The Secret Formula for Making Perfect Mocktails

6 Mocktails if you're taking a break from alcohol or looking to try something new.
Illustration by Monica Simon

The classic components of a cocktail are alcohol, a sour element (like citrus juice) and a sweet element (like simple syrup). But what about mocktails?

That old ratio of two parts alcohol, one part sour, and one part sweet doesn’t quite work without the alcohol. But there’s a formula that does: four parts base, like club soda or iced tea, to go with one part sour and one-half part sweet.

The base will play a role in how sweet or sour the finished product is. Tonic water, for example, is slightly bitter, while coconut water is somewhat sweet, which means this formula can make all sorts of drinks. Here are six to start with.

6 Mocktails for Mixing it Up

Cucumber Sour

1 Ounce Acid: Lime juice

½ Ounce Sweet: Simple syrup

4 Ounce Base: Lime-flavored sparkling water

Garnish: Muddled cumber

Tea Totaler

1 Ounce Acid: Lemon juice

½ Ounce Sweet: Honey

4 Ounce Base: Cold, strong black tea

Garnish: Lemon twist

Another G & Tonic

1 Ounce Acid: Grapefruit juice

½ Ounce Sweet: Agave

4 Ounce Base: Tonic water

Garnish: Grapefruit slice

The Detox

Coconut Cooler

1 Ounce Acid: Lemon juice

½ Ounce Sweet: Simply syrup

4 Ounce Base: Coconut water

Garnish: Mint sprig


1 Ounce Acid: Apple or quince shrub

½ Ounce Sweet: Apple juice

4 Ounce Base: Nonalcoholic spirit, like Seedlip

Garnish: Apple slice

Winter Spice

1 Ounce Acid: Ginger beer

½ Ounce Sweet: Maple syrup

4 Ounce Base: Sparkling water

Garnish: Lime twist

Published on January 2, 2018
Topics: Healthy Cocktails