Nothing says summer like an ice cold drink in your hand and the sun gleaming down on your face. After all, the sunny days spent by the water won't last forever. What could be a better way to spend your summer in style than by testing out some kid-friendly mocktails? Even if you are of age, sometimes you just need a lighter drink with half the calories of their alcoholic relatives. Hey, you can always keep a bottle of vodka or rum nearby for those guests who want to spice up their life with a spiked cocktail.
So what are the quintessential makings of great non-alcoholic cocktails? Complimentary flavors, fresh ice, and a little fizz are the three surefire steps to get you from start to finish. Who's got the time to sit in the kitchen crafting intricate beverages for hours when you can throw four everyday items together for a mind-blowing beverage experience?
When ease and taste meet in the middle harmoniously, there's no turning back. These mocktail recipes are tried and true crowdpleasers that won't rob your party-throwing self of time.
1. Sparkling Pineapple Mocktail
Nothing says summer like the words sparkling and pineapple. Have you ever been to a cocktail bar and ordered your drink, only to wait 10 minutes for it to be fully prepared? Talk about a buzz kill. It's summer, and you just want to have some clean fun in the sun, not wasting away making batch after batch of drinks to add to the infinitely empty punch bowl.
All you'll need for this sweet and sparkling goodness is Sprite, pineapple juice, and grenadine syrup. If you want to sub in another type of lemon-lime soda or nix the citrus for club soda, feel free to mix and match to your heart's desire. Find the recipe here.
2. Virgin Watermelon Margarita
If you've never had the pleasure of trying a watermelon margarita, with or without alcohol, you're truly missing out. This fruity twist on a classic will have you and your sugar-fiend friends bouncing off the walls with joy.
While this recipe calls for blended frozen watermelon and Sprite, you can turn this into a more margarita-style recipe with fresh lime juice or fresh lemon juice. Get the recipe.
3. Mango Meyer Lemon Margarita
If you've never experienced the excellence that is a Meyer lemon, you're missing out and going to fall in love with this concoction. Not only does it involve the use of the most delicious lemons, it includes a fresh mango purée. Don't be intimidated by this step, though. It's essentially making a margarita without the ice and boom: just like that, you have mango purée.
To spruce it up a bit, add sugar and a lemon slice to the rims of the glass, and a garnish of fresh mint or basil to top it all off. Get the recipe.
4. Blue Raspberry Italian Sodas
Italian sodas are a delicious summertime treat and serve as the best blank canvas for any flavors you want. While we went with the childhood classic of blue raspberry, you can choose any flavor from blackberry to apple.
Find a tall glass or a fancy highball glass, and enjoy this Italian cream soda mocktail that is actually better than ice cream if you can believe it. Find the recipe here.
5. Red, White, and Blue Lemonade
While the other adults may imbibe during all the summertime patriotic holidays, give the kids something fun to drink, too, with this lemonade recipe that is way more flavorful than store-bought lemonade mix will ever be.
Your non-drinking guests will enjoy their non-alcoholic drink in a fancy cup, no matter their age bracket. Find the recipe here.
6. Strawberry Lime Slush
This recipe relies on frozen strawberries, which means you don't even have to prep them before tossing them into the blender! They add the consistency that gives this slush a real icy feeling.
If you want to elevate the recipe, feel free to add a plain simple syrup or a lime syrup that brings forth that citrus flavor for a more lime mocktail than most. Find the recipe here.
7. Watermelon Lime Agua Fresca
A play on the classic Mexican refresher, this agua fresca is so bright and light, you might never add alcohol again. This mocktail, set apart by fresh mint leaves, can be elevated by using soda water or tonic water instead of plain ol' water.
For an even better twist, add a dash of limeade to enhance the citrus flavor. If you prefer a less pulpy version, simply use a fine mesh sieve or mesh strainer after blending the watermelon. Find the recipe here.
8. Sparkling Pear Punch
This autumn-inspired drink shouldn't be relegated to the holiday season only. Its use of apple cider and ginger ale brings forward a bright spice flavor. If you desperately want to turn this drink into a cocktail, you can always add ginger beer in its place.
If pear nectar is difficult to find, you can blend up canned pears with ice cubes for a cool treat that definitely gets the job done. Find the recipe here.
9. Mint Kiwi Lemonade
Another classic summer drink, this Mint Kiwi Lemonade uses sparkling water for a fizz factor, while keeping the rest of the ingredient list fresh and vibrant.
Serve this pretty drink in a copper mug to ensure the right temperature and if you're feeling risky, try a dash of grapefruit juice to the final product. Find the recipe here.
10. Raspberry Italian Cream Soda
Remember the Blue Raspberry Italian Soda above? This is its brighter, pinker cousin. While raspberry is a popular flavor for these drinks, consider switching it up and adding lavender syrup or even chocolate syrup for a delightfully dessert-like treat.
Find the recipe here, and don't be afraid to use cream in place of half-and-half if you like a thicker, more milkshake-like drink. If you're lactose-intolerant, feel free to swap in coconut milk or chocolate milk, depending on the flavors.