8 Global Mocktails That Are Almost the Real Thing

By Rachael Funk


Bon voyage parties are a gorgeous excuse to “wow” loved ones with your mixology expertise and humblebrag about your next trip. Stirring up signature cocktails from your travels is a no-brainer, but what about people who don’t drink?

Nothing dampens a festive mood quite like the same uninspired offerings of soda…purple stuff…Sunny D...for those who don’t imbibe. To help boost your rep as the best party host, here are a few alcohol-free cocktails from around the world.


England: Pimm’s Cup

• Oranges
• Cucumber
• Strawberries
• Fresh mint
• Lemon (optional)
• Lime (optional)
• 1.5 oz ginger beer
• ½ tsp good quality balsamic vinegar
• 1.5 oz chilled black tea (pro tip: oversteep the tea to replicate the astringency of the missing alcohol)
• ½ tsp dark brown sugar
• Lemonade or citrus soda
• Ice

An English classic, this fruity mix is a great refresher on a warm day. To start this recipe from Kristine Ofstad’s “Gluten Free Lifesaver” blog, slice up the cucumber, oranges, and optional lemon and lime. Quarter the strawberries. Fill a chilled glass with ice, fruit, and fresh mint leaves. Add ginger beer, tea, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. Stir. Fill the glass the rest of the way with lemonade or citrus soda. Add a straw for class and you’re ready to start sippin’!


Italy: Americano

• 2 oz pomegranate juice
• 5 dashes Angostura Bitters*
• Soda water
• Ice

A Kevin Liu original, this drink replicates the acidity and astringency of the drink, mixing bitter and sweet to create a comparable stand-in. To build, add the pomegranate juice to a rocks glass of ice and top with soda water. Dash the bitters on top and give the drink a gentle swirl to mix in some of the bitters. To enhance the aromatic experience of the drink, don’t mix the bitters in thoroughly; leave some floating.

*There is a negligible amount of alcohol in bitters, but if you need to go 100% alcohol free, no exceptions, there are bitters available without it.


Paris: White Lady

• 2 oz grapefruit juice
• ½ oz elderflower cordial
• ½ oz fresh lemon juice
• 1 fresh egg white
• Ice

A recipe from City of London Distillery brand ambassador, Alfie Amayo, this version stays true to the classic by providing a well-balanced flavor. To make this delicate mocktail, simply combine all the ingredients in a shaker full of ice, shake well, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Cuba: Mojito

• 2 – 3 sprigs fresh mint leaves
• ¼ lime (cut into smaller pieces)
• 2 oz Pineapple Shrub
• 4 oz lime seltzer
• 1/8 tsp natural almond extract
• Ice

This recipe from the Spiker’s Shrubs website mixes flavor notes of pineapple, molasses, and almonds to replace the rum in this popular Cuban favorite. To get started, throw some mint and the pineapple shrub into a tall mixing glass and muddle until fully incorporated. Add lime and muddle again. Crushing these ingredients releases oils and forces them to give up their flavor. To properly muddle, press down with your muddler and firmly twist back and forth.

Fill a chilled glass halfway with cracked ice and scoop the smashed mixture over the top. Gently add the seltzer and almond extract and stir just enough to mix without damaging the bubbles. Two dashes of Black Walnut Bitters can be substituted for almond extract to create a fuller herbal profile, but remember bitters do contain a tiny amount of alcohol unless expressly stated otherwise. Garnish with a mint leaf and a slice of lime.


United Kingdom: Gin and Tonic

• 1 ½ oz Seedlip Garden 108
• 4 oz tonic water
• Lime
• Ice

British officers in India created the gin and tonic in the 19th century. Today, Seedlip has devised a fresh, non-alcoholic spirit with herbal notes of spearmint, rosemary, and thyme that makes an excellent stand-in for gin. Start with a tall glass with ice. Add the Seedlip Garden 108 and top with tonic. Give it a light stir, garnish with lime wheels, and you’re in business!


United States: Whiskey Smash

• 7 – 8 blueberries
• 1 stripped sprig of rosemary
• 1 oz honey syrup
• 1 oz fresh lemon juice
• 4 oz sparkling mineral water
• Ice

Ok, this recipe deviates a little more from the classic whiskey smash you may know and love, but Town and Country Magazine’s bright, aromatic play on the classic deserves attention. In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, gently muddle the blueberries, rosemary leaves, and honey syrup. Add lemon juice and vigorously shake with ice until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a tall glass, filled halfway with fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and gently stir to mix. Garnish with blueberries as desired.


Mexico: Paloma

• ½ c grapefruit juice
• 1 tbsp agave nectar
• ½ c club soda
• ¼ c fresh lemon juice
• Ice

Julie Height offers this mocktail elixir on her website, Sober Julie, calling it “the perfect non-alcoholic version” of a Paloma. To mix up this quick refreshment, first rim a small glass with salt and add ice. Pour the grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and agave syrup over the ice and stir to mix. Top with club soda and stir lightly to incorporate the soda. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.


Bermuda: Dark’n’Stormy

For each drink:
• 1 oz spicy ginger syrup
• ½ oz allspice syrup
• 1 oz fresh lime juice
• Chilled seltzer
• Ice

Spicy ginger syrup:
• ¾ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
• 2¼ c fresh ginger, peeled
• 17 oz water
• 2 c sugar
• 2½ tsp citric acid

Allspice syrup:
• ½ c allspice
• 6 black peppercorns
• 10 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• ½ whole nutmeg
• 18 oz water
• 1 ½ c of sugar

Playfully dubbed a “Light and Drizzly” by creator Kevin Liu, this alcohol-free version of a Dark’n’Stormy is worth the effort of the two extra steps! Your guests will be transported to Bermuda with this recipe that is brought to life by its innovative infused syrups.

To make the spicy ginger syrup:
Cut peeled ginger into centimeter-long strips and simmer in the water for 20 minutes. Strain out the ginger solids and stir in the sugar and citric acid until dissolved. Add cayenne pepper to taste. Extra syrup can be stored in the fridge for about a week.

To make the allspice syrup:
Combine allspice, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water in a blender. Blend on a low setting for five minutes. Carefully filter mixture through a fine strainer lined with cheesecloth. Stir in sugar and let sit. This syrup will also last about a week in the fridge.

Light and Drizzly:
Pour the spicy ginger syrup, allspice syrup, and lime juice to a shaker full of ice. Shake well until the mixture is thoroughly chilled. Strain into a rocks glass of ice, fill the rest of the way with seltzer, and enjoy!

For those who prefer cocktails with alcohol, you may find these hangover cures helpful as well!

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