Mocktails To Ring In the New Year With!

MakeHere are some virgin drinking tips and recipes from on how to make any non-alcohol drink taste better.

  1. Stemware! Anything seems more elegant in a wine, champagne, or martini glass. Even water.
  2. Garnish! From a simple slice of lime to a sugared rim, a decoration adds panache to your glass.
  3. Sparkle! Whether it’s the carbonation in your drink, a wine charm on your glass, or fun beads around your wrist, enjoy the details that make the moment special.

Shirley Temple

Named for the child star from the 1930s—what could be more wholesome?—this may be the most famous of the non-alcoholic cocktails.


  • 6 ounces ginger ale
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grenadine
  • Garnish: orange slice and/or maraschino cherry

How To:

Pour ginger ale over crushed ice, top with grenadine, garnish, and serve. For a Roy Rogers (another classic mocktail, named for the 1940s cowboy actor), substitute caffeine-free cola for the ginger ale.

Virgin Mary

This brunch classic is a fantastic source of vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin K. Ideal if you’re not in the mood for a sweet fruity drink.


  • 3 ounces tomato juice or V-8
  • 3 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Tabasco (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Garnish: cilantro sprig, celery stick, lime wedge, or pickle!

How To:

Pour all ingredients over crushed ice. Stir, garnish, and serve.

Arnold Palmer

This classic non-alcoholic cocktail is named for the 20th-century golfing great—reportedly his favorite drink. (Order it and test your bartender’s knowledge!)


  • 1 part iced tea
  • 1 part lemonade
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Garnish: lemon, mint, or a slice of kiwi

How To:

Pour iced tea (sweetened or not) and lemonade over ice; stir and garnish. For a fancier presentation, pour the lemonade over ice first, then slowly add the iced tea and they will stay in somewhat separate layers. This is a summer favorite, called a “half-and-half” in some parts of the country, and usually served in a tumbler or highball glass.

Winter Warmer

These customary wintertime flavors combine for a great holiday drink.


  • 3 parts pear nectar
  • 1 part cranberry juice
  • A big squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Garnish: lemon and cinnamon stick

How To:

Pour the pear nectar, cranberry juice, and dash of lemon juice over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Pierce a perfect round lemon slice with a cinnamon stick and add to the glass.

Faux Kir

A Kir is white wine with creme de cassis (a raspberry liqueur); a Kir royale replaces the white wine with champagne; and a Kir Normand or Kir Breton replaces it with hard cider.


  • 1 tsp. raspberry syrup (available in coffee and gourmet stores) or grenadine
  • 6 ounces sparkling cider, chilled
  • Garnish: fresh raspberries

How To:

Put a teaspoon of syrup in a champagne flute, add the sparkling cider, and float several raspberries on top. Cheers!

Mock Mojito

The mojito was rumored to be Ernest Hemingway’s drink of choice when in Cuba. It normally contains a good dose of rum, but tastes equally refreshing and complex without it.


  • 4 or 5 springs of fresh mint
  • 1 lime
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 6 to 8 ounces soda water
  • Garnish: lime wedges and mint sprigs

How To:

Muddle the mint (reserve one sprig for garnish) with the simple syrup in the bottom of a tall glass. Add ice cubes. Squeeze half of one lime into the glass, reserving the other half for garnish (slice it into three or four wedges). Top with soda water. Stir, drop in lime wedges, and decorate with the last sprig of mint.

Sophisticated Lady

Some bars and restaurants pride themselves on creativity and may have a house mocktail. This recipe is inspired by a drink of the same name offered at the Boston restaurant Eastern Standard.


  • Six 1/2-inch slices of peeled cucumber
  • Salt (just a dash)
  • 6 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Juice squeezed from half a lime
  • Garnish: salt and sugar, cucumber slice

How To:

Mix a teaspoon each of salt and sugar in a saucer or shallow bowl. Moisten the rim of a wine or martini glass and press the rim into the salt-sugar mix. Add ice to the glass. In a separate glass or bowl, muddle the cucumber with a sprinkle of salt (i.e., smash it up a bit with a spoon). Add that to a shaker of ice, along with the cranberry juice, simple syrup, and lime juice. Shake well and pour into your prepared glass.

Not So Dark & Stormy

The traditional dark & stormy is made with dark Bermuda rum, ginger beer, and a squeeze of lime. Ginger beer has no more beer in it than ginger ale has ale, but it tastes zippier. We’ve upped the lime and replaced the rum with a dash of molasses (what rum is distilled from in the first place, and a very good source of iron, calcium, potassium, and other minerals).


  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. blackstrap molasses
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • Garnish: lime wedge

How To:

In a wide glass, add ice, lime juice, and molasses, then pour ginger beer over all. Stir well, as molasses is thick, particularly when cold. Float the lime wedge on top.

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