Taste's like a cocktail, but doesn't leave a headache.
Mocktails are your new spirit-free summer treat. Cocktails sans alcohol have been around most likely since the mixed alcoholic beverage was invented, circa 1916 according to its first recorded usage as documented by Merriam-Webster. Ever heard of the Shirley Temple? The world’s most famous blend of ginger ale, grenadine and citrus with a maraschino cherry garnish is also believed to be the world’s first mocktail.
Since then, zero-proof drinks (as mocktails are also known in modern hospitality) have entire books and bars dedicated to them. While some people who don’t consume alcohol seek them out for their lack of hangover-inducing qualities, others simply enjoy the flavors and creativity mocktails have to offer even the most sophisticated palates today.
Want to impress drinkers and non-drinkers alike?
If you know the recipe for a cocktail and have a sense of its dominant aromatics (citrus, caramel or olive, for example) and its garnishes, you can actually achieve the same depth in a mocktail. You’re guaranteed to surprise both the full-proof cocktail lovers in your life and your casual picnic buddies this weekend, and all summer long! If you want to “health-ify” your boozy cocktails, you can still integrate some of the herbal allies below for an added wellness boost to the summer drinks you already know and love.
Benefits of Mocktails
No need for a designated driver after downing a pitcher of virgin sangria because unlike traditional cocktails, mocktails can be enjoyed without getting intoxicated! Even if you’re not planning to operate any heavy machinery or get behind the wheel, mocktails’ many benefits are worth the swap for herbal, booze-free ingredients. Did you know …
- Mocktails make your liver and gut happy.
- Mocktails can help equalize social situations and make them enjoyable for all. No awkward refusing alcohol; everyone can enjoy mocktails.
- No hangovers. Your head will thank you!
- Mocktails are generally safe for children and pregnant people.
- Mocktails may provide a healthy alternative for recovering addicts, without anyone having to disclose personal information … mocktails for all!
The Anatomy of a Cocktail/Mocktail
Here are some important foundational terms and tricks of the trade to create memorable mocktails using cocktail recipes and artistry as a point of reference:
The foundation of a delicious drink is achieved by using the right proportions of spirits. But in the case of mocktails, this is swapped for your chosen tonic, elixir, or main herb maceration of sorts, along with the right balance of sweet and sour elements.
The essence of your drink is what gives you the aromatic pop, and the general impression you want people to take away from each sip.
The finish is the elegant garnish, or aromatic element. And of course, the spirit of your mocktail is the magical intention, prayer and vibrational medicine you wish to add.
Since the mocktail recipes below are herb-centric, the elixirs and tonics can apply in both the foundation and the essence of your drink. It all depends on the intention and strength with which you wish to make your herbal mocktail.
If you’re subbing one of the elixirs and tonics as your “booze”, then it qualifies as the foundation. If you’re looking to just add essence to an existing drink recipe by adding an elixir as a booster, then it applies as a supportive essence.
Home Mixology Toolkit
- Long Spoons
- Dropper bottle(s)
- Mixing Glass
Vital Components for Mocktail Making
- Sweeteners of choice (for simple syrups)
- Citrus juice of choice
- Tea / “Waters” (Rose Water, Lavender Water, etc.)
- Effervescent (Sparkling Water, Kombucha, etc)
- Fancy Ingredients of Choice (For finishing touches: flowers, fresh crushed spices, dried petals, sprigs of fresh herbs, etc.)
- Make your own tinctures to use as your spirit.
- Go wild with your homemade tinctures! Although we have quite a few of these in our apothecary, make your own magic if you’re feeling it.
- Get fancy with the garnishes! Flowers, herbs, smoke, exotic foods, etc.
- Use tea water as part of your base to add depth and medicinal qualities.
Infused Simple Syrups
If you’re looking to level up your cocktail/mocktail skills, simple syrups are key. Made from any sugar you love then paired with your favorite aromatics, simple syrups deepen the magic and flavor of your mixology. Many mixologists infuse their simple syrups with a heap of herbs and spices to sweeten drinks and to create elegant, complex flavors. Sweeteners you can use when composing syrups are: regular white sugar (we recommend organic), brown sugar, and agave. Lower glycemic options I love using are coconut sugar, maple syrup, and monk fruit. You can of course use stevia (ideally, the actual herb!), yacon, or any other sweetener if you’re into it. Bottom line: get playful!
There are a million and one ways to make simple syrup infusions, and it’s all up to the sweetener you choose and herbs you want to infuse. You can also make several simple syrup flavors so that you have them ready to make decadent drinks anytime.
