5 of the Yummiest Mocktails this Side of the Pecos
Now that the holidays and hangovers have mostly passed, I keep hearing more about people deciding to take a shot (no pun intended) at Dry January. TIME estimates over 5 million people around the world will participate in Dry January, a month-long experiment in sobriety. Even if you are not one of those 5 million people, chances are you have a friend or family member in your social circle that is. I personally am working to be more mindful in 2018. Step one: don’t assume everyone at the party is jonesing for a buzz. You never know who has an allergy, might be expecting a little one, or is taking part in a little detox called the Whole 30. In hopes of a healthier January, I gathered six non-alcoholic cocktail recipes that are just as delicious as they are beautiful. I hope you enjoy! What is your favorite mocktail to mix up these days?
1. Rosemary Blueberry Smash
By Danielle Walker of Against All Grain
Longtime loyal Wit & Delight readers might recognize our first mocktail amongst the list, the Rosemary Blueberry Smash. This Danielle Walker recipe was featured on the blog in 2016 while Kate was pregnant with August, and it’s so good we feel it deserves a second round of applause. In contrast to many non-alcoholic specialty cocktails, this drink maintains it refreshing, sweet flavors without the addition of high-fructose corn syrup.
Prep time: 5 minutes Yield: 1 serving
1 rosemary sprig, stripped
1 oz honey syrup
1 oz fresh lemon juice, strained
4 oz sparkling mineral water
Muddle the blueberries and rosemary in the bottom of a cocktail shaker or 1-quart mason jar (if you’re making one for a friend). Add the lemon juice and top the shaker off with ice. Fasten the lid and shake for about 20 seconds or until the ice is broken into smaller pieces. Strain the liquid over an ice-filled glass and garnish with a few blueberries and rosemary. Now start sipping!
2. Virgin Grapefruit Mojito
By Caitlin of The Merry Thought
Nothing says “vacation” quite like a yummy mojito. As a kid, my mom and I would make frozen concoctions, often derived from a mojito recipe, to enjoy by the pool. It was always such a treat and I loved feeling included, even though my drink was virgin. Escaping the cold this month to a sunshine getaway? Turn on full vacay mode and give this mojito a try!
Prep time: 5 minutes Yield: 1 serving
3 tbsp fresh grapefruit juice
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
4 mint leaves
2 tsp agave nectar
sparkling mineral water
In a cocktail shaker, add the grapefruit and lime juice, mint leaves and agave nectar. Muddle the mixture until the mint is bruised and liquid is well mixed. Top off with the crushed ice, shake and pour into a glass. Add a splash of ginger ale, then top it off with sparkling mineral water. Stir and enjoy!
3. Honey Roasted Pear Sparkler
By Lindsay Cotter of Cotter Crunch
I have mentally filed this recipe under the folder titled, “things to make when you want to look legit af.” I mean… Honey Roasted Pear Sparkler? Come on, my guests will think I’m a mixologist within minutes. The blend of honey roasted pear purée, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of vanilla is simple, light, and delicious. Bonus points: Serve the sparkling mocktails in fun glasses. Garage sales and thrift stores are the perfect spots to score unique, low-price glassware.
Prep time: 10 Cook time: 20-25 Yield: 5-6 servings
1 lb halved pears
1/3 c honey
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pink of ground nutmeg
2 tbsp apple juice or water
pinch of ground clove
1 tsp vanilla
24-28 oz sparkling white grape juice
optional: brown sugar or coconut palm sugar, to coat rims
fresh thyme, sage, or rosemary
Preheat oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp honey, balsamic vinegar, 1/8 tbsp of cinnamon and a pinch of ground nutmeg. Evenly brush the mixture over pears. Bake pears 20-25 minutes until pears are soft and browned on the bottom. Larger pears will take a bit longer. Remove from oven and let cool. Scoop the seeds from pears and place in blender with vanilla and juice or water. Blend under puréed. Add purée to a large glass pitcher or serving bowl and let chill before serving. Before serving, add ground clove, 3-4 tbsp of honey, and sparkling white wine to the pitcher and stir together. Coat cocktail glasses in brown or coconut sugar. Pour sparkling cocktail mix into glass and garnish with thyme, sage or rosemary.
4. Grapefruit and Lime-Grape Cooler w/ Crushed Mint
By Lindsey S. Love of Dolly and Oatmeal
One excuse I find myself making when hosting is that mixing drinks for a larger group is too much work. If I can’t work up the motivation to make a single specialty drink, how will I ever find time to make ten? Fortunately, this Grapefruit and Lime-Grape Cooler recipe yields enough goodness to serve 8-10 drinks and can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for up to a week. Make the concentrate the night before your soirée and when your guests arrive the next day, simply muddle the grapes and mint leaves, add ice and soda, and voilà!
Prep time: 10 minutes Yield: 8-10 servings
8 oz seedless grapes (1 1/2 cups)
juice of 1 lime
1 c seedless grapes
1 bunch mint
2 cans Sanpellegrino Pompelmo beverage
1 c lime-grape concentrate
frozen grapes, for serving
Concentrate: Add grapes and lime juice to a blender and blend until completely broken down – about 30 seconds. Lay a mesh sieve over a bowl and pour juice into the sieve. Use the back of the spoon to help push the juice through. Pour juice into a jar and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Coolers: Add a few grapes and 4-5 mint leaves to an 8 oz glass and muddle until the grapes are crushed and the mint is bruised. Fill the glass half-full with ice. Add 2.5 oz of Sanpellegrino Pompelmo and 1.5 oz of concentrate, and give the liquid a gentle stir. Top with mint and frozen grapes.
5. Moscow Mule Mocktail
By Abbey of The Butter Half
Is it just me or do Moscow Mules have such a fancy connotation? It could be because I haven’t been a legal drinker for long, but when someone orders a Moscow Mule at a restaurant, I always think to myself, “dang. that person is fancy fancy.” So, I was shocked to learn how simple the recipe is, perfect for when you’re in a pinch.
Prep time: 5 minutes Yield: 2 servings
2 bottles of Ginger Blossom soda
Add half of the lime juice to each mug and mint leaves. Muddle the leaves in the bottom until they are bruised. Add crushed ice and ginger soda. Top with a lime wedge and serve immediately.
Paige Gardiner is a Producer at Wit & Delight. A recent college graduate, Paige majored in Entrepreneurship and recently launched her own jewelry business Goodrich & Grand. In her spare time, she loves a good glass of wine, a night out with girlfriends and laughing with her mom, which just so happens to be her current roommate.