. Blend this one up for a little taste of the tropics any time of year—even when it’s snowing.
1 cup ice
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 tablespoon white sugar or honey
pineapple slices, for garnish
In an electric blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Garnish with fresh pineapple slices.
Virgin french 75
The French 75 is one of our favorite, elegant cocktails, usually made with gin and champagne. This mocktail version imitates the drink’s delicate flavor with a mix of tonic water, citrus, and bitters to create the perfect sip.
A note: there are some varieties of bitters that have a small alcohol content, so make sure to look for alcohol-free bitters if you’re trying to avoid booze completely.
3 ounces fresh lemon juice
4 dashes lemon or orange bitters
12 ounces tonic water
1 teaspoon sugar
Add fresh lemon juice and bitters to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until frosty then divide into two champagne flutes. Top off with tonic water until it reaches about 3/4 of the way up the glass. Add sugar to taste, up to 1 teaspoon and serve immediately.
Virgin bloody mary
Just because you’re laying off the booze doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your brunch in basically the same way. This drink tastes just like the real thing.
8 ounces tomato juice
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
4 dashes hot sauce
celery, for garnish
lemon slices, for garnish.
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a celery stick and a slice of lemon.
Booze-less hot toddy
There’s no alcohol in this comforting winter drink, but it’s just as spirited. This is a perfect, heart-warming drink for those freezing winter nights when you want something more than just a basic cup of tea.
1 black tea bag
1 teaspoon honey
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground nutmeg
1 lemon, halved
1 cinnamon stick
Pour boiling water over 1 black tea bag in a mug and let steep for five minutes. In a separate glass or mug, add the honey and spices. Add the hot tea to the mug, along with the juice of half of the lemon. Stir. Cut the remaining half of the lemon into slices. Add lemon slices and cinnamon stick to the mug, as a garnish.
The ingredient list may look long, but trust us, this sober sangria comes together pretty easily, and is totally worth it. Serve a pitcher of this alongside your next taco night. Added bonus: no hangover.
2 cups boiling water
2 black tea bags
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups cranberry juice
2 cup orange juice
1 medium orange, sliced into rounds
1 medium lemon, sliced into rounds
1 medium lime, sliced into rounds
1 medium apple, cored and cut into
3 cups sparkling water. Pour the boiling water over tea bags and cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and stir in sugar until it dissolves. To the pitcher, add the cranberry juice, orange juice, orange, lemon, lime, and apple. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight. Just before serving, stir in carbonated water. Serve in glasses over ice.
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