Drink Recipes: Flavorful Alcohol-free

Alcohol isn’t always necessary for a drink to stand out on your menu, please patrons and deliver to your bottom line, so make sure you’re serving your guests everything they want. Today’s guest seeking alcohol-free options expects and should receive quality libations with adult flavor profiles. What’s more, they’re willing to pay a premium for that pleasure, so think intricate beverages made with simple syrups, fresh, exotic ingredients and on-trend flavors. Welcome all guests to your bar with these alcohol-free concoctions that are just as lucrative — and tasty — as any other cocktail on your menu.

Frozen Hot ChocolateFrozen Hot Chocolate
Created by Kim Haasarud of Liquid Architecture.

1 cup homemade hot chocolate (or drinking chocolate*)
3 mini marshmallows
¾ cup ice

After mixture has cooled, place contents in a blender. Add ice and blend on medium speed until smooth. Pour contents into a cocktail glass. Garnish with three mini marshmallows.

*Drinking Chocolate
1 cup milk
4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
6 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Keep stirring. Mixture should be completely mixed and fairly thick – the same consistency as buttermilk. Let cool.

Sparkling Kiwi LemonadeSparkling Kiwi Lemonade
Created by Brad Horner, manager of premier accounts and corporate mixologist for MarkeTeam Inc.

1 ½ ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ ounces simple syrup
1 whole kiwi
Splash of soda water

Muddle kiwi with lemon juice in a mixing glass. Add simple syrup and ice. Shake and strain into a lemonade glass over fresh ice. Top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with a lemon slice and kiwi.

Bella FragolaBella Fragolla
Created by Erick Castro and available at Rickhouse, San Francisco.

2 ounces water
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
¾ simple syrup
3 fresh raspberries or 1 large strawberry
4-6 basil leaves

Add lemon juice, basil and berries into a mixing glass and lightly muddle. Add the remaining ingredients along with ice and shake vigorously. Fine-strain over ice into a double Old Fashioned glass and top with soda. Garnish with lemon wheel and one raspberry.

Fig JulepFig Julep
Created by Andrew Bohrer for MistralKitchen in Seattle.

9 mint leaves
2 ounces fig jam
½ ounce water
¾ ounce simple syrup
¼ ounce lemon juice

Gently muddle mint leaves inside a Julep cup with ¼ ounce simple syrup. Mix in crushed ice with fig jam, water, remaining simple syrup and lemon juice. Stir with crushed ice in a Julep cup until frost appears around the mug; top with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprig.

Watermelon Cooler cocktailWatermelon Cooler
Courtesy of Natalie Bovis, The Liquid Muse.

6 mint leaves
1 heaping tsp. powdered sugar
½ ounce lemon juice
Lemonade ice cubes
1 cup seeded watermelon chunks (to make approximately 4 ounces juice)
2 ounces lemon-lime soda
1 watermelon wedge

Muddle mint, sugar and lemon juice in the bottom of a wine goblet. Fill with lemonade ice cubes, add watermelon juice and top with lemon-lime soda. Garnish with a watermelon wedge on the rim of the glass and serve.

Tangerine Agua Fresca

Tangerine Agua Fresca
Courtesy of Monin.

1 ounce Monin Tangerine Syrup
3 ounces lemonade
1 ounce orange juice

Fill a 16-ounce glass with ice. Add Monin Tangerine Syrup, lemonade and orange juice. Top with lemon-lime soda. Drop tangerine or orange wedges in the drink, and stir gently.


On the menu at The Beehive in Boston.

1 ounce white grape juice
1 ounce pineapple juice
2 ½ ounces blood orange juice
Dash grenadine

Chill, shake and serve in a Martini glass with an orange slice.

La Limonata
Created by Patricia Richards, mixologist at Wynn/Encore, Las Vegas.

1 ½ ounces Beverage Artistry Yuzu Luxe
Sour, thawed
4 ounces Sun Orchard lemonade
½ ounce Rock Candy syrup (Trader Vic’s) or simple syrup
½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice (strain off seeds)
4 ounces club soda

Pre-batch the first four ingredients. Fill a 16-ounce glass with ice, and pour pre-batched ingredients directly over ice. Top with club soda and a slice of lemon. Seal a plastic lid on top. Place a clean napkin on top of lid and rock upside down and right side up three times to combine ingredients. Serve.

Peanut Honey Ginger ShakePeanut and Honey Ginger Shake
Courtesy of the National Peanut Board.

2 cups Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream
1/8 cup crystallized ginger
½ cup whole milk
1/8 peanut butter or peanut flour
2 Tbsp. whipped cream, optional

Combine all ingredients, except whipped cream, in a blender. Purée until smooth. Pour in a glass, top with whipped cream and serve.


Black Pepper LemonadeBlack Pepper Lemonade
Created by Robin Schempp for the 2008 DOLE Raises the Bar Beverage Competition.

3 ounces Dole Frozen Blackberries, partially thawed
1 squeezed lemon
2 ounces black pepper simple syrup*

Muddle together blackberries, lemon juice and syrup in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Taste for tartness and adjust syrup as needed. Pour into a Salt n’ Peppah rimmed glass.** (Strain into an ice-filled glass if seeds and fruit are not desired.) Add a few frozen berries before serving.

*Black Pepper Simple Syrup
2 cups cane sugar
2 cups water
½ cup black peppercorns, toasted and lightly cracked

Combine sugar, water and peppercorns in saucepan; bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes.  Allow to cool, and strain into an airtight container. Keep refrigerated.

**Salt n’ Peppah Rimmer
To create the rim, use 50 percent raw sugar, 30 percent kosher salt and 20 percent ground black and red peppercorns.

Pineapple CinderellaPineapple Cinderella Mocktail
Courtesy of Torani.

1 ounce Torani Pineapple Syrup
1 ounce orange juice
3 ounces ginger ale
Dash of lemon juice
1 cup of ice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake until blended. Strain and serve. Garnish with either a small pineapple wedge on the rim or two perfect cubes of pineapple skewered and floating on the beverage. A lemon or orange rind twist or wheel also work.

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