15 Easy Fruity Mocktail Recipes to Enjoy This Summer

15 Easy Fruity Mocktail Recipes to Enjoy This Summer

You’ve probably started noticing bar menus stacked with summery, non-alcoholic drinks, but if you’re craving one at home, you can easily craft your own fruity mocktails with simple staples you may already have in your fridge.

Like their cocktail counterparts, mocktails—a.k.a. zero-proof, virgin, or booze-free beverages—embody lively mixtures of refreshing ingredients, making them fun, tasty choices to serve at your next dinner party, BBQ, or any get-together.

And there’s no better way to experiment with these drinks than infusing them with different kinds of fruit, Julie Reiner, co-owner of The Clover Club and Leyenda in Brooklyn, judge of Netflix’s Drink Masters, and author of The Craft Cocktail Party, tells SELF. These easy-to-come-by ingredients—whether that’s a juicy mango, ripe peach, or tart raspberry—act as the base of your drink and, depending on the fruit, add the essence of fresh nectars, vibrant hues, and silky or frothy textures.

If you’re serving mocktails at your next gathering, the drink’s recipe isn’t the only thing to keep in mind. Beyond the taste, you also want to make sure you’re crafting an environment where folks choosing not to drink don’t feel alienated. That means giving mocktails the same care in presentation that you would give to cocktails. (“There is always a way to provide something so that everyone gets to feel fancy,” Reiner says. More on that below!)

For some inspiration for your zero-proof journey, we’ve rounded up 15 mocktail recipes crafted with fruity yet innovative flavors—including two from Reiner herself. But before we get into those delicious drinks, keep reading for a few tips that’ll help you master your mocktails.

How do you avoid making overly sweet mocktails?

Nothing is worse than a too-sweet mocktail that overwhelms your palate. Thankfully, there are a bunch of things you can do to avoid this common mistake, and it starts with being mindful of the ingredients you use. Mixology—which, yes, includes alcohol-free drinks—is all about balancing intense flavors. You want to find harmony among sweet, sour, and bitter, Reiner says.

You should also do a taste test of the fruit you’ll be using to get a sense of its ripeness and freshness. For instance, if you’re working with a sweet mango purée, you may want to combine it with tangy limes. (In fact, Reiner says she always keeps a couple of limes on hand when making fruity mocktails.) Another example: If you have tart cherries, you can pair them with a creamy base, like coconut milk, which should calm down the sourness of the fruit.

Then, Reiner says, get your hands on some bitters. These extracts made from plants (like bark, flowers, and roots) help to enhance your drink—just like salt does your food—and more alcoholic-free bitters brands are now hitting the market. For the best fruity mocktails, the powerful droplets of bitters, though minuscule, help ensure “you have your sweet and sour in balance,” she says.

How can you elevate your non-alcoholic drinks?

“Vinegars are such a great way to add acidity,” Reiner says. Not only does vinegar help balance sweetness, but it also adds depth to a drink. You can incorporate vinegar into your fruity, booze-free beverages by making a “shrub”: This syrup consists of equal parts sugar, fruit, and vinegar and pairs perfectly with a dash of sparkling water. Since mocktails nix the powerful punch of alcohol, shrubs can offer alternative matured flavors—similar to what you’d get by infusing an aged wine or spirit into a recipe.

Another tip: Think about where and how you’re serving them. Forget about those sad-looking side tables with boring pitchers and one non-alcoholic option. Instead, consider having several alternatives on hand—like you probably would for cocktails—and serving them in fun containers like stained coupe glasses.

Remember the power of garnishes too. Just as you’d dress up a cocktail, mocktails deserve a level-up as well. For example, try assembling a lemon twist instead of adding a traditional wedge; that way, you don’t waste the rinds. Or consider incorporating fresh herbs like mint as a finishing touch.

Okay, now that you’re a master mixologist, on to the fruity mocktail recipes!

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