Considering going alcohol-free? You’re not alone! More and more Americans are cutting back on booze in an effort to put their health first. With the “sober curious” movement and rise in non-alcoholic drinks sales, it’s clear that booze-free is the (trending) way to be. I mean, if you can skip the hangover, spare the strain on your liver, and save some calories, all while enjoying a tasty (and healthful) drink, why wouldn’t you?
This wasn’t always the mentality, though. In past years, being sober and social was tough. Aside from the peer and societal pressures surrounding booze, being sober while everyone around you is drinking can be uncomfortable and isolating. The good news is that things are shifting. With a rise in non-alcoholic drinks and a growing number of non-alcoholic drinkers, enjoying a booze-free night out may just be the norm!
So, mix up a mocktail and find out what the booze-less buzz is all about. Ahead, how to craft a healthy mocktail and some tasty DIY low-sugar mocktails you’re guaranteed to love. Trust us, you’ll be feeling so good that you won’t even miss the alcohol!
Non-Alcoholic Drinks: A Buzz-Worthy Trend
Mocktails are growing in popularity, and this healthy food trend has our full support! From Sober October to Dry January, more and more people are prioritizing their mental and physical wellbeing and swapping their cocktails for mocktails.
According to Business Insider, non-alcoholic beverage sales increased by 33%, exceeding $331 million in 2021 alone. And according to data, the market is expected to see a growth of 7% in 2023. Plus, Google Trends reports a 42% and 81% increase in online searches for the words “mocktail” and “non-alcoholic” across the globe. And, by 2026, it’s expected that 41% of spending and 11% of volume consumption on non-alcoholic drinks will be spent on out-of-home consumption. The takeaway? The market is rapidly growing! Meaning you can expect to see a rise in mocktail menu items at restaurants, bars, and anywhere you’d expect to find a boozy beverage.
And while there are plenty of store-bought brands to choose from, mixing up a DIY mocktail is simple, healthy, and fun! Plus, by making your own, you can customize it to your liking.
Ahead, we’re sharing the yummiest low-sugar mocktails that will satisfy your beverage cravings with every sip.
3 Tips to Make a Low-Sugar Mocktail
But first, here’s what you need to know about how to make your mocktail healthy!
#1 Avoid Sugary Mixers
While store-bought mixers appear to make the job of a “mixologist” a whole lot easier, most bottled and boxed mixers are not your friend! Oftentimes, pre-made mixers are full of sneaky sugars like sucrose, dextrose, and corn syrup. And even if they’re sweetened with natural sugars (such as agave or honey), the sugar content is usually off the charts — just look at the ingredient label.
Speaking of ingredient labels, always check them! And be sure to read both the listed ingredients and the nutrition label.
#2 Use a Natural Sweetener (If Any!)
While we’re on the topic of sugar, opt for a natural sweetener if you need any at all. Sugar is typically the main ingredient in mocktails (thanks to simple syrup and pure fruit juice). Aside from packing on the calories, excess sugar wreaks havoc on your blood sugar.
Go for a nutrient-dense option like muddled berries, cold-pressed juice, or a natural sweetener like raw honey or pure maple syrup. And remember, a little goes a long way!
#3 Choose a Nutritious Base Beverage
The secret to mixing a low-sugar mocktail? Choosing a nutritious base beverage. Since you’re skipping the booze, you’ll need to find a beverage alternative to replace it with — so, choose wisely! You’ll want something that’s flavorful but not sweetened and light while still having texture.
Kombucha, sparkling water, cold-pressed green juice (or a low-sugar alternative), and unsweetened iced tea are some of our favorites!
With these tips in mind, let’s get mixing!
5-Ingredient or Less Low-Sugar Mocktail Recipes
Green Juice Mocktail
Grab your juicer and give sugary cocktails a run for their money. This Green Juice Mocktail has the perfect all-natural kick, thanks to anti-inflammatory ingredients (that are sugar-free) like ginger and jalapeno. It’s easy to customize, but all you really need is 5 ingredients! Instead of waking up with a hangover, you’ll feel hydrated and healthy.
- 1 large cucumber, juiced
- 1-2 limes or lemons, juiced
- ½-inch slice of ginger
- 2 leaves of kale, juiced
- ¼ – ½ cup ginger-flavored kombucha
- 1 tsp raw honey
- Citrus-flavored seltzer water
- Fresh lime, mint, and jalapeno to serve
Step #1: Juice the cucumber, citrus, ginger, and kale.
Step #2: Fill a glass with crushed ice, then pour green juice over ice.
Step #3: Add Kombucha and optional sweetener. Mix until well combined. Taste test and adjust flavor as needed.
Step #4: Option to top with seltzer and garnish with any additional ingredients. Serve and enjoy!
Most Moscow Mule’s are full of sugar and alcohol… aka a hangover and blood sugar spike waiting to happen. But not this healthy mocktail! Made with just 4 ingredients (none of them being booze!), sip away until you’re satisfied.
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¾ cup ginger-flavored kombucha
- Seltzer water, to taste
- For garnish fresh lime and mint, to taste
Step #1: Fill a glass with crushed ice.
Step #2: Add lime juice and kombucha and stir until well combined.
Step #3: Top with seltzer water to taste.
Step #4: Garnish with fresh lime and mint.
Low-Sugar Coconut Mojito
This coconut mojito mocktail might taste creamy and indulgent, but it’s low in sugar and filled with good-for-you ingredients. Made with light coconut milk, raw coconut water, and all-natural flavors like lime and mint, sip away without guilt.