Here’s a floral base syrup that we’re also using in one of the recipes below:
HIBISCUS INFUSED COCONUT SYRUP (aka Hibiscus Simple Syrup)
- ¾ cup Dried Hibiscus Flowers (or give Mangosteen Hibiscus Powder a try!)
- 1 cup Coconut Sugar
- Add Hibiscus in a pan with double the amount of water to its volume (almost two cups of water) and allow it to simmer.
- When its about half way evaporated, add 1 cup of sugar.
- Remove from heat, cover and let it stand for about 30 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, discard solids, and transfer into a clean bottle.
Before we jump into the recipes, as a precaution, if you cannot drink any kind of alcohol, be ware that our liquid elixirs and tonics do have a small percentage of alcohol, that is used to extract the medicinal herbs. And although it’s minimal, we add this note to be sure that component is not missed for those that cannot consume any amount. You can however, use our powders, which we do below, and still make a fabulous cocktails sans the alcohol.
One of the world’s most popular summer cocktails, the Pina Colada is refreshing and sweet. It ́s super easy to make but adding fresh passionfruit and lime will take this beach bar favorite to the next level.
- 1tbsp Curam Beauty Elixir
- 1Tbsp Lime juice
- 3oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
- 2oz Coconut Cream
- ½-1 fresh Passionfruit pulp
- Ice cubes
Directions: Dry Shake, fill shaker with ice, shake hard, strain into glass, fill with ice. Optional, blend all ingredients with a handful of ice, and pour into a cocktail glass.
RASPBERRY MANGOSTEEN LEMONADE
Also known as the queen of fruits, Mangosteen, is one of the most delicious fruits out there. One of my personal favorites, she is packed with nutrition and often used as an anti-aging ally as it particularly nourishes and protects the skin. In rainforest communities, the peel is often used for skin damage, as it greatly assists in repair and rejuvenation. Research also suggests that mangosteen may increase your number of immune cells and reduce inflammation — potentially boosting immune health. Anyhow, lets get to this gorgeous lemonade! Think of this as sparkly lemonade with a sweet and sour mangosteen/hibiscus twist, with the added essence of brain drops to assist with clarity, cognition and sight.
- 2oz Mangosteen Hibiscus Simple Syrup
- 1/2oz Lemon Juice
- 60 drops Cerebrum Brain Tonic
- 4oz Sparkling Water (or Kombucha)
- 1oz Aloe Vera Goo or Juice (optional)
- Ice Cubes
Directions: In a shaker or blender, combine a thumb’s worth of fresh aloe vera goo (only scoop the inside part, as the gooey parts close to the peel can be irritating to the gut to some!), lemon juice, mangosteen simple syrup and cerebrum Brain Tonic. Shake well, until well combined. Pour over ice in a cocktail glass, add sparkling water or berry flavored kombucha of choice. Add a sprig of rosemary or basil to garnish, and enjoy!
TARRAGON PEPPER EUPHORIA LEMON ZEST
Did you know that tarragon is also known as ‘hierba bruja’ in Latin America? Across history it has been noted to have witchy properties, so add it into your potions for a mystical component!
- 1tsp Euphoria Powder
- 1tbsp Euphoria Elixir
- Herbal Tonic Water or Sparkling Water
- 1oz Lemon Juice
- Lemon Zest
- 6-8 sprigs Tarragon
- Ice Cubes
Directions: First let's start with a tarragon simple syrup. Combine your chosen sugar with 1 cup water and 6 sprigs tarragon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, add the Euphoria powder, mix, and let cool to room temperature. In a shaker, or pitcher, combine lemon juice, 2tbsp tarragon-euphoria sugar syrup, and some cold water. Mix well. Taste it, if you’d like it sweeter, add another tablespoon of the simple syrup. To serve, fill glasses with ice, add 1tbsp of Euphoria elixir, pour your prepared tarragon juice mix in. Top with herbal tonic water, garnish with citrus zest and tarragon sprigs.
ROSE WATER AND LEMONADE
Rose water has been used for thousands of years, starting in the Middle East, where they blended roses and H2O for beauty, food and drinks. Roses have long been revered for their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, while water has been proven over and over again to improve metabolism and flush toxins from the body. This divinely refreshing and heart opening elixir is what most of us wish for on a hot summer day. The Happiness drops are composed of ‘happy herbs’ such as St John’s Wort, known to boost serotonin, Mucuna, also known as ‘dopamine bean’, Albizzia, also known as ‘the eternal happiness tree’, Rhodiola, a powerful adaptogen known for its anti-depressant qualities. All these together make for a true happiness tonic that can be easily integrated into just about anything. If you’re feeling like adding Happiness to some of your other favorite flavor pairings, you can easily sub into any of the others.
