As more of us, like Kristen, are thinking about drinking less these days, I’ve been looking for some festive canned mocktails (or, hey, bottles are fine too) I can add to the drink offerings when we host.
For our friends or family who don’t or can’t drink alcohol, they’re a nice alternative to soda, iced tea or lemonade that make guests feel a little more considered when we plan our menu.
Be aware: these are generally a spendy alternative for an at-home treat…some at more than $6 per drink. But if you don’t have time to make a mocktail from scratch, or you just want everyone to have their own can or bottle to sip from so they feel included, it’s a really nice option for summer entertaining.
So dust off those grilling recipes, whip up some icebox pies, and enjoy toasting to having friends over again.
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Related: For the drinkers: The best canned wine and cocktails for your summer picnics and parties
NOPE canned mocktails
If you’re looking for a clean, bubbly drink option that mimics your favorite margarita or ginger beer cocktails, then this 4-pack of NOPE canned mocktails is a great option. It includes no adaptogens or herbal stimulants, and they can be mixed with spirits or not. I’d serve these in a stemless champagne flute with some fruity garnishes, to really maximize those bubbles. Or, just set those cans over ice in a drinks bucket for your guests to grab.
If you want drinks with a healthy-living vibe, these Mocktail Club canned mocktail drinks are a great choice. They contain no artificial flavors, include prebiotics from apple cider vinegar, and are made from superfoods and caffeine-free tea infused with spices. Not only are they completely clean ingredients, but 1% of sales goes to clean water efforts too.
Lyre’s Ready to Drink Mocktails
Lyre’s is an award-winning company, with non-alcoholic “spirits” that look, taste, and smell like the real deal. They’ve expanded into their Lyre’s Ready to Drink line of ready-made canned cocktails with classic flavors like gin & tonic, the iconic Spritz, and a crisp, dry Classico.
Related: Spring cocktail and mocktail recipes with flower power
Cipriani’s Non-Alcoholic Bellini
It’s peach season right now, which makes me absolutely crave this classic peach-based Italian cocktail. I can’t wait to try the Virgin Bellini by Cipriani, which one reviewer says is even better than the the original version from Harry’s Bar in Venice. It’s not too sweet, and you can mix it with champagne or prosecco…or just drink it without.
Spirity Non-Alcoholic Canned Cocktails
I’m kind of fascinated by Spirity Cocktails, which use fermented tea to make an alcohol-free spirit that’s just 35 calories per can. Plus, these canned mocktails much more affordable (like, half the price) of some of the other options mentioned here, and come in classic flavors that are sure to be a hit with guests at any summer gathering.
Related: 7 mocktail recipes festive enough for New Year’s Eve
Avec cocktails seem to focus on being a healthier option to traditional mixers. They use 100% real ingredients and significantly less sugar (traditional margarita mix has 22 grams of sugar, theirs has 2) — .thanks, again, to those real ingredients. These canned mocktails designed to be used as a mixer you add a spirit to, or just drink on their own. And in our current climate, I appreciate that they use only recycled cans in their packaging.
So Kin Spritz is a whole other category of drink. These cocktails are all about harnessing nootropics, adaptogens and botanics, to give you a tasty drinking experience that balances your stress levels and awakens your mind. (Yeah, it has caffeine in it.) The taste is bitter, tart, and herbaceous…with hints of citrus + ginger. I imagine it’s like a stress gummy in beverage form.
Related: Big batch cocktails (and mocktails) recipes for easy entertaining
Curious Elixir is another craft cocktail company that uses adaptogens to help you unwind. Their flavors are numbered rather than named, but here’s the deal: Curious No. 1 has ingredients to boost energy and tastes like a Negroni. Curious No. 2 has an aphrodisiac in it, and it tastes like margarita married a Dark and Stormy. Curious No. 3 is similar to a French 75 and includes ashwagandha to reduce stress. Curious No. 4 has the effervescence of Prosecco with anti-inflammatory herbs, plus basil to reduce stress. And the newest one, Curious No. 5 is a chocolate-cherry old fashioned, with herbs that boost your immune system, promote a balanced body, and also act as an aphrodisiac. You could say I’m definitely curious.
WithCo Canned Cocktails
From another small-batch brand of canned mocktails that’s focused on healthy mixers (with possibly my favorite packaging!), each WithCo bottle makes 10 drinks and only uses fresh ingredients, no concentrates, and are all gluten-free. Their Ginger Mule (aka, Jackass), Ellis Old Fashioned, and Bouquet (lavender, lemon and rosewater) flavors are their best sellers.
Splash actually sent me some samples of their Splash mixers, which come in classic cocktail flavors like margarita, cosmo, mojito and more. They’re designed to be mixed with your favorite spirit or sparkling water and if you do that, it will make 12 drinks per bottle. But the real focus of the brand is their low-calorie count. Just 25 calories for a margarita is pretty incredible.
A note about non-alcoholic beverages: For some people, drinks that are very similar to actual cocktails can be a trigger, so before you purchase drinks for specific people, it might be best to check with them. In some cases, soda, tea, or sparkling waters are actual the best and most respectful option.