- ¼ cup light coconut milk, unsweetened
- ¼ cup raw coconut water
- ½ lime, juiced
- ½ – 1 cup lime seltzer or sparkling water
- 8-10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
Step #1: Fill a glass with crushed ice.
Step #2: Muddle the mint leaves and add to the glass along with the lime juice, coconut milk, and coconut water. Stir until well combined. Taste test and adjust flavors as needed.
Step #3: Top with seltzer or sparkling water and enjoy!
Fruity Low-Sugar Mocktails
No need for wine when you can make alcohol-free sangria that’s low in sugar and full of superfoods like pomegranate, berries, and citrus!
- 2 cups pure pomegranate juice, unsweetened
- 2 cups kombucha of choice
- 2 cups sparkling or seltzer water
- 1-2 limes, freshly squeezed
- ¼ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1-2 cups chopped fruit (a combination of apples, berries, and citrus)
- Optional ½ – 1 tbsp of pure honey
Step #1: Fill a large pitcher with chopped fruit of choice.
Step #2: Pour remaining ingredients, and stir until well combined. Taste test and adjust flavoring as needed.
Step #3: Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 6 hours.
Step #4: Remove from fridge and serve with or without fruit. Enjoy!
Watermelon Mint Cooler
Unlike most cocktails (that leave you dehydrated thanks to the diuretic effects of booze), this low-sugar watermelon mint cooler will keep you hydrated and healthy! With the only sweetness coming from pure watermelon, you’ll satisfy your sweet cravings without any added sugar.
- Crushed ice
- ½ cup pure watermelon juice, unsweetened
- ½ – 1 cup sparkling or seltzer water
- 1-2 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Fresh mint, to taste
Step #1: Fill glass with crushed ice.
Step #2: Pour watermelon and lime juice over ice.
Step #3: Top with sparkling water and stir until well mixed.
Step #4: Garnish with fresh lime and mint. Enjoy!
Spicy Mango Mocktail
This margarita-like spicy mango mocktail is everything you never knew you needed. It’s low in sugar and calories but rich in gut-healthy kombucha and Vitamin A and C-rich mango.
- 2 oz. mango puree or pure mango juice
- ½ lime, freshly juiced
- ½ cup sparkling or seltzer water
- ¼ cup mango or ginger-flavored kombucha
- Jalapeno, to taste
Step #1: Fill glass with crushed ice with the option to salt the rim.
Step #2: Pour lime juice and mango puree over ice.
Step #3: Add kombucha and stir until well combined. Next, top with sparkling water.
Step #4: Garnish with fresh lime and jalapeno and enjoy!
Fresh and full of flavor, this spicy Paloma will keep you energized and buzzing, no booze needed! It’s low in sugar and easy to modify.
- 1 grapefruit, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1-3 tsp maple syrup or honey
- Kombucha, sparkling water, or favorite mixer, to serve
- Jalapeno, to serve (optional)
Step One: In a glass, combine the grapefruit juice, lime, and honey. Stir well.
Step Two: To serve, fill the glass with ice and top with sparkling water. Add jalapeno. Taste test and adjust ingredients as needed. Serve with fresh grapefruit and lime.
The Healthiest Store-Bought Mocktails & Mixers
Don’t feel like making your own low-sugar mocktail at home? Try these healthy store-bought mocktails and mixers!
Health-Ade recently rolled out their new line of non-alcoholic drink mixers, and let’s just say we’re in love. With a Spicy Margarita, Whiskey Sour, and Moscow Mule Mix, now you can enjoy your favorite beverages without the booze. And, thanks to probiotic-rich kombucha, you’ll benefit your gut health at the same time.
Not only is Kin Euphorics full of whole foods-based ingredients that are low in sugar and rich in nutrients, but their products are also infused with adaptogens – like Rhodiola, Reishi, and L-Tryptophan – to support stress and improve well being. And, they’ve got different blends (calming versus energy-boosting) to support whatever you’re feeling. Choose from their three products (Kin Spritz, High Rhode, and Dream Light) and prepare to benefit your brain, your body, and your health.
Recess Hemp & Adaptogens Infused Sparkling Water
This functional beverage keeps you “cool, calm, and collected” with mood-enhancing botanical beverages that are boosted with adaptogens and hemp extract. And, thanks to its many flavors (think: coconut lime, blackberry chai, blood orange, and peach ginger), there’s something for everyone!
P.S. They recently came out with a new “Dry January Limited-Edition” booze-free margarita, and we have a feeling you’re gonna want in on this. With just 4 grams of sugar, 25 calories per can, and all-natural ingredients like citrus, hemp extract, ginseng, and L-theanine, run… don’t walk to their website.
Surely Non-Alcoholic Wine
If wine is more your style, thanks to Surely’s Non-Alcoholic Wine selections, you don’t have to give up your favorite beverage indulgence entirely. You’ll be happy to know they have healthy mocktails for all your favorite wine drinks, including Rosé, Brut, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and canned spritzers. This calls for a toast!
Add These Low-Sugar Mocktails to Your Happy Hour Menu
While the occasional drink can certainly fit into a balanced lifestyle, it’s not for everyone! So if you’re looking to cut back on your boozy beverages or simply want to switch it up, give these low-sugar mocktails and store-bought alcohol-free spirits a try. Cheers to good health!