Best Summer Mocktail Recipes

Feeling the warming sensation of beaming sunshine, hearing the buzz of play, laughter, and singing birds—there's nothing quite like the start of summer. And as the temperatures continue to rise, reaching for a refreshing and sometimes fruit-filled beverage is precisely what we need to revel in the beauty of summertime.

If you're looking for a nonalcoholic counterpart to your favorite summertime libations, check out a few recipes below. We sadly can't live on margaritas and pina Coladas, so turn to these when you need a refreshing pick-me-up on a hot summer day.

Ready for our list of best summer mocktails? Let's dive in and get sippin'.

Summer Mocktail Recipes

There are a few alcohol-based classics that transition perfectly into a mocktail variation. Summertime favorites like Pina Coladas, mojitos, Palomas, and the lesser-known jungle bird cocktail create perfect foundations for sipping sans alcohol.

Let's look at the best mocktail recipes for enjoying these well-known libations throughout the summer.

Pina Colada

The pineapple and coconut flavors in a pina colada are practically synonymous with summertime and tropical adventures. While the drink is typically made with rum, eliminating it is just as delicious.

Originating in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the pina colada remains highly demanded. Like many cocktails that endure the test of time, who can take credit for creating the first pina colada remains a point of debate. However, the Caribe Hilton states their own Ramon Marrero crafted the first iteration back in 1954. And in 1978, the drink was named the official drink of Puerto Rico! Talk about a well-loved cocktail.

Because we hold so much love for its alcoholic origins, we want to share the best (and simplest) summer mocktail recipe that allows everyone to enjoy the classic pineapple and coconut flavors:

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cream of coconut
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 4 cups of ice
  • Fresh pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries for garnish

Recipe Steps

  • Set aside one cup of ice.
  • Add three cups of ice and all other ingredients into a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Add in the final cup of ice, if needed, and blend until desired consistency is achieved.

Pour the frozen, blended deliciousness into your favorite summertime glass and garnish with a wedge of pineapple and a maraschino cherry. Sit back, relax, and envision memories of beach time fun.

Mojito

We can't create a list of the best summer mocktails without including the mojito! Like the pina colada, mojitos are another summertime classic made with rum. Adding mint, lime, and fizzing soda create refreshing, crisp flavors perfect for beating the summertime heat.

Mojito origins date back to the sixteenth century, where a similar cocktail, The El Draque, was made with an ingredient called aguardiente instead of rum. Aguardiente is a spirit that proceeded rum. The El Draque contained aguardiente, lime, mint, and sugar. Over time, the spirit base got replaced by rum and became the mojito that is well-loved today. While the reason behind this transition remains unclear, the mojito first appeared in a 1932 cocktail manual published by the famous Havana watering hole called Sloppy Joe's.

The timeless flavors of the mojito make it a top contender for the best summer mocktail (or cocktail if you're up for some rum). See how to make our mocktail variation below.

Ingredients

  • 1 lime cut into four wedges
  • 0.75oz simple syrup
  • 10-15 mint leaves
  • 6oz club soda

Recipe Steps

  • Add the lime wedges and honey syrup to the bottom of your glass and muddle.
  • Add in the mint leaves and muddle lightly, just enough to release fragrant oils.
  • Fill your glass with ice and top it off with club soda.
  • Stir until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Garnish with an additional sprig of mint, and enjoy!

Paloma

One of the most frequently ordered tequila-based cocktails in the summertime is the margarita. But have you heard of the Paloma? Its standard variation combines tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda in a salt-rimmed glass. It's easy to make and delivers a unique spin tequila-based refreshment.

While the margarita is a Mexican cocktail that is wildly popular in the United States, the Paloma outranks it back in its original home across the border. It also aligns with the running theme of bartending historians remaining uncertain about its first creation. Some say it stemmed from a famous 1860s folk song called La Paloma, while others say it came about in the 1950s when famed Mexican bartender Don Javier Delgado Corona created it in Tequila, Mexico. Wherever the inspiration came from, we know one thing is true: Palomas are downright delicious.

Because the main staple of the drink is grapefruit soda, it's important to note the many varieties that one can leverage when making it. Jarritos is a staple soda brand throughout Mexico that delivers the essential grapefruit flavor, and Squirt is another contender. Both are easy to locate in the U.S., but options like Ting and Fresca also work well. Some people prefer utilizing grapefruit juice instead and to top it off with club soda for the same fizz effect.

Palomas can also translate well without the alcohol, which is why it landed a spot on our best summer mocktail list. Learn how to make it below!

