10 Best Nonalcoholic Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes for the Whole Fam

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without beverages—wine, whiskey, and bourbon may come to mind in some households, plus sparkling water and sodas for anyone not drinking the hard stuff. But there’s a whole category of not-boring nonalcoholic drinks t…

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without beverages—wine, whiskey, and bourbon may come to mind in some households, plus sparkling water and sodas for anyone not drinking the hard stuff. But there’s a whole category of not-boring nonalcoholic drinks that make family-friendly substitutes for Thanksgiving cocktails. Mulled apple cider with cinnamon sticks, orange peel, and fresh ginger is a must, but what about hot chocolate, a cranberry mocktail with Red Bull energy drink, or an apple and maple cocktail made with a nonalcoholic spirit? Here are 10 of the best nonalcoholic Thanksgiving mocktails to make for Turkey Day.


10 Best Thanksgiving Mocktails

1. Perfect Hot Chocolate

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the official start of the holiday season, and nothing says “winter is here” like the perfect cup of hot cocoa. Serve homemade hot chocolate—made with both cocoa powder and chocolate pieces—to kids and adults alike after Thanksgiving dinner.

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4 Summer-Perfect Mocktails Starring LaCroix’s New Flavors

We’ve teamed up with LaCroix Sparkling Water to highlight their new summer flavors—from the tropical-inspired Guava São Paulo to their cooling Beach Plum—in super-refreshing mocktails. These fruity sparkling waters are free of sugar and artificial ingr…

We've teamed up with LaCroix Sparkling Water to highlight their new summer flavors—from the tropical-inspired Guava São Paulo to their cooling Beach Plum—in super-refreshing mocktails. These fruity sparkling waters are free of sugar and artificial ingredients, making them our pick for all-day sipping and mixing.


Raise your hand if you've ever bought a case of LaCroix Sparkling Water based on the aesthetic of the packaging alone. There's something about the glossy color palette and laid-back cursive font that sparks joy, making me want a stack of cans chilling in my fridge at all times.

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Our 30 Best Nonalcoholic Cocktails for Flavor-Filled, Booze-Free Sipping

Here’s something to sip on: nonalcoholic cocktails. The next time you’re craving a booze-free beverage that’s refreshing, flavorful, and admittedly far more interesting than seltzer water mixed with a splash of cran or OJ, turn to these 30 recipes. Fro…

Here's something to sip on: nonalcoholic cocktails. The next time you're craving a booze-free beverage that's refreshing, flavorful, and admittedly far more interesting than seltzer water mixed with a splash of cran or OJ, turn to these 30 recipes. From variations on homemade lemonade to a fizzy cooler that features a generous scoop of homemade orange sherbet (hey, you can have your ice cream and eat it, too!), these drinks are creative takes on punches, spritzes, and more.

These recipes call on beautiful seasonal produce like rhubarb during the spring; berries, watermelon, and stone fruit during the summer; and root vegetables like beets during the colder months. Rim a glass with fiery spices for a bit of heat, or add a sprig of thyme or rosemary for a subtle earthy flavor and a stunning visual aid. Low-ABV and nonalcoholic cocktails are finally getting their time in the spotlight, and we're so excited to celebrate them with these recipes from our superstar recipe developers.

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Virgin Margarita

This virgin margarita tastes just as good as the real thing! This mocktail is tangy and lightly sweet, with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top. Craving a margarita but can’t drink? Or serving a crowd and need a non-alcoholic option? Enter this virgin margarita! It’s tangy and refreshing, punctuated by that classic salt rim. Even better, it’s got a surprise that brings a bit of “funk” to the flavor that’s reminiscent of tequila. With a focus on tart flavors and balanced with just enough sweet, it’s truly the mocktail version of our Classic Margarita! (Side benefit: it’s lower calorie too!) Here are all our secrets. What’s in this virgin margarita? Here’s how to make everyone’s favorite cocktail into a margarita mocktail! The margarita is a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means that there’s an “official” definition of the margarita: tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. But how to make that taste as intriguing…with no alcohol at all? (A zero-proof margarita, if you will?) Here’s what we used did: Lime juice: Always. Lemon juice: Using lemon as well as lime brings nuance to the citrus. Tonic water: Bubbles add a sparkle! […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This virgin margarita tastes just as good as the real thing! This mocktail is tangy and lightly sweet, with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top.

