10 Delicious Mocktails to Elevate Your Events

A wide variety of fancy-looking mocktails on a table topped with ice cubes

Skift Take

Here are some flavorful mocktail creations perfect for providing booze-free drink options at event receptions and cocktail parties.

Mocktails are an important part of making a event receptions and cocktail parties a success. Why? Because event audiences are shifting, along with them is a shift in needs and wants. You can say goodbye to the days of downing bourbon at the bar in the small hours of the morning before doing it all again at 8 a.m. the following morning.

But it’s not just a younger audience not keen on alcohol the industry has to thank for elevating this trend. Mocktails were first introduced during Prohibition when local watering holes needed a legal product to serve and keep business afloat. That era introduced the mocktail prototype “virgin mary” (non-alcoholic bloody mary) and has since influenced many recipes and garnished presentations that evoke ornate imagery from The Great Gatsby without all the drunk driving.

Planners have numerous options for making these beverages available during networking mixers and receptions. Severs can easily walk the floor, dole out drinks to thirsty attendees, or offer them from a bar setting. Planners can cover all bases by allowing attendees to order a specialty drink with or without alcohol. Mocktails—like their boozy counterparts—can also be batched. This is a great cost-cutting measure that helps keep the line moving at the bar and the refreshments flowing. 

1. Vitamin C Sunrise

It’s easy to compromise one’s health when on the road slogging through packed itineraries supplemented with very little nutrition. This zesty little number packs a wallop of vitamin C and antioxidants.  

  •  1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  •  1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  •  2 tablespoon pomegranate juice
  •  5 mint leaves
  •  1/2 cup kombucha of your choice
  •   Splash of apple cider vinegar
Credit: @themindfulmocktail

2. Tea Smash

Nothing cuts through warm, heavy afternoons that seem to put everything in slow motion following a busy day, like iced tea. With muddled lemon and a mint garnish, this booze-free delight is perfect for events in warmer climates.

  • 4 oz Rooibos Tea
  • 3 Lemon Wedges
  • 10 Mint Leaves
  • 0.75 oz Honey Syrup (1:1)
  • Garnish: Mint Sprig, Lemon Wedge
Credit: @noughtdrinking

3. Herbal Pink Lemonade

Aesthetically, mocktails lack the visual allure of a Manhattan, or anything else served in a martini glass with a speared garnish. What this devilishly subtle-looking drink lacks in garish presentation is made up with an unexpected refreshing and delicious flavor. 

  • Hibiscus & Rose Ice Cubes (made from hibiscus and rose tea poured into an ice cube tray)
  • Pink or Strawberry Lemonade
  • Strawberries, Lemon & Thyme to Garnish 
Credit: @mytinylagunakitchen

4. Grapefruit Ginger Fizz

Ginger beer goes great with many different flavors. The Moscow Mule and its American cousin, the Kentucky Mule, both offer the same invigorated refreshment with an almost therapeutic effect, thanks to the ginger. This zippy citrusy creation highlights the versatility of ginger beer and is sure to impress.

  • 3 ounces grapefruit juice
  • .50 ounce lime juice
  • .50 ounce Stevia Simple Syrup
  • 3 ounces of ginger beer
Credit: @the_booze_bar

5. Orange Cran

Sometimes, simplicity can bring the wow factor – especially when unexpected. Imagine mixing OJ with cranberry juice with a splash of lemonade. Crazy, right? This easy recipe can easily be batched and served with an orange slice to add more dimension that attendees will surely appreciate. 

  • 1:1 Orange juice, cranberry juice
  • Lemonade 
  • Orange slice garnish
Credit: @bitesoflife__

6. Coconut Strawberry Basil Cooler

Sophisticated audiences will appreciate the complexity of the Coconut Strawberry Basil Cooler, which offers an array of antioxidants. And it tastes pretty good, too. This blended cocktail is on the heavier side and served best in smaller pours – perfect for serving during receptions. 

  • 1 cup whole-fat coconut milk⁣⁣
  • 1/2 cup fresh sliced strawberries ⁣⁣
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced basil⁣⁣
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
Credit: @thewomensdietitian

7. Elderberry and Soda

This beverage is sure to put eventgoers in a festive mood. The underutilized elderberry flavor and lime create a refreshing yet seasonal flavor that is perfect for saying “cheers!” during a large gathering. 

  • 1/4 cup elderberry syrup
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 slices
  • 8 oz. chilled sparkling water
Credit: @thewellnessway_mt

8. Kombucha Sangria

Sangria is a fan favorite for lazy Sunday brunches and day drinking. Kombucha is all the rage in health-conscious circles, although no one can say why. This mixture is easily batched in two versions: with dry white wine or kombucha.

(Yields 4-6 servings) 

  • 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • Handful of fresh mint
  • 1 750 ML bottle of dry white wine (optional)**
  • 1 12 oz bottle of kombucha 
  • 1 lime, sliced into discs
Credit: @consciouscleanse

9. Zero Proof Negroni 

If Don Draper had time traveled to the modern era, he’d be known as the rizzler, and he would probably drink one of these. Served in an old-fashioned glass, this refined mocktail offers a zero-proof take on the classic Negroni cocktail that refreshes any time of year. 

  • 100ml Wilfred’s Aperitif
  • 15ml Fresh Grapefruit
  • 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Credit: @wilfredsdrinks

10. Mocktail Mojito

The mocktail vibes are strong with this one. The nonalcoholic version of the classic mojito offers the same earthy-fresh flavors as its boozy counterpart with none of the not-so-fresh aftereffects. Complete with crushed mint and lime, this mocktail serves some exhilarating refreshments. 

  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 shot (50 ml) of non-alcoholic spirit, such as Borrago #47 from Borrago Drinks
  • 1 can lemonade or sprite
  • 1 handful mint
  • A wedge of lime for garnish
  • Some ice
Credit: @cookingwith_yui