Ingredients

  • 2oz grapefruit juice
  • 2oz agave syrup
  • 1oz lime juice
  • 2oz club soda
  • Pinch of salt*
  • Ice

*Utilizing salt is optional, as it is only for rimming the glass. You can also swap in Tajin or another spiced salt mix if you want a kick of heat.

Recipe Steps

  • Add all ingredients into a shaker tin, except club soda.
  • Add ice and shake.
  • Strain and pour into a glass with fresh ice.
  • Top off with club soda.
  • Garnish with a grapefruit slice, if preferred.
  • Enjoy!

Mint Julep

Many people associate whiskey drinking with the colder months of the year, but you may have a different experience if you're from Kentucky. The Mint Julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938 and is the perfect way to cool off under the hot summertime sun. That said, the cocktail dates to the 1700s when it was a medicinal remedy for settling an upset stomach.

The classic recipe calls for bourbon, mint, and sugar over crushed ice. But now, thanks to Hayley Charles working at a Denver bar called Carbon, we have a recipe for a nonalcoholic variation—the cold brew julep! Check out the recipe below:

Ingredients

  • 3oz cold brew
  • 0.5oz simple syrup
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 10mg lavender bitters (optional)

Recipe Steps

  • Add 5 mint leaves to the bottom of a rock's glass and muddle them lightly.
  • Top with a small amount of crushed ice.
  • Stir in simple syrup and cold brew.
  • Top off with more crushed ice.
  • Add lavender bitters, if desired.
  • Garnish with remaining sprigs of mint and enjoy!

Best Easy to Make Summer Mocktails

Now that we've looked at some of the best ways to turn classic cocktails into summertime mocktails let's look at a few other ideas. The following recipes don't necessarily stem from a historical summertime staple but instead combine traditional summer flavors for the best mocktail sipping experience.

Check out a few ideas below!

Raspberry Tea Punch

This recipe comes to us courtesy of New York City-based bartender Megan Marshall. She created the beverage to offer her bar guests looking for a unique, nonalcoholic summer refreshment. Check out her recipe below!

Ingredients

  • 2oz brewed, herbal raspberry tea (chilled)
  • 1oz pineapple juice
  • 0.5oz lime juice
  • 0.25oz simple syrup
  • Rosemary sprig for garnish

Recipe Steps

  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add ice and shake.
  • Strain into a glass over fresh ice.
  • Garnish with a rosemary sprig. If you want an additional, showstopping flare, put a flame up to the rosemary sprig until it lets off a thin tendril of smoke. Doing so is an excellent trick for impressing guests and eliciting a unique aroma, but please proceed with caution.
  • Sip and enjoy!

Strawberry Cooler

Strawberries are a perfect fruit to snack on in the summertime. They also make an excellent foundation for a summertime mocktail! Learn how to make a strawberry mocktail perfect for relaxing on a hot day.

Ingredients

  • 3 sliced and hulled strawberries6 basil leaves
  • 1oz lime juice
  • 0.75oz simple syrup
  • 6oz club soda

Recipe Steps

  • Add the strawberries, basil, lime juice, and simple syrup to the bottom of your glass.
  • Lightly muddle the ingredients.
  • Add ice and top off with club soda.
  • Gently stir until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Sit back, relax, sip, and enjoy!

Cucumber Mint Fizz

Cucumber is another flavor essential to creating the best summer mocktail list. Like the mojito recipe, this recipe includes mint and lime but takes it up a notch by adding cucumber. If you want a kick of spice, add in a slice of fresh jalapeno to awaken the senses!

Check out the recipe below.

Ingredients

  • 1oz lime juice
  • 0.75oz honey syrup
  • 10-15 mint leaves
  • 3 slices of cucumber
  • 1 slice fresh jalapeno (optional)
  • 6oz club soda

Recipe Steps

  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add ice and shake.
  • Strain into your glass over fresh ice.
  • Top with club soda.
  • Garnish with an additional sprig of mint.
  • Enjoy!

Best Summer Mocktails to Mix with Mixly

There you have it, folks! Our top picks for the best summer mocktails. If you want to minimize effort and create mocktails with a quick stir, try swapping in Mixly's mixers to elicit similar flavor profiles to the mocktails listed above. If you're looking for a quick way to build, stir, and serve, try swapping in some of these flavors for summer mocktail sipping:

 

Mix it up with Mixly or get creative with unique recipes. However you decide to sip on mocktails this summer, we hope your cup fills with all the sunshine and fun you desire. Cheers!

 

Sources:

Forbes: Where Was the Pina Colada Born?

Liquor.com: 6 Things You Should Know About the Pina Colada

Difford's Guide: Paloma History

VinePair: Nonalcoholic Cocktail Recipes from Top Bartenders