What Are Mocktails?

Have you ever drunk an alcohol-free cocktail like a Shirley Temple or a virgin piña colada? If so, congratulations. You’ve had a mocktail.

The word mocktail is a combination of two words, “mock” and “cocktail.” And like the name suggests, it’s a mixed drink trying to mimic a cocktail. In other words, it’s a cocktail without the alcohol. Just like regular cocktails, mocktails come in a range of flavors. Some are sweet and fruity, while others may taste sour or even bitter.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at mocktails, and touch on what separates a regular old mocktail from a good one.

Are Mocktails a Good Alcohol Substitute?


When done right, mocktails are an excellent substitute for an alcoholic drink. That’s because a good mocktail is carefully crafted using ingredients that add complexity to the flavor profile. On the other hand, a bad mocktail might taste like juice or syrup mixed with carbonated water.

Fortunately, the growing popularity of non alcoholic drinks has inspired mixologists to take a closer look at mocktails. There’s a growing number of bars and restaurants that now offer high-quality mocktails with sophisticated flavors that actually do imitate the taste of gin, whiskey, vodka, and other alcoholic bartending essentials.

Why Do People Drink Mocktails?

Perhaps they’re the designated driver for the evening, or maybe they don’t drink alcohol for personal reasons.

There are countless reasons why people prefer mocktails over alcoholic drinks. One of the biggest reasons is because the drinking culture in the United States and Europe is changing. Millennials and Gen Zs are adopting healthier lifestyles, which has inspired a growing number of people from these generations to reduce their monthly alcohol intake or stop drinking alcohol completely.

But just because they’re drinking less alcohol doesn’t mean Millennials and Gen Zs don’t enjoy socializing at bars and clubs with their friends. They do, which is why more establishments are increasing their range of non alcoholic beer and wine.

The global non alcoholic fad isn’t going away anytime soon. Its industry is expected to reach a massive $1.60 trillion by 2025 as the popularity of non alcoholic and alcohol free drinks continues to grow. Restaurants and bars are expanding their non alcoholic inventory to cater to customers who enjoy alcohol free adult beverages.

Melbourne recently welcomed Australia’s first non alcoholic bar to accommodate customers who prefer mocktails and other non alcoholic drinks.

Have you ever drunk an alcohol-free cocktail like a Shirley Temple or a virgin piña colada? If so, congratulations. You’ve had a mocktail.

What to Look for in a Good Mocktail

Even though mocktails had the reputation for being “kiddie drinks” for the longest time, that perception is slowly changing. More people are realizing that there’s more to mocktails than your Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers.

These days, mocktails are more than sober versions of their alcohol-free counterparts. When done right, they’re specialty drinks that pack an adult taste without the unwanted effects of alcohol. But there’s more that goes into making delicious mocktails than simply leaving out the alcohol. That’s why we’ve created a list of things to look for in a good mocktail.

1. Quality ingredients

There’s no alcohol in mocktails, which means people drink them for their flavor. That’s why skilled bartenders and mixologists choose fresh ingredients when making a good mocktail. If you’re making your own mocktail at home, ditch the mixers you buy at the store and choose your own ingredients. Try mashing your own berries, adding a sprig of fresh mint, or squeezing your own lemons and limes.

2. Complex flavors

A good mocktail is like a fine wine. When you drink it, you want to experience a wide range of flavors that excite your tastebuds. Otherwise, you would’ve probably ordered juice instead.

Choose a mocktail that uses a mixture of ingredients that contribute to its rich flavor. A good mocktail might include something like dandelion greens for bitterness or verjus for sourness. These ingredients add to the drink’s flavor without overpowering it, meaning you get a more sophisticated drink.

3. The taste of alcohol

Alcohol has a very distinct bittersweet flavor. Most people who drink cocktails like the flavor alcohol adds to the drink. And when a mocktail doesn’t replicate that taste, it feels like something’s missing.

A good mocktail should replicate the flavor of alcohol by adding something that packs a similar punch. Ingredients like ginger and chilies can be used to simulate the tingling sensation you get from drinking alcohol, and you can use black tea to mimic its bitterness.

Another way to replicate the taste of alcohol is by adding a non alcoholic spirit to your mocktail. In case you’re wondering, non alcoholic spirits are drinks designed to emulate the flavor of various types of alcohol using a blend of herbs and other ingredients. Popular ones include:

Seedlip non alcoholic spirits trio: This bundle includes three distinct flavors––citrus, aromatic, and herbal. Choose the right one for your mocktail, or drink them alone

Ritual Zero Proof Tequila: Take your next margarita or tequila sunrise mocktail to the next level with a tequila alternative that tastes just like the real thing

Lyre’s White Cane Spirit: This spirit is perfect for when you want to add a whiskey or rum flavor to your drink. Perfect for mojitos, daiquiris, and drinks mixed with soda

Arkay Alcohol Free Vodka: This award-winning drink is the ideal ingredient for your next mocktail. Enjoy the taste and tingling sensation of good vodka, without the hangover the next day

Aplós: This one-of-a-kind spirit infuses the subtle flavors of citrus, ginger, and rosemary. The result is a unique and refreshing drink that adds a little extra kick to your mocktail

If we had to describe the flavor of a good mocktail in one word, it would be “elegant.”

The Real Spill

If we had to describe the flavor of a good mocktail in one word, it would be “elegant.”

Like other non alcoholic drinks, mocktails have come a long way over the past few years. They’re not the same run-of-the-mill virgin daiquiris that you drank as a kid. There’s a growing number of customers who appreciate a non alcoholic adult beverage, and will pay premium prices for a mocktail with high-quality ingredients.