This non-alcoholic alternative to spirits and spirit-based cocktails are on the rise
These little abstainers have had a pretty mehhh reputation over the past few years. Doubtless you’ve heard them mentioned or seen them on the odd bar menu but maybe you’re still not quite sure what’s up with them.
What is a mocktail?
In the past, they’ve been a crudely mashed together combination of sugary syrups & juices that have some fun flavors, sure, but can feel more like a kid’s birthday punch than a well executed drink that has the depths & delights of booze based cocktails.
Things are looking up, though! Well-made non-alcoholic alternatives to spirits and spirit-based cocktails are on the rise with quality and complexity front and center.
Companies like Seedlip have been producing non-alcoholic products intended to showcase the rich flavor layering found in traditional alcoholic options by distilling and blending botanicals and spices into complex and nuanced spirits.
So, too, the world of cocktail ingredients has recently seen a boost and we’ve been so proud at Cheeky to offer 100% pure ingredients juices and syrups to folks who want the quality of high-end craft drink making right at home.
There are many reasons why booze-free drinks might be the right choice for your next party, get together or cocktail for one and so we wanted to create a few simple Cheeky Mocktail recipes to get you started.
1. Monday Mojito
Give the ingredients a quick mix with a spoon and add ice. It’s that simple!
This is our easy alternative to a favorite classic: the Mojito. The shining star of any mojito is that irreplaceable smack of fresh mint. Balanced by sweet but tangy lime and enough spritzy goodness to get you dancing, this drink works perfectly well without the rum. It’s refreshing, it’s interesting, and it feels like a reward. We’re calling ours the Monday Mojito, a perfect indulgence that won’t interrupt your work week goals.
2. Teetotaler’s Punch
Combine and serve over fresh ice.
*Cheeky Tip: Heat the cider and serve warm. Throw the cinnamon sticks right into the batch and let their oils seep into the drink as it heats. *No need to bring to a boil, just a nice hot peak! This is a great option if you’re hosting an outdoor gathering as the days grow chilly. *If you’ve got one, keep warm in an electric slow-cooker.
If, like us, you’re already leaning heavy into some fall flavors, whip up this Teetotaler’s Punch for your abstaining guests who still appreciate a drink that’s rich, smart, and delicious. This is a take on our Jamaican Rum Punch that still uses the spicy bite of Cheeky Ginger Syrup and Lemon Juice but we’re taking the apple garnish and moving it front and center. For a creamy slightly sweeter drink, use 100% pure apple cider, for a drier more refreshing cocktail, try a dry non-alcoholic *sparkling* cider.
3. Balsamic Mocktail
3oz oversteeped and cooled Earl Grey Tea
.75oz Cheeky Cranberry Syrup
.5oz Cheeky Ginger Syrup
.5 tsp balsamic vinegar (or to taste, start small!)
Suggested garnish: orange swath (express some of the oils right onto the top of the drink)
Stir ingredients with ice and pour into a chilled glass.
*Cheeky Note: Earl Gray famously blends bergamot oil, a sour hybrid of bitter orange and lemon, with black tea. This makes it a great ingredient for mocktails with similar flavor profiles to both the Campari forward Negroni and Bourbon Manhattan.
Last but not least, our take on a smooth sipper. We wanted to recreate the nuance and complexity you find in classic stirred cocktails like the Negroni and Manhattan. We went for the bitter citrus notes of bergamot, a hint of ginger, tart cranberry and a surprise ingredient for depth and a curious dose of je ne sais quoi. This stirred mocktail gets its character from over-steeped Earl Grey Tea, Cheeky Cranberry and Ginger, and a dash of balsamic vinegar! Don’t be afraid if that sounds odd, the balsamic, applied in small amounts, melds its rich, woody grape must flavor with the snap of ginger and cranberry and bitterness of unsweetened Earl Grey.