3 Delicious Non-Alcoholic Cocktails

There are many reasons to reach for a mocktail over one of its alcoholic counterparts, but the bottom line is that sophisticated, non-alcoholic beverages can simply taste good. For inspiration for a few booze-free, crowd-pleasing drinks, we turned to the experts at Washington, D.C.-based Small Craft Liquors, a bespoke cocktail company that delivers fresh and innovative blends in party-ready batches to lucky customers in the nation’s capital. Whether you’ve committed to a “Dry January,” are looking for a more creative alternative to sparkling water to offer while entertaining, or just choose to skip the sauce, these three delicious options will make you want to raise a glass.

Bittersweet Cranberry Grapefruit Mocktail

We are always fans of a citrus-forward libation. Throw in some ginger-infused simple syrup, and you have our new favorite winter drink.

Yields 1 cocktail

For the cocktail:
2 ounces grapefruit juice
¾ ounce lemon juice
¾ ounce ginger syrup (see below)
3 ounces Fever Tree Tonic Water
1 Luxardo cherry

For the ginger syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
½ cup fresh ginger root

To make the syrup: Remove the thin skin of the ginger root with a spoon and cut it into small pieces. Bring the sugar and water to a simmer over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally.  Add the ginger root and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 3-6 hours. Strain your syrup through fine mesh and store in a glass bottle. Your ginger syrup will last up to 2 weeks when refrigerated.
To make the cocktail: Combine the grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and ginger syrup in a lowball glass with ice. Top with tonic water and stir for 15 seconds. Garnish your cocktail with one Luxardo cherry.
For those who wish to partake in a more potent version: Add 1.5 ounces of gin.

Fruity Island Mocktail

For something on the sweeter side, consider this cocktail, which combines pineapple juice, lime juice, and cranberry juice to create a tasty tropical mix.

Yields 1 cocktail

1 ounce pineapple juice
¾ ounce fresh lime juice (approximately the juice of 1 lime)
½ ounce cranberry juice
½ ounce Liber & Co. Almond Orgeat Syrup
2-3 ounces seltzer water
1 piece of orange zest, about 1-inch long

Combine the pineapple juice, lime juice, cranberry juice, and syrup in a shaker with ice and shake. Using a fine strainer, strain the cocktail into highball glass over crushed ice. Top with 2-3 ounces seltzer. Twist the orange zest piece, releasing the oils over your mocktail.
For those who wish to partake in a more potent version: Add 1.5 ounces of dark rum.

Lavender Limeade Mocktail

As pretty as it is delicious, this drink would be ideal for a summer soiree (though we plan to enjoy it year-round).

Yields 1 cocktail

For the cocktail:
6 ounces lavender limeade (see below)
2-3 ounces seltzer water
3 blackberries
1 sprig of mint

For the lavender limeade:
Yields approximately 2 servings
5 ounces sugar
8 ounces water
3 Tablespoons edible dried lavender flowers
6 ounces fresh lime juice (approximately the juice of 5 limes)

To make the limeade: Combine sugar, water, and lavender in a small saucepan over low to medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Bring mixture to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow the lavender to steep for at least 1 hour. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the lavender, and add the fresh lime juice to the liquid. Your limeade will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
To make the cocktail: Muddle blackberries in the bottom of a highball glass. Add the lavender limeade and ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
For those who wish to partake in a more potent version: Add 1.5 ounces of vodka.

TSG Tip 295 from Small Craft Liquors in Washington, D.C. Photography by Claire Harvey Photography. Small Craft Liquors is featured in The Scout Guide Washington, D.C.