Whether you’re quitting alcohol as a temporary post-Holidays detox, or making a more long-term commitment, going dry can be tricky. However, the increased rates of sobriety have seen the quality, not to mention quantity, of non-alcoholic spirits increase, too – and with them comes a host of non-alcoholic cocktail recipes to try.
From vodka, gin and rum replacements to standalone botanical concoctions, the diversity of non-alcoholic spirits means just about every classic cocktail can be enjoyed booze-free, with the added bonus of no sluggish feeling or dreaded hangover.
So, without further ado, here are our favorite mocktail recipes that might just have you converted.
Pentire Adrift – Apple & Thyme by Pentire Spirits
[Pictured above] In a county like Cornwall, which sits on the far western tip of England, nature reigns supreme. In a bid to savor the wild species that call this region home, Pentire’s founders worked closely with local botanists to create a non-alcoholic spirit that harnesses the power of Cornish plants. Both of its two spirits use only fresh, natural ingredients and are bottled by hand, in entirely plastic-free and recyclable packaging, making them simultaneously good for both us and the planet.
Its original release was Pentire Adrift, which is crafted from unique ingredients native to the North Cornwall coastline. Rock Samphire, sage and Cornish Sea Salt all come together to create a spirit that is distinctly saline yet delightfully refreshing. While its crisp flavors are strong enough to hold up with just tonic (the P&T is Pentire’s signature serve), its uniqueness makes for a delicious cocktail. We love the Pentire Adrift – Apple & Thyme, which cuts through the saltiness with honey and apple.
- 1¾ oz Pentire Adrift
- 1¾ oz fresh organic apple juice
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- Lemon wedge
- Sprig of thyme
- Splash of soda water
- Thin slice of apple
Measure the Pentire Adrift, apple juice, and honey into your chosen glass. Squeeze and drop in the lemon wedge. Stir before adding ice and a splash of soda. Garnish with a thin slice of apple and a sprig of thyme.
[See also: Sustainable Whisky and Spirits for Eco-Conscious Drinkers]
Golden Hour by New London Light
New London Light takes inspiration from the coastline in its unique flavor profiles / ©New London Light
The team at Salcombe Distilling Co. knows a thing or two about making great spirits, with its Start Point gin having garnered many an award. Last year, its founders harnessed this obvious gin-making prowess to make a non-alcoholic alternative that was every bit as delicious as the real thing. And so, New London Light was born.
At the end of 2021, two new aperitif-style drinks joined the collection. Like the original First Light, Aegean Sky and Midnight Sun are both made in-house at Salcombe Distilling Co.’s waterside distillery in Devon, England, and take inspiration from the coastline in their unique flavor profiles. Aegean Sky evokes memories of sun-drenched Mediterranean shores with its distinct citrus notes, while Midnight Sky looks north to Nordic lands through wild coastal berries, fresh pine and kelp. Naturally, such bold flavors are all but shouting out to be mixed into a non-alcoholic cocktail.
- 1¾ oz New London Light ‘Aegean Sky’
- ¾ New London Light ‘First Light’
- 1/8 oz Orgeat syrup
- 1/8 oz Lemon juice
- Orange peel
Add the ‘Aegean Sky’, ‘First Light’, orgeat syrup and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard for 15 seconds. Double strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass before garnishing with orange peel.
Electric Cosmopolitan by Three Spirit
Three Spirit’s alcohol-free collection calls on the natural world to deliver plant-driven punchy flavors / ©Three Spirit
Ah, the Cosmo. The ultimate party drink. Few ingredients, easy to make, impressively delicious, and most importantly, super strong. But what about when a super strong cocktail is off the menu? Introducing, the Electric Cosmopolitan by Three Spirt – all the fun of the original without the booze.
Three Spirit’s alcohol-free collection calls on the natural world to deliver plant-driven punchy flavors and alternative means of getting the alcohol-induced buzz. The Three Spirit Livener, for example, calls on guayusa for a dose of naturally occurring caffeine and schisandra berries that have the power to energize and balance. The bittersweet Social Elixir, on the other hand, has been carefully concocted to create a sense of calm, while Nightcap uses natural sleep aids to create the perfect nightcap.
- 2oz Three Spirit Livener
- 2oz cranberry juice
- 2 bar spoons lime juice
- ½ a barspoon Seville orange marmalade
- Candied cranberries
- Dried orange slice
Add all liquid ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker or mason jar and shake hard. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with candied cranberries and a wheel of dried orange.
Iced Rose Matcha Martini by Festivál Café
Festivál Café has an impressive selection of thoughtfully created non-alcoholic cocktails on its extensive menu / ©Festivál Café
For many, social events are where going dry becomes especially tricky. However, the ever-growing rise in sober partygoers has led to the hottest bars taking note, with mocktails now a staple on most menus.
Festivál Café, for example, has an impressive selection of thoughtfully created non-alcoholic cocktails on its extensive menu, including the Iced Rose Matcha Martini, which pair everyone’s favorite dairy alternative with green tea powder and rose syrup. Hailed as NYC’s first farm-to-table bar, Festivál is committed to only using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, making its mocktails both good for the planet and good for our health. Win win.
- Ceremonial grade matcha
- 6 oz oat milk
- 1 oz Barefoot farms Rose Geranium Syrup
- Sea salt
Add the matcha, oat milk and Rose Geranium Syrup to a cocktail tin with ice and shake. Roll the edge of a coupe glass into sea salt to create a rim. Double strain the cocktail into the salt-rimmed coupe.
Aro-Thyme by Monday Gin
Monday uses a careful blend of juniper, natural botanicals, citrus and spices to create its alcohol-free gin / ©Monday
Just like the classic London Dry, Monday uses a careful blend of juniper, natural botanicals, citrus and spices to create its alcohol-free gin. Thanks to its closeness to the real thing, Monday Gin is a great substitute in virtually any gin cocktail, from a martini (try Versin for non-alcoholic vermouth) to a Tom Collins.
The most popular gin serve, however, is of course the G&T. For a more exciting take on the classic, Monday recommends using an aromatic tonic and garnishing with fragrant thyme, as well as blackberry and lemon. It might only be January, but we can already picture sipping this on a long summer’s day.
- 2oz MONDAY Gin
- Aromatic Tonic
Add MONDAY Gin to a short glass over ice and top with Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon wedge before garnishing with thyme and a ripe blackberry or two.
See more Cocktail of the Week recipes here.