When it comes to getting a party started (and keeping it going), it's easy to immediately think of the cocktails to serve, but why not mix up a fun signature mocktail instead? Think about it: They keep everyone refreshed, and will be hugely appreciated by those not wanting to drink, whether they’re abstaining forever or just right now. Plus, they taste amazing (looking at you, virgin cranberry basil sangria). Check out these zero-proof (and basically zero-effort!) mocktail recipes for inspiration, we bet you won’t even miss the alcohol.
We’ve got everything from virgin versions of some of our cocktail faves, like a margarita (slushie!), piña colada, and mojito, plus some simpler options and extra-exciting coffee drinks. When you’re at brunch and everyone is getting bottomless mimosas, those abstaining from champagne deserve a fun drink too. Try whipping up a copycat Starbuck’s drink (we’ve got 3!), a frothy dalgona coffee, or Thai iced tea for a caffeine boost with that little something special.
Speaking of special drinks, nothing says it best like a freezie or a float. We’ve included a few recipes here, but get creative and turn any of your favorite drinks into a frozen delight. Drop some ice cream, sherbet, or sorbet into a drink or blend one up with something extra creamy like sweetened condensed milk, and it’ll SCREAM celebration.
Sometimes when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks, the simpler the better. Like a rum and coke or a vodka tonic, teetotalers (and those making their drinks) want something easy too! When we’re aiming for no-stress and delicious, we lean towards lemonades and iced teas that are refreshing and fun. You could go basic, but we like to add extra flavors, like strawberry or watermelon. The added touch doesn’t take much extra effort, but still feels that much more special.
Virgin Cranberry Basil Sangria
Horchata is a popular and refreshing drink that takes on different forms across many cultures, but it always starts with a soaked nut, seed, or grain. This classic Mexican version, horchata de arroz, is made by soaking rice and almonds with cinnamon and blending everything together with milk and sweetener.
Get the Horchata recipe.
You either love eggnog or loathe it—there is no in between. This version of the classic holiday cocktail has a similar flavor and texture of the original but is dairy-free and vegan-friendly! The richness, thickness, and luscious creamy texture that usually comes from eggs and heavy cream is achieved with both cashews and full-fat coconut milk in this recipe. This eggnog is also naturally sweetened with Medjool dates and maple syrup, bringing an original taste to each frosty glass.
Get the Vegan Eggnog recipe.
Triple Berry Sparklers
Copycat Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino
Starbucks Frappuccinos® have been around since the mid-'90s, though it wasn’t until 1999 that the Caramel Frappuccino hit the scene. Prior to then, the drinks were just blended coffee and milk, so the addition of caramel and whipped cream was a HUGE deal, and it shows in this recipe!
Get the Copycat Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino recipe.
Apple Cider Slushies
Apple cider slushies are the perfect thing to keep in your freezer for an icy-cold anytime treat. We borrow the technique of scraping it with a fork to create the slushie consistency from granitas. The trick is to make sure you don't let the mixture freeze completely before scraping it!
Get the Apple Cider Slushies recipe.
Starbucks Copycat S'mores Frappuccino
This loaded frapp is part caffeinated beverage, part extravagant dessert. Our one main departure from the original is the addition of graham crackers to the drink—we love the flavor and texture they provide. (Plus, it really drives the s'mores flavor home.)
Virgin Piña Colada
Sit back and sip those cares away with a non-alcoholic piña colada that's basically a tropical milkshake. The classic version might be a bit more smoothie or icee-like in texture, but we are obsessed with this slightly richer and creamier take. It definitely makes you wonder why piña coladas never had ice cream in the first place!
Get the Virgin Piña Colada recipe.
In this punch, Chef Millie Peartree skips ice in favor of strawberry sorbet. Not only does it keep drinks cold, but it adds a delicious creaminess as well. For best results, we recommend starting with cold ingredients and serving the drinks in chilled glasses.
Get the Juneteenth Punch recipe.
Thai Iced Tea
We love this drink made of black tea, spices, and sweetened condensed milk a great alternative to our morning cold brew, or as a way to cool off our mouths after eating spicy Thai noodles. Sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk are the most common milks to add to the tea, but coconut milk would also be a great dairy free option!
Get the Thai Iced Tea recipe.
Virgin Raspberry Mango Margarita Slushies
When it's a real scorcher, refresh with these gorgeous frozen virgin margaritas, made zesty with lots of lime. We love layering raspberry and mango for the sweet-tart tropical flavor, but strawberry and pineapple is a solid combo too.
Camille Lowder is the digital food producer at Delish, otherwise known as our resident queen of recipe galleries. Previously, she attended the Natural Gourmet Institute for culinary school and worked at/managed a number of New York restaurants. She loves anything vegan, foods masquerading as other foods (hello, cauliflower), and a well-used Oxford comma.
Mackenzie Filson is a food writer and contributing digital food producer at Delish. Her favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate-pine. If wine was an astrological sign she'd be a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. She's never met a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos she didn't eat in one sitting.