Great Non-Alcoholic Drinks for a Hot Summer’s Day

Great Non-Alcoholic Drinks for a Hot Summer’s Day

Me and my other half are having a month off the hard stuff. We made the decision at the end of May, and although we knew the timing wasn’t very good given that Summer was about to hit, we were resolute.

If anything, this would make it an even better challenge, because everyone enjoys a drink in the sun, right? Then the British weather did its thing and it’s been mostly miserable ever since.

So it hasn’t exactly been difficult so far, but nevertheless, in preparation for what we were expecting to be a bit of a tough month, we started experimenting with booze-free beverages that would get us through.

I’m not talking about non-alcoholic beers and spirits here, they are ten a penny. As high quality as they may be these days, we were more interested in unique lesser known options, to keep things interesting.

So, after a lot of research and some very heavy sessions on the juice, here is what we found.

Mocktails For the Win

Summer Mocktails

Just in case there is anyone left in the world who doesn’t know what a mocktail is, it is a non-alcoholic cocktail. Same word, but the ‘mock’ has replaced the… well, you can work it out. It’s a mock up of a real cocktail. A mocktail.

These naturally lend themselves to the situation since real cocktails are made from a lot of the same ingredients, and often, you don’t really taste the booze in a cocktail. That’s what makes them dangerous.

A mocktail therefore feels almost the same as a real cocktail, and they are just perfect for summer.

You can make mocktail versions of most classic cocktails too, meaning you can still have your favourite tipple even if you aren’t officially drinking. So if you’re the designated driver on a night out, you don’t need to feel excluded from the fun.

If you are having a BBQ or some sort of bash at home, mocktails are great because you can create your own recipes.

Yes, there are specific recipes to make certain drinks, but you can experiment to your heart’s content with mocktails. Add a little bit of this, reduce the amount of that, stick a slice of mango in it – do whatever you like.

Mocktails tick all of the boxes:

  • Delicious and refreshing
  • Great for warm weather
  • Fun to make
  • Won’t make the non-drinker feel like the odd one out

I will list a few of our favourites later on, which you can try for yourself.

Why Not Just Have a Coke?

Coca Cola

Come on now, where’s your sense of adventure?

I have nothing against a Coke or a Sprite or anything else, but you’re not 14 years old, and buying a can of fizzy pop when everyone else is knocking back gin and tonics or Pimms is a tad depressing, no?

There’s nothing special about a drink you can get from Waddy’s News for 69p.

Plus, if you’re out for the night or planning to spend all afternoon in the garden, the rest of your group will be having a number of drinks, not just one. I don’t know your friend and I don’t want to make assumptions about their alcohol intake, but let’s say 6 or 7 drinks.

Are you going to drink 7 cans of Coke?

Mocktails, or some other more interesting booze free tipple, will get you in the party mood, whereas a 330ml can of Fanta will just make you feel like burping.

Let’s not forget the gulf in taste difference either. Some of the drinks we have been trying were so so good, full of complex flavours that really make the tongue tingle. Why would you choose a Coke over that?

Watermelon Lemonade

Watermelon LemonadeKicking off with something that tastes amazing and has visual appeal too, we have watermelon lemonade.

You won’t need a glass for this, because you are going to drink it out of the watermelon that you get the juice from. That’s right, we’re going melon carving!

This isn’t a spur of the moment option, it needs some preparation, but it is sooo worth it.

Start by cutting the top off the watermelon, then hollow out the flesh and force it through a sieve. You will need to take the pips out as you go too, which is the most annoying bit.

Next you will want to whizz all of that watermelon flesh through a blender. Yes, I know it’s already mulch, but you are going to turn it into more of a puree. Probably best to put some caster sugar and lemon juice in with it at this stage too. We tried adding them afterwards but it definitely works better to have everything whizzed up together.

The last thing you need is a bottle of soda, but don’t add this until afterwards. Just stir it in with a spoon until the consistency is even.

Plop a lot of ice into your carved out melon, pour in your yummy lemonade mix, and enjoy. You can add some mint or lime if you like too. The mint adds an extra freshness, but the lime slices couldn’t compete with the other flavours when we tried it.

Despite taking some time, these were my favourite. The overall experience was just so much fun.

Summer Cup

Summer Cup MocktailIt’s Summer in a cup, what’s not to love?

Best served in a big jam jar, you will need a lot of fruit for this one, and surprisingly, it starts with boiling some water.

What you’re doing here is releasing the flavours in the mint and cucumber which you are going to add once the water is hot. Turn off the heat almost immediately and let them stew, before adding a handful of frozen berries.

After 2 minutes, crush the berries (remember, hot water, so use a spoon), and leave for another 2 minutes before straining.

All you need to do now, is add some of the mixture to your glass once it has cooled, then top it up with ice and lemonade, before adding you choice of extra fruit.

We liked apple slices as they soaked up the juice really well for a great way to finish the drink, plus blackberries for something a bit different, and halved strawberries because strawberries are always amazing.

One tip, would be to use quite a big glass. Once you have got all of the fruit and ice in there, you will struggle for space for the drink itself unless your glass is big enough.


Mojito MocktailThis is probably my go to starter cocktail, so it was also the first mocktail I attempted, and it was a belter.

It was extremely encouraging to have a winner on the first try, especially since I love the drink anyway, and I honestly didn’t miss the alcohol.

It’s quite quick and simple to make as well.

Grab your mint and some sugar (I use brown sugar but you don’t have to) and have a quick go at them in a pestle and mortar if you have one. If not, just chop the mint and mix with the sugar in a small bowl.

You need crushed ice for a mojito, but I’ll leave it up to you as to how you go about doing this. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Once you’ve crushed it, fill you glass about halfway with the ice.

Juice 3 or 4 limes then add some of the juice to the glass. You can experiment with the amount, but a little over one lime per drink worked for us. Now add the mint and sugar, before pouring in some soda to fill the glass.

Give it a gentle stir, and you’ve got yourself arguably the freshest mocktail in the world.

Stay Away From Smoothies

Before I sign off, let me steer you away from trying smoothies.

These are not a good alternative to a boozy summer drink, because even when chilled, they are way too thick and heavy. They don’t give off party vibes either.

I did give it a go – my other half quite rightly refused – but instantly knew it was a mistake.

Smoothies are great for breakfast, or for a mid-afternoon snack, but they have no place on a night out or at an outdoor summer bash.

We saw them touted as an alternative to alcoholic summer drinks surprisingly often, so I want to get in there and tell you NO. Don’t do it. You will immediately regret your decision.

That’s all.


Enjoying Mocktails

We tried more mocktails than the three listed, but these are our favourites. You can use them as a place to start or totally ignore them and do your own thing.

All I would say, is that alcohol free drinks definitely do not mean you won’t enjoy your leisure time.

So whip a few up and see what you think, and you will be ready to roll once the occasion calls for it.

Now we just need the sun to come out for more than 20 minutes so we can settle into our garden chairs – once we have dried them off – and relax, with some summer tunes gently playing in the background.


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