Skip to main content

Our 5 favorite summer mocktails (they’re all bartender approved)

It's summer mocktail season

A pair of mocktails
Jay Gajjar / Unsplash

Summer is just around the bend, on the verge of treating us to refreshing beverages, outdoor cookouts, and some much-needed time off. For those who prefer a functional daytime drink or are just cutting back, a great mocktail recipe is just the thing. These drinks can have the complexity of their traditional counterparts but, alas, no booze.

Here are a few great summer mocktails to whip up this sunny season.

Pine Creek

Pine Creek mocktail.
The Desmond

This drink comes courtesy of The Desmond in San Diego and blends punchy yuzu with a unique sweetening agent. If you don’t feel like making your own floral simple syrup, fret not as the stuff is pretty readily available online.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce yuzu
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces lavender simple syrup
  • Soda to finish

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a Collins glass with crushed ice.
  2. Stir and top with soda.
  3. Garnish with a lavender flower.

Akira

Akita mocktail.
The Desmond / The Desmond

We like the above mocktail so much we couldn’t help but include one more from the SoCal establishment. This one is deceptively good for how relatively simple the drink is. Just remember to use fresh citrus, a top bartender tip.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 ounces lemon juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 1/4 ounce sesame oil
  • Black pepper for garnish

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a lowball glass with large cube of ice and stir.
  2. Garnish with black pepper.

Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle mocktail.
The Desmond / The Desmond

We’re pulling up a seat at the bar at The Desmond and staying for a while. Here’s another great offering.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Lyre’s Bitter Orange
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce demerara

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a lowball glass with ice and garnish with cherry, pineapple frond, and dehydrated lime.

Sparkling Lemon Rasp

Sparling Lemon Rasp.
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino / Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino

This mocktail from Hyatt Regency Aruba has summer written all over it. We can’t imagine a better use of fresh berries, so go that route and muddle yourself in you can. Otherwise, some standard juice mixes will work just fine.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces of NA beer
  • 1 ounce raspberry mix
  • 1 ounce lemonade mix
  • Mint and raspberry leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. Add raspberry mix & lemonade mix into a shaker, then shake for 5-8 seconds.
  2. Top off with the non-alcoholic beer and garnish with raspberries and mint leaves.

Eastside Garden

Eastside Garden mocktail.
Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf / Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf

Green and refreshing, this drink from Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf in St Barts is one of our favorites.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Seedlip Garden non-alcoholic spirit
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/5 ounce simple syrup
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 3 cucumber slices
  • 5 basil leaves

Method:

  1. Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice cubes and shake well.
  2. Strain and pour into a coupette glass and garnish with two basil leaves.

Don’t stop there. We’ve got more in that department, including 17 of the best mocktail recipes and best coffee mocktails. Here’s to a productive summer ahead.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
This is our new favorite cold brew concentrate for nightcaps and coffee cocktails
Try this cold brew concentrate in everything from desserts to cocktails
People enjoying coffee cocktails.

Some people can have a cup of coffee at 9 p.m. and go right to sleep. The rest of us need to stop drinking caffeine by noon to even try to get to bed at a decent time. But if an end-of-the-day nightcap has you craving something with a coffee flavor, how can you make sure you won't be up all night? The crew at The Manual sampled Explorer's Cold Brew Concentrate — sans caffeine — and wants you to try it shaken, not stirred, in your next espresso martini.
The cold, concentrated truth

Before you make your first creation, know Explorer Cold Brew cares about offsetting emissions, the environmental impact of the whole process, and sourcing organic, fair-trade beans. The company also gives back, with every gourmet purchase leading to a donation to Charity:Water, which brings clean drinking water to areas without it. Every sip of your coffee-themed drink using Explorer Cold Brew is important — remember that.
Pick your caffeine level
Yes, there is a 99.9% caffeine-free option for those late-night drinks to help you unwind. But if you wanted your martini to give you an extra pick-me-up before your night out, choose one of the caffeinated options.
Find your flavor
For the cost of one cup of coffee from Starbucks, you can add a flavor to your cold brew. You could never go wrong with vanilla, but the choice of sea salt caramel is there if you feel adventurous.
Make it an elite elixir
A coffee cocktail will ease you into bed if you add an elixir. The Dreamer is perfect for sleepy time, and The Optimist is there to help you unwind.
A little goes a long way
Remember, this is cold brew concentrate. Don't give the $45 price any side eye. One 32oz bottle will make 20 cups of coffee, making the price per cup around $2.25. Do you know the last time you had cold brew that cheap? Don't lie.
Decaf doesn't have to mean disappointing

Read more
The transfusion drink is our favorite golf cocktail — here’s how to make it
Vodka, grape juice, ginger ale, and lime. What's not to love?
Transfusion cocktail

Sure, golf is a great game. It’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon in the sun, even if your last name isn't Woods, Scheffler, Mickelson, or Spieth. If you don’t take it too seriously (and don’t spend all day stuck in sand traps), it’s a fairly stress-free leisure activity. The best part? After you finish the back nine, you can head to the clubhouse for a much-deserved cocktail. That is if you didn’t spend the whole eighteen holes downing Miller Lites.

And while there are countless famous golf course cocktails like the Azalea and the always popular Old Fashioned, we don’t think a day at the golf club is complete without a refreshing, flavorful Transfusion.
What is a Transfusion?

Read more
Burnt ends are a BBQ favorite — here’s how to make them
Level up your barbecue game with these incredibly delicious burnt ends
Burnt ends

Burnt ends are all the rage, and honestly, we can't believe this hasn't always been the case. What started as a "family meal" (the meal served to the restaurant staff, typically made up of leftovers and scraps) has become one of the most coveted menu items at any barbecue joint worth its salt. Despite the name making it sound like these are just overdone pieces of meat, burnt ends BBQ is a delicacy that you simply must try.
S,o how can you create these incredibly juicy, fatty, and flavorful little meat candies at home? Don't worry, we've got you covered with a great burnt ends recipe. All you need are a few ingredients and a smoker.

What are burnt ends?

Read more