Top 10 non-alcoholic drinks

    Passing on the booze? We have some suggestions for soft drinks that will more than make up for it.

    While some of you choose to decline alcohol all year round, the notion of giving up the sauce for a stint is ever popular, and Dry January has truly manacled itself to our national psyche. It seems the lure of saving money, trimming the waist and skipping hangovers is a potent one. 

    It can be a challenge to inject soft drinks with the same amount of sparkle as their alcoholic equivalents, but we have some tips for ensuring teetotallers don’t miss out.

    1. Citrus peach cooler

    Peach punch in glasses and jug
    If you’re abstaining from boozy drinks, there is a whole host of seasonal fruit available to turn into pretty punches. Need something simple and refreshing for a summer party? Try our citrus peach cooler. Grapefruit, pomelo and clementines are in season during the winter months, but we particularly like blood oranges. They have a very short season towards the end of winter, but make the most of their deep red flesh while you can. Showcase them in our drivers' punch for a healthy glassful of flavour. 

    Drivers' punch
    Citrus peach cooler

    2. Homemade cordial

    Rhubarb cordial in glasses with straws
    Making a batch of homemade fruit cordial should see you through a few weeks of a dryathlon. Try to use whatever is seasonal and for a basic mix, combine with just sugar and water. Elderflower works well and can often be foraged – just make sure you shake off the bugs – or try seasonal berries. Provided they’re stored in sterilised jars, cordials can last several months in the fridge.

    Rhubarb cordial
    Rosehip cordial
    Raspberry cordial
    Elderflower cordial

    3. Pomegranate mojito mocktail

    Pomegranate mocktails on tray
    Alcohol is inextricably associated with celebrating and nothing says party like a delicious cocktail. Ditch the rum and try this pomegranate-based mocktail. Make sure to bash the mint under a rolling pin or with your hands to release the oils, so it yields plenty of flavour.

    Pomegranate mojito mocktail
    More mocktail recipes

    4. Smoothies

    Kiwi smoothies in jars
    Up your vitamin intake and whizz up a fruit-based smoothie. Follow our guide to achieving the perfect blend using your favourite ingredients, then get creative with flavourings like peanut butter and spices. If you want to be really virtuous try adding vegetables – a green detox smoothie made with coconut water, apple, kiwi and spinach is one seriously heady beverage.

    Forest fruit & banana smoothie
    Super berry smoothie
    Mango & banana smoothie

    5. Mulled apple juice

    Apple juice with cinnamon stick in glasses
    Often the reserve of festive revelry, the process of mulling works with a wide range of base drinks. Try using apple or pear juice and spice to taste – a touch of citrus, cinnamon and a sweetener such as honey or agave should do the trick.

    Mulled apple juice
    Mulled pomegranate juice
    Mulled tea

    6. Non-alcoholic tropical fizz

    Tropical mocktail in glasses
    Put tinned fruit to good use in this sparkling quencher with kiwi, strawberries and pineapple. Find yourself a good tropical fruit juice as a base – or if you have a juicer to hand, you could try making your own with anything from mango and lychees to fresh passion fruit.

    Non-alcoholic tropical fizz

    7. Apple, elderflower & mint sparkle

    Punch in jug with glasses
    Use up your homemade elderflower cordial in a simple blend with apple juice, fresh mint and a little soda water. Use a different cordial if you like, and if you can’t get hold of mint, swap it for fresh rosemary.

    Apple, elderflower & mint sparkle

    8. Homemade lemonade and limeade

    Limeade in jug and glasses
    Ditch shop-bought lemonade for a cloudy homemade alternative. The flavour combinations are endless, try adding a whole range of seasonal berries for a colourful non-alcoholic glassful. 

    Lime makes for a tangy drop – blend the limes whole into a pulp and combine with soda water. This recipe works with vodka or rum if you’re catering for those who fancy a tipple.

    Pink lemonade
    Watermelon lemonade

    9. Lassi

    Mango lassi with ice in glasses
    This refreshing Indian drink is designed to cool the palate following spicy food. It has a yogurt base, which in this recipe can be made savoury by adding cumin and coriander, or sweet with rosewater and sugar. We also have a mango version with added pistachio and mint.

    Sweet & spiced lassis
    Mango lassi
    Bonny lassi

    10. Water

    Water in glass with lemon slices
    This may seem a bit staid, but staying hydrated by drinking water in its pure form does wonders for every part of the body. Spruce it up with herbs like rosemary, basil and mint, healthy squeezes of lime or lemon juice, fiery ginger or slices of cool, refreshing cucumber.

    Try our easy fruit-infused water ideas for a tasty, colourful way to stay hydrated.

    Enoyed these delicious drinks? Try more marvellous mocktails...

    Non-alcoholic cocktail recipes
    Our favourite non-alcoholic drinks
    How to make cordial

    What’s your preferred non-alcoholic tipple? Leave a comment below...

    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    Nishrin Rieza
    3rd Jan, 2015
    nice ideas.
    20th Jul, 2014
    A grown up but very easy non-alcoholic drink is lemonade with lime cordial and a dash of angostura bitters. Make in a jug with usual pimms garnish and it's a good alternative for the drivers.
    bec00au's picture
    22nd Aug, 2014
    That's a "Lemon, Lime and Bitters" in Aussie lingo ;)
    jobarley's picture
    17th Jan, 2014
    When I was pregnant I went to a friend's pub and she made me a great non alcoholic cocktail, a bottle each of pineapple juice and ginger beer topped up with lime cordial and soda water, deelicious. I still drink it now!
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