A Mocktails Primer

A Mocktails Primer

In honor of Dry January this month we will explore the world of no or low-ABV (alcohol by volume) beverages.

Here's how to make a mocktail that feels special without a lot of fuss:


Keep a few syrups on hand to uplevel your beverages any time of year. Here are some of my favorites:


  • Lemon Ginger
  • Hibiscus Lavender
  • Grenadine

Liber & Co.

  • Fiery Ginger

Portland Syrups

  • Rose Cordial

Portland Syrups makes three and twelve-pack sampler sets so you can try some flavors and see what you like best.

To make a mocktail with syrups simply add one tablespoon of syrup to 8 ounces of sparkling water and add ice. Pop on a fun garnish and you've got yourself a delicious and easy mocktail.


Mixers feel like you're drinking a cocktail but without the alcohol. Try these:

  • Fever Tree Indian Tonic
  • Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic
  • Fever Tree Ginger Beer
  • Sparkling water

Add lime juice to Indian Tonic for a mock G&T. For a Mediterranean G&T mocktail pour Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic into a glass filled with ice and add a sprig each of thyme and rosemary and slip an orange round into the side of the glass.

Photo by Vlad Tchompalov

For a mock Moscow Mule try Ginger Beer with lime juice and muddled mint. Garnish with mint and lime.

Photo by Wine Dharma

Mix peach or pear nectar with sparking water for a mock Bellini. Don't forget the garnish!

Photo by Marc Babin


Photo by Alexandra Golovac

For ginger-based cocktails, use a piece of candied ginger either perched on the rim or on a cocktail pick.

Use a quarter of a lemon round on the rim, thin lemon rounds set into the drink, or a lemon twist for lemon-based cocktails.

Edible flowers make a pretty garnish for drinks made with floral syrups.

Try berries, a fig half (as shown above), cranberries, English cucumber ribbons swirled around the inside of the glass, dried citrus rounds floated on top of the drink, or fresh herbs from your garden.

When I was at the bar at the Chiltern Firehouse in London last spring my drink came with a sprig of mint attached to the glass with a tiny clothespin. Stealable idea! Now I use tiny clothespins all the time to attach fresh herbs like mint, thyme, or rosemary stalks to my beverages.

Mocktails are the perfect place to let your creativity go wild. Share your favorite creations in the comments below.

Let's clink glasses to a year filled with inspiration, connection, and joy.