Margarita mocktail

Craving a margarita but can’t drink? Or serving a crowd and need a non-alcoholic option? Enter this virgin margarita! It’s tangy and refreshing, punctuated by that classic salt rim. Even better, it’s got a surprise that brings a bit of “funk” to the flavor that’s reminiscent of tequila. With a focus on tart flavors and balanced with just enough sweet, it’s truly the mocktail version of our Classic Margarita! (Side benefit: it’s lower calorie too!) Here are all our secrets.

What’s in this virgin margarita?

Here’s how to make everyone’s favorite cocktail into a margarita mocktail! The margarita is a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means that there’s an “official” definition of the margarita: tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. But how to make that taste as intriguing…with no alcohol at all? (A zero-proof margarita, if you will?) Here’s what we used did:

  • Lime juice: Always.
  • Lemon juice: Using lemon as well as lime brings nuance to the citrus.
  • Tonic water: Bubbles add a sparkle!
  • Maple syrup or simple syrup: Just a drizzle balances the tartness.
  • Pickle juice: Yes, pickle juice adds that tequila “funk”! Keep reading for why…
Virgin margarita

The secret? Pickle juice.

The secret to making this virgin margarita taste over the top delicious? Pickle juice. Adding intrigue to the flavor of a mocktail is essential to making them more than just fruit juice. It’s customary to experiment with all sorts of things, including non-alcoholic spirits. But we didn’t want to add a special ingredient you’d have to purchase specially.

That’s where pickle juice comes in! It brings a briny funk to this virgin margarita that makes you feel like there’s a little alcohol in it. But it’s not so much that it’s noticeable! It’s also totally optional, so you don’t have to do it if it weirds you out. But after multiple taste tests, pickle juice in a virgin margarita was the clear winner!

Less sugar than the standard virgin margarita!

We love our cocktails crisp and tart around here. So just like our Classic Margarita, there’s barely any added sugar in this margarita. This stands out from the standard margarita mocktail, which is usually so sickly sweet it’s barely a margarita at all! This shouldn’t taste like sweet syrupy juice: it should be crisp and tart. The sugar comes from two sources:

  • Only 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup or simple syrup (use whichever you’d like: maple syrup is a great natural sweetener with no refined sugar)
  • A hint of sugar in the tonic water
Virgin margarita

What is tonic water? Can I use sparkling water?

Tonic water is a carbonated water that also contains quinine and is lightly sweetened. It was originally was used against malaria, but these days the quinine levels are much lower. Quinine adds a slightly bitter flavor, but its not as detectable with today’s lower levels. Even so, if you taste tonic water there’s something about the nuance of bitter and sweet which is hard to replace.

True cocktails and mocktails use tonic water, so we’d recommend finding some if you can! Sparkling water adds only bubbles, but doesn’t have the nuance in flavor. We buy a brand that comes in small cans, which is nice since you’ll only use a little in this virgin margarita.

Virgin margarita

More margarita variations

If you also drink alcohol (or have friends who do), we’ve got lots more variations on this classic drink! Here are some of our favorites:

Margarita mocktail

When to serve a virgin margarita

Anytime works for a virgin margarita! This one is perfect as a:

  • Zero proof margarita for guests who don’t drink alcohol
  • Mocktail for pregnant women
  • Baby shower drink (make one for mom, then classic margaritas for guests)
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Virgin margarita

Virgin Margarita


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This virgin margarita tastes just as good as the real thing! This mocktail is tangy and lightly sweet, with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top.


Ingredients

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup or simple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon pickle juice (optional but recommended!)
  • 3 ounces tonic water
  • For the garnish: Lime wheel

Instructions

  1. Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of flaky sea salt (or for a festive look, use Margarita Salt).
  2. In the serving glass, stir together the lime juice, lemon juice, maple syrup, and pickle juice (adds just the right funky flavor to mimic tequila). Add the tonic water and ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve.

  • Category: Mocktail
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Virgin Margarita, Margarita Mocktail, Zero Proof Margarita

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes