Hot & Cold Mocktail Recipes

Recently, I decided to take a month off from drinking alcohol. You can read more about that on the blog soon, but mainly I was looking to disrupt this habit in my life and just take a little break—like a reset button. During this 30-day period, I made lots of different kinds of mocktails (which are simply cocktails that don’t contain alcohol) and other yummy drinks. We’ve shared quite a few recipes for non-alcoholic drinks on the blog before, but I had a number of people ask me to share more from Instagram, so I thought I would.

So, first I figured out during my sober month that for me a big part of having an evening drink isn’t so much about the booze as it is about the ritual. I like to take a couple minutes to make a drink, whether it contains alcohol of not, and then take my time enjoying it. I might watch some TV, read a book, or chat with my husband. But it’s really more about taking a little time to chill out at the end of the day and I think for me those few minutes I take to actually put the drink together is almost a mini signal to my brain that says, “Good job, you’re done working today and now it’s time to take a break,” or something along those lines. Of course I do enjoy a boozy drink or glass of wine too; I’m not saying it’s the exact same thing as obviously alcohol does have an effect on our bodies/brain. But a big part of it for me is about taking a couple minutes to make a drink, and this little habit signals it’s break time.

That being said, I don’t usually make super elaborate mocktails. They are still usually very simple, just 2-3 ingredients. I also tend to keep them very low to no sugar, simply because I do make them most days, so I want them to be drinks that I feel good about having that often. I don’t really have that many “recipes” as I tend to just think of them as more a formula you can change up based on what you have or what you like. And since the weather is finally cooling off, I’m sharing both hot and cold drink options. 🙂

For a cold cocktail, I will use some kind of flavored sparkling water + fresh citrus + fresh herbs or berries. I sometimes add a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar (like 1/2 to 1 teaspoon). And sometimes I’ll mix one part sparkling water to one part kombucha (although kombucha does contain sugar, but I love the flavors and also getting some probiotics is great).

Using this formula, here’s a sample drink I made pretty often during my sober month. Half a teaspoon balsamic vinegar muddled with a couple big leaves of basil and a few raspberries or strawberries (whatever I had), then I’d add ice and fill the glass with a flavored sparkling water. Give that a stir and you’ve got a very flavorful and sort of strange (but I like it!) mocktail.

To make a non-alcoholic hot toddy, all you need is a flavorful tea + fresh lemon + a few spices (turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg—it’s up to you). I personally tend to stick with teas that are heavy on the ginger as I like that flavor alongside lemon, but you could also make something more fruity if you like.

I don’t usually drink coffee in the evenings unless it’s decaf, but in the afternoons I sometimes make what I like to call “frothy coffee,” so I just thought I’d share that here too. You simply take a cup of hot coffee and add it to a blender along with a tablespoon of coconut oil or butter (or a mixture of the two), add a couple pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg and blend well. It will get super frothy and it’s really delicious. This is especially great if you’re doing Keto as it contains a decent amount of fat and feels like drinking a latte. 🙂

Like to do shots? Try a shot of apple cider vinegar. 🙂 I also add this to my hot tea non-alcoholic hot toddies and it adds a little zing of flavor. I’d love to hear if you have any favorite mocktail or beverages you make when you’re avoiding alcohol! What are your favorite combinations or flavors? xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • After a month of several weddings (one being my own) and a honey moon with wine, cocktails and beer en masse I chose to take a sober month as well. One thing I really missed was having the option of a drink that wasn’t just sweet (like juice or soda) but had a more “adult” flavour. I ended up having great succes using tonic water as a base and then adding different syrups, sodas, juices, whatever was in my fridge. The tonic water balanced out the sweetness perfectly.
    I’m definitely going to give vinegar a go! I think a Shrub would make the perfect mocktail.

    • Try San Pellegrino grapefruit with tonic and a drop of rosewater. It is a great mix with or without a shot of gin.

  • I chose to take a sober month as well. One thing I really missed was having the option of a drink that wasn’t just sweet (like juice or soda) but had a more “adult” flavour.

  • so excited to try these! i haven’t drank since june and it’s been ze best. been saving so much money and excited to try my hand at making shrubs!

  • Love this post! I’m currently doing a sober month after enjoying a long (alcohol- and food-filled) vacation! Here are my go-to’s:
    – Ginger beer + sparkling water + lime for a virgin moscow mule vibe
    – Flavored sparkling water + drinking vinegar (strawberry basil is my favorite!)

    The drinking vinegars I’ve gotten at TJ’s have been delicious and they add a bit more texture/heaviness to sparkling water that mimics the mouthfeel of alcohol, if you’re into that sort of thing.

  • This is great! When I was pregnant, I really missed the option of having interesting crafted drinks. Sometimes you just want something a little more special than a la Croix. I’ve always been a fan of just flavored balsamic vinegar topped off with soda water, but even that gets old after awhile. I wish more restaurants would serve mocktails! It was always a bit of a bummer to go out with friends and have no options other than water or sprite.

  • There are some great alcohol free gins for cocktail making available now in Britain. I don’t know if they have travelled across the pond yet but Seedlip is great for mocktails. Plus iced teas and coffees and a nice non- sugary alternative x

  • Tonic water does have a ton of sugar; something to be mindful of. I often replace it with soda water and bitters.

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