Spirit free cocktails or “mocktails” were once thought of as beverages for teetotalers and for those underage. However, there’s an increasing trend of imbibers who monitor their intake and seek alternative drinks that are just as complex and exciting to their go-to cocktails. As a result, there’s been a growth in zero-proof spirits that mimic a range of traditional spirit flavors like whiskey, tequila, and gin.
With this evolution in the spirits world, the colloquial “mocktail” term has become passé. These non alcoholic options have shifted the industry’s branding to spirit free, zero-proof, booze-free, no-proof, and N/A cocktails. These offer a whole new landscape for those who, for whatever reason, decide not to drink.
We’ve put together this list of spirit free cocktails with the interest of using common ingredients and not adding more bottles to your shopping list. We’ve chosen these traditionally alcoholic cocktails whose ingredients stand well on their own without their spirit component. With that being said, these cocktails would also be ideal to introduce zero-proof spirits to your bar collection.
The Florodora traditionally combines muddled raspberries, lime juice, and ginger beer with gin. When the gin is excluded, a complex but balanced and refreshing non alcoholic drink is left. Its flavor is slightly fruity-citrus with an exciting bite.
Here’s a great tropical cocktail that has all the flavors that are expected to be served at the beach. The Planter’s Punch mixes pineapple juice, lime juice, orange juice, grenadine, with dark rum. Drop the rum and this booze-free drink still has the same feeling of being transported to an exotic faraway island.
Beautiful and easy to make, the Tequila Sunrise is a classic. Simply hold the tequila and this orange juice and grenadine drink becomes just as stunning to look at. While Mick Jagger likely wouldn’t deign to have his much loved Tequila Sunrise booze-free, it’s still a great alternative for the non-rock star.
We admit that there’s hardly anything Kentucky about this drink when the bourbon is removed. However, mixing a muddled strawberry, fresh lemon juice, and ginger beer creates an exciting and refreshing spirit free drink. The flavor is citrus-sweet with a bite, perfect for sipping on a hot summer afternoon.
Consider the Ramos Gin Fizz an adult milkshake. It has all the creaminess of a shake without the tooth-ache inducing sweetness. It uses common house hold ingredients and becomes spirit free when you leave out the gin. It blends lemon juice, lime juice, cream, an egg white, and soda water together creating a complex and intriguing no-proof drink.
This brunch classic might be hard to imagine non alcoholic, but not only is it vitamin-packed, it tastes relatively the same without vodka. The Bloody Mary or the Canadian Bloody Caesar can easily be made spirit free without sacrificing any flavor. Simply mix tomato or clamato juice with lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and your favorite hot sauce.
Another tropical favorite, the Painkiller is a rich and fruity cocktail. This drink is typically made with rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cream of coconut. It easily becomes a creamy-citrus spirit free drink when rum is removed. The Painkiller still maintains the power of feeling transported to a tropical island where your troubles can melt away.
This positively pink cocktail painlessly becomes a non alcoholic drink when its rum base is removed. Simply swap the maraschino liqueur for maraschino cherry juice and mix it with pineapple juice and grenadine. Its fruity-sweet flavor can be easily cut with a little citrus with a simple squeeze of a lime wedge.
Typically a three-ingredient simply-made cocktail, the Sea Breeze becomes spirit free when made sans vodka. Combine the remaining grapefruit juice and cranberry juice ingredients over ice for a refreshing zero-proof drink. We recommend topping with soda water to balance its dry-tart flavor.
Typically a seasonal drink, the Apple Ginger Snap is a flavorful mixed drink. Best enjoyed in the fall when fresh apple cider is available, it mixes the apple cider with ginger beer, lemon juice, and bourbon. Simply hold the bourbon and this richly flavored drink becomes non alcoholic.