- ¼ cup Rose Powder (or sub for same volume of dried Rose Petals)
- 60drops Happiness Tonic (per serving)
- 1/2oz Lemon Juice
- Handful Fresh Raspberries
- 2Tbsp Maple Syrup, (or make your own Rose Syrup!)
- Ice Cubes
- Make rose tea and add into large ice cube tray for a true delight
- Make a Rose Syrup instead of adding maple syrup or any sweetener! Following direction for our Hibiscus Simple Syrup, and sub for rose instead of hibiscus!
Directions: Making rose water is super easy, and it sounds so much more fancy that what it actually just is! The secret to rosewater is using the right temperature of water. Some recipes call for simmering roses in hot water, then straining, which will make you BITTER rose water. So be sure to use about 175-180F to brew roses, which is about 80% to reach boiling point. Start with ¼ cup Rose Powder, and fill up to 1 cup in total volume of hot water. Add about 2 Tbsp of Maple Syrup, mix, and allow it to steep until the sweetened rose water is room temperature. Here feel free to adjust sweetener to your liking. Strain the petals out and keep your tea in the fridge. When ready to serve, add ice, 60 drops of Happiness Tonic and fresh raspberries into a cocktail glass. Pour in the chilled rose water (use rose cubes if you’re really wanting to take it to the next level!) and enjoy!
*If you’re using Rose Syrup: Add rose syrup, ice, Happiness Tonic and lemon juice into a shaker, and shake until mixed well. Pour into a cocktail glass, top with Rose Water, and mix gently.
ELDERBERRY STRAWBERRY GRANITA MOJITO
This is for the every-day valentines day. Well, with a side of immune protection? Ha! That doesn’t sound so sexy. But it actually is. I Love Elderberry-everything, and now-a-days we all have to think about protecting ourselves and cultivating resilience. Elderberries are one of my go-to’s for added nutrition and immune resilience. It’s easy to use and integrate into almost any summery beverage, AND it’s also one of my favorite to feed our kids, since it’s so effective and tasty. Give the granita process a try, which is essentially a fancy word for saying slushy! Cheers!
- 2 cups quartered strawberries*
- 1 cup raspberries
- Fresh Grated Ginger
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2-3Tbsp Elderberry Elixir *
- 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 mint sprigs
*Calculate 1Tbsp of Elixir per serving made or calculated for
*You can get playful here, and switch some of the fruits, you can do all watermelon, blood orange or anything you’re feeling for, in equal suggested proportions.
Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish or smaller plates if that fits your freezer better. Cover and freeze 3.5 hours. Uncover; scrape mixture surface with a fork until it resembles a slushy. Re-cover and freeze 3 hours. Uncover; re-scrape mixture surface, and serve in a cocktail glass of choice. Cheers!
SCHISANDRA ROSE DROP
Directions: This is an EASY one that will make all your friends impressed! First off, follow the instructions above to make rosewater. In a shaker, combine 1Tbsp Rose Schisandra Elixir, 2oz of Rose Water, fresh raspberries and a lavender sprig, or two. Shake. Pour into an iced cocktail glass and top with raspberry kombucha (or berry flavored kombucha of choice). Cheers!
ADAPTOGENIC BEET ROSE
You can have your shrooms, even in your cocktails! I know many of you can’t stand the shroomy taste, well – here you have it! A medicinal grade mocktail with 7 medicinal mushrooms, and you would never even notice. Taking your plant medicines can be fun and tasty. Get creative and sprinkle your shroomy allies into all the refreshing potions you’ll be concocting this summer.
- Adaptogenic Mushroom Tonic
- Beet powder
- Rose Syrup (see above for instructions)
- Sparkling Water
- Ice cubes
First let’s make our beet water. In a small pitcher, dissolve ¼ cup of beet powder, into a cup of boiling water. Mix and allow it to steep. Once the water is deep fuchsia, strain if needed. If you have beets, but no beet powder, you can use the water you use to boil beets for this! When you boil your beets, the water residue is usually a beautiful deep fuchsia that is lovely, tasty and nutritious. Add your beet water, rose syrup (see instructions above), ice and a dash of lemon into a shaker. Shake well. Pour into an iced cocktail glass, add your Adaptogenic Mushroom Drops, and mix. Garnish with rose petals and/or rose powder.