Long gone are the days where people only opted for mocktails—a combination of the words “mock” and “cocktail”—because they’d sworn off alcohol. Mixologists everywhere have brought new life to concoctions ranging from cucumber lemonades to mint seltzer spritzers. And arguably best part? They’re just as delicious as their alcoholic brethren—minus the extra calories (and that obnoxious next-day hangover).
“Mocktails are a wonderful option for enjoying your time during the day, or when you are looking for something unique and refreshing,” says Adam Stearns, mixologist at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California. “Whether you are looking to skip the buzz, or just enjoying time with family and friends, this can be a great way to keep your day going.”
That is, as long as you’re not courting a sugar crash. Sipper, beware. Keep an eye on just how sweet your sips really are. “It’s quite easy for mocktails to become high in sugar when using juice as a base,” says Diana K. Rice, RD, the Baby Steps Dietitian and owner of Diana K. Rice Nutrition. “I prefer recipes that use whole fruit or a low-sugar juice such as grapefruit juice and are instead based on seltzer water.”
Add some pizzazz to your next summer party (or hey, maybe just a typical Saturday) with these five recipes for summer-worthy sips that are low in calories and high in flavor. Just don’t be alarmed when your friends ask you to tend the bar at your next get-together.
Epic Spartan Summer Mocktails to Stay On Track with Your Training
1. Watermelon Mint Mocktail
- 2 slices of watermelon, rind removed
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- Several mint leaves
- ¼ cup tonic water or lime-flavored seltzer
Puree the watermelon, lime juice, and mint in a blender. Add half a cup of the mixture to a glass and top with seltzer or tonic water. Garnish with additional mint leaves.
2. Cucumber Basil Mocktail
- 1-inch piece cucumber
- Several basil leaves
- ⅔ cup lime-flavored seltzer
Muddle the cucumber and basil together. Top with the seltzer.
3. Cool Escape
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 1 lb chopped pineapple
- 3 oz white vinegar
- 3 cucumber slices
- 3 oz Icelandic sparkling water
- Sprig of rosemary
- To make the pomegranate cordial, combine the pomegranate juice and pineapple in a blender. Blend and strain into a large container for storage. Add the white vinegar to help preserve the cordial.
- To make the cocktail, muddle the cucumber slices. Shake with cordial, top with sparkling water, garnish with the rosemary sprig, and serve over ice.
4. Grapefruit Tonic Mocktail
- ⅓ cup grapefruit juice
- ⅓ cup tonic water (optionally, use diet tonic water)
- Sprig of rosemary
Combine the grapefruit juice and tonic water. Garnish with rosemary.
5. Black Cherry Tea Mocktail
- ½ cup iced black tea
- ¼ cup black cherry juice
- Several dashes orange bitters
- Whole pitted cherries, for garnish (optional)
Combine tea, juice, and bitters in a glass. Top with ice and garnish with cherries if desired.