Fall is here in full swing: Pumpkin spice, crisp apples, and decadent cider donuts are the hit of the season. The cool temperatures usher in those autumn activities we waited for all summer; apple picking, heading to the pumpkin patch, bonfires, and get-togethers.
Festive alcohol beverages will always be a part of holiday gatherings, which can mean those of us who are sober can feel left out. But don’t fret if you are living a sober lifestyle as there are plenty of seasonal mocktails that will help you enjoy the crisp and cool fall air. Plus, the majority of these alcohol-free cocktails are super simple variations of just a handful of common ingredients.
What is a mocktail?
By definition, a mocktail is a cocktail recipe that's been modified in such a way that it can be made without alcohol. The name "mocktail" comes from the fact that these alcohol-free beverages often have the same appearance as traditional alcoholic cocktails despite lacking any alcohol, making them a great substitute for individuals who can't (or would prefer not to) drink alcohol.
Mocktails tend to use juices, sparkling or flavored water, herbs, fruit, and other non-alcoholic ingredients to replicate the flavor complexity of craft cocktails. Just like conventional alcoholic drinks, mocktails are extremely customizable and can be made in a variety of different ways.
With Thanksgiving barely in the rearview, we wanted to provide you with some fun -- and very tasty! -- autumn mocktails that you could make this season. Whether you're sober, underage, or simply don't like the taste of alcohol, there's surely one or more recipes to appeal to all tastes in our list of seven autumn mocktail recipes.
Pear Cinnamon Mocktail
Recipe courtesy of Wellness With Courtnie via Marie Claire.
When most people think of quintessential fall flavors, it's often the apple that comes to mind. As a result, poor old pear is an often-overlooked fall flavor.
Pear is in season in the colder months and has a more delicate flavor profile than apples. Using pear instead of apple in your mocktail recipes can really add an unexpected twist, making even the most classic recipes more exciting.
This pear mocktail would be great served with a light dish, such as fish or pasta in a white wine sauce.
- 1 cup of sparkling water
- 1 Anjou pear
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of sugar of your choice
- 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
- 1 sprig of rosemary, for garnish
- Cut three-quarters of a pear into thin slices.
- Muddle the remaining one-fourth of the pear in a medium-sized glass.
- Top the muddled pear with ice, sparkling water, lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar.
- Stir well and garnish with the remainder of your sliced pears, rosemary, and cinnamon stick.
- Snap a photo for the Insta because this mocktail is a real looker.
Autumn Harvest Punch
Recipe courtesy of Fivespot Green Living via Marie Claire.
Get all of the autumn flavors you love in this drink that perfectly pairs apple, orange, maple, and rosemary. Think of it like a sangria cocktail without alcohol, as it is perfect to share with a group.
- 5 cups sparkling water
- 5 cups apple cider
- 3 cups lemonade
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 apples of your choice
- 1 orange
- Rosemary sprigs
- Dice apples into half-inch cubes. Peel orange and separate the slices.
- In a tall pitcher, combine apple ciger, orange juice, and lemonage.
- Add diced apples and orange pieces.
- Mix in maple syrup and fresh rosemary sprigs.
- Chill for at least 2 hours.
- Add sparkling water just before serving.
Cranberry Moscow Mule
Recipe courtesy of TheKittchen via Marie Claire.
In the mood for something spicy and tart? Of all the festive mocktails out there, this one has autumn written all over it.
- 3 cups of fresh cranberries
- 2 16 ounce bottles of non-alcoholic ginger beer
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup cranberry juice
- ¾ cup fresh lime juice
- 4 cups ice
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 fresh lime
- Put two cups of cranberries, cranberry juice, and brown suger into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer.
- Simmer on low for 5 minutes, stirring continuously until cranberries have burst.
- Strain cranberry mixture over an adequately-sized bowl using a fine-mesh strainer. Press on the mixture using a rubber spatula to release as much liquid as possible. Then let cool.
- Pour some of the cooled cranberry concentrate into a Moscow Mule glass.
- Add lime juice, ice, and ginger beer. Gently stir.
- Garnish with cranberries and lime.
Rosemary Citrus Sparkler
Recipe courtesy of Kitchn.
Who says citrus is a drink that can only be enjoyed in the spring and summer? This citrus drink pairs wonderfully with the herby rosemary, making it great for all seasons.
- 2 oranges
- 2 lemons
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- ¾ cup sugar of your choice
- ¼ cup plain honey
- Soda water, to taste
- Lemon slices, for garnish
- Peel lemon peel off lemon in large pieces. Slices into long, thin strips.
- Juice lemons and oranges. You should have roughly 1 cup of total juice.
- Add the juice, rosemary, sugar, and honey in a saucepan. Bring just to boil over medium heat while stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and let syrup sit for 10 minutes.
- Once cool, strain solids from syrup.
- In a tall glass, fill halfway with ice. Add two to three tablespoons of syrup (or to taste).
- Top with soda water. Stir then garnish with lemon and rosemary sprigs.
Pumpkin Ginger Mocktail
Recipe courtesy of Daily Mom.
This is like a pumpkin spiced latte, but without the coffee and the caffeine!
- 2 Tbsp Pumpkin purée
- 4 Tbsp Apple cider
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1” piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- Apricot flavored sparkling water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Add pumpkin purée, apple cider, ginger, and ground cinnamon into a shaker with ice.
- Shake vigorously to combine ingredients.
- Strain the mix into two glasses.
- Top with ice and apricot sparkling water. Add a cinnamon stick for extra flair and garnish.
Blood Orange Bubbly
Recipe courtesy of Daily Mom.
This creation goes to show that fall mocktails don’t have to be complicated to be utterly delicious. Whip this one up if you’re looking for something simple but with a bunch of complex flavors.
- 2 blood oranges juiced, plus 1 for garnish
- Plain, grapefruit, or orange sparkling water
- Fresh rosemary sprigs
- Add 2-3 ounces of the blood orange juice to glasses with ice.
- Top with whatever sparkling water flavor you prefer.
- Add a sprig of rosemary and a wheel of the orange for garnish.
Gingered Hot Cider
Recipe courtesy of Kitchn.
In the mood for something warm and comforting? The below recipe is sure to warm your soul, and it’s quite easy to make.
- 6 cups apple cider
- 4 unsweetened ginger tea bags
- Pour the cider in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (If it is fresh-squeezed apple cider, make sure not to bring it to a boil as you’ll risk separating the liquid.)
- Remove from heat. Add the tea bags and allow to steep for about 10 minutes.
- Stir and serve hot with a garnish of your choice.
Enjoy a Delicious Mocktail This Holiday Season
We hope these non-alcoholic cocktails bring the autumn ambiance this fall season.
Never Alone Recovery understands that sobriety can be extra challenging during the holidays. If you are looking for advice on how to choose a drug rehab, or for information pertaining to choosing alcohol rehabs in Indiana, our team is here to help you. Contact us today to learn more.