After indulgent holiday celebrations featuring cocktails, desserts and rich foods, January offers a chance to have a fresh start. Commitments to health and wellness top the list of resolutions – but even if you’re participating in Dry January, you don’t need to put away those cocktail glasses just yet. Keep the celebration going all month – and year! – long with clever and creative mocktail recipes.
For the most basic mocktail recipes, all you need is fruit juice, seltzer water, and a glass – champagne flutes, cocktail glassware and even glass jars have the power to elevate any beverage they contain, while keeping their contents pure and flavorful. Add a slice of citrus or a sprig of fresh herbs and you can fool even the most discerning of cocktail lovers.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try using bitters or creating your own infused syrup. Reuse a glass jar to store flavored syrups in the fridge for up to a week (and remember, these make great gifts too!).
And for anyone who truly misses the taste of alcohol during Dry January, “a teaspoon or two of caper juice or pickle juice can taste like alcohol,” according to A Couple Cooks.
For those who are trying to avoid sugar after all those cookies, nutritionist Kellie Bernardi recommends an adrenal cocktail as a more nutritionally beneficial option.
“It contains key vitamins and minerals — sodium, potassium and whole-food vitamin C — that not only nourish the adrenals and support stress levels but also naturally fight fatigue,” Bernardi said.
Most importantly, be sure to choose glass when serving your mocktails. Glass doesn’t absorb or interact with its contents, your mocktails will taste better, without any toxic chemicals seeping in.
3 Simple Mocktail Recipes to Get You Started
These recipes are easy to make at home with ingredients you likely already have on hand, or that you can easily get on your next grocery trip. They’ll inspire you to get even more creative!
This refreshing drink is a great primer in making your own simple syrup, which is actually much easier than it sounds. Plus, grapefruit juice is naturally low in calories and high in vitamin C.
For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3-4 fresh rosemary sprigs
For the Rosemary Grapefruit Mocktail:
1 cup rosemary syrup
1 ½ cups 100% grapefruit juice
3-4 cups club soda
Fresh rosemary sprigs
For the Rosemary Syrup:
Put water and sugar in a small pot over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is fully dissolved.
Remove from heat and add rosemary sprigs.
Cover pot and allow syrup to steep for about 30 minutes, until it is room temperature.
For the Rosemary Grapefruit Mocktail:
Combine rosemary syrup, grapefruit juice, and club soda in a pitcher, or in individual cups and serve immediately over ice.
Garnish glasses with fresh rosemary sprigs and a slice of grapefruit if desired.
Make this mocktail even more fun by adding a cute umbrella.
1 liter orange juice
1 liter pineapple juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup almond syrup
1/2 cup grenadine
1 liter sparkling/seltzer water
oranges, limes, cherries for garnish
In a pitcher mix together orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and almond syrup.
You can keep this punch base in the fridge until party time.
Once ready to serve you can serve in individual glasses by adding ice to a cup, filling the cup 1/2 full of juice, adding a splash of grenadine and then topping it off with seltzer water and garnishing with fruit.
Superfood blueberries and anti-inflammatory ginger meet in a delicious mocktail that looks as good as it tastes!
4 cups water
1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
4 Tbsp powdered sugar
5 cups lemon-lime seltzer
Fresh mint leaves
Place the water, blueberries and fresh ginger in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add the sugar to the pot and stir to dissolve.
Lower the heat so the mix is just barely simmering.
Use the back of a rubber spatula to mash the blueberries.
Simmer the mix for about 15 minutes then remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool.
Once cooled, strain the blueberry syrup into a bowl. Press the blueberries into the strainer to get as much juice as possible out of them.
Fill your glasses with ice and then add about ⅔ cup blueberry ginger syrup to each glass. Top with the lemon-lime seltzer and garnish with a fresh mint leaf. Enjoy!
3 Mocktail Recipes That Will Fool You
These mocktail recipes taste like the real thing, using more advanced ingredients like bitters, teas, and non-alcoholic spirits.
This recipe features a non-alcoholic whiskey and bitters, making it an even more believable mocktail.
2 oz apple cider or apple juice
2 dashes bitters
Combine the first three ingredients in a tall glass with ice. Stir until cold. Pour over fresh ice, garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice, and serve.
For this recipe that isn’t as sweet, all you need is lemon juice, lime juice, tonic water, maple or simple syrup, and a splash of pickle juice to make it taste more like the real thing.
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon maple syrup or simple syrup
⅛ teaspoon pickle juice (optional but recommended!)
3 ounces tonic water
For the garnish: Lime wheel
Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of flaky sea salt (or for a festive look, use Margarita Salt).
In the serving glass, stir together the lime juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, and pickle juice (adds just the right funky flavor to mimic tequila). Add the tonic water and ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.
Spiced tea is the brilliant star of this clever recipe, and an Old Fashioned mixer takes it even closer to tasting like the real thing.
4 oz Spiced Tea, cooled (I used Good Earth Sweet and Spicy with flavors of cinnamon and orange)
1 oz Cocktail Crate Old Fashioned Mixer*
A dash of aromatic bitters, if desired
Orange peel, for garnish
Pour ingredients into a cup with ice and stir vigorously. Twist an orange peel to release oils and add to drink. Voila.
How To Make an Adrenal Cocktail
Featuring ingredients that have potassium, sodium and vitamin C, adrenal cocktails help boost your nutrient intake and balance your blood sugar. Serve in a fancy glass with a garnish and they make a great mocktail!
This basic adrenal cocktail has everything you need for a boost of energy any time of day. Add coconut milk or cream to make it taste more like a creamsicle!
4-6 oz coconut water
Pinch of sea salt
4-6 oz unsweetened orange juice
Juice of half a lemon
Combine all ingredients and pour over ice.
The key with adrenal cocktails is the combination of potassium, sodium and vitamin C. As long as you include ingredients that have them, you can get as creative as you want! Bernardi recommends adding cream and collagen peptides for an extra boost and an orange creamsicle-like flavor.
Whether you’re looking for a pick-me-up or a chance to wind down, a mocktail that tastes like the real thing or just an excuse to drink out of your fancy cocktail glasses, these mocktails are a great way to kick off your new year. Cheers to that!