Written by Daniel Gonzales
Photography by Robin Zelinski
Every guest can get in on the party when you serve up these fun, non-alcoholic concoctions.
Driving down the road a few weeks ago, I saw a couple of kids with a make-shift kiosk and hand-drawn sign advertising “Lemonade $1.” I couldn’t help but think of the old Peanuts comics where Lucy was offering psychiatric help for five cents. To be honest, I was really thirsty, so I pulled over and bought a couple glasses of the refreshing drink. In that moment, I realized that springtime was over, and summer was in full swing.
Simple syrup is 1 part sugar, 1 part warm water. Add both parts together and stir until sugar is dissolved.
With the Las Cruces summertime now upon us, there will be no shortage of pool parties, backyard barbeques and campouts, weddings, and a myriad of other activities that bring family and friends together. The two little entrepreneurs inspired me to come up with a few easy-to-make, non-alcoholic drinks to impress your guests at all your summertime celebrations.
The term mocktail is used to describe a drink that has every element of an elevated, handmade cocktail, without the alcohol. These concoctions can truly add that special touch, displaying individuality creativity that your guests won’t soon forget.
Muddling is taking a small blunt object, like a small rolling pin or back end of an ice pick, and pressing the leaves to release the oils within them. You do not want to tear or grind leaves, as it will leave a bitter taste in your drink.
Just like a proper cocktail, mocktails are all about balance. Here are a few ideas you can try or tweak to fit your particular special event. The recipes provided are for single drinks, so you can make them to order in true bar style. Or, multiply the ratios for the number of guests you are planning to serve to make in easy-to-serve batches.
Here’s to a wonderful summer making memories with family and friends. Cheers!
Perfect Purple Smoothie
- 8-10 blackberries
- 5-7 cubes of cantaloupe
- 6-8 frozen peach slices
- ½ cucumber
- 1 cup ice
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup coconut water
- Spoonful of whipped cream
Combine all ingredients, except whipped cream, in a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Pour smoothie into tall glass. Spoon whipped cream on top. Garnish with blackberries and cantaloupe cubes.
For adults only: Add 1 oz. of Cruzan Coconut Rum.
Basil Pineapple Spritzer
This particular libation is one that will appeal to almost every palate. It’s sweet and herbaceous, with that bubbly factor that creates an effervescence drastically needed in this ultra-warm climate.
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 2 oz. fresh pineapple juice
- 4-6 leaves fresh basil
- 1 oz. sparkling cider
- 1 oz. water
In mixing vessel, add lemon juice, simple syrup and basil leaves, then muddle basil leaves gently. Add pineapple juice and water and stir. Strain liquid into a champagne flute and top off with sparkling cider. Garnish with pineapple slice and basil leaf.
For one: There is no ice in this drink, so make sure all your ingredients are nice and chilled.
For a crowd: Mix all ingredients, except sparkling cider, and keep in the refrigerator two hours before your party. Add your bubbles just before your guests arrive. If you are serving in a large punch bowl or vessel, leave basil leaves in the bowl, and even add more fresh basil to enhance the visual aspect of the beverage. These leaves will impart more flavor the longer they sit in the liquid.
For adults only: Replace sparkling cider with Gruet Blanc de Blancs.
Raspberry Mint Limeade
- 2 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. agave nectar
- 5-7 raspberries
- 7-10 mint leaves
In mixing vessel, combine lime juice, agave nectar, raspberries, and mint, then muddle. Add water and stir. Strain liquid into a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and raspberries.
For a crowd: Strain out raspberry pulp and muddled mint leaves as instructed, then add fresh raspberries and mint in your punch bowl. Instead of traditional ice cubes, make a large ice block by freezing water the night before your party in a large plastic container, this will last longer for your gathering, and will dilute your mocktail less than traditional ice.
For adults only: Add 1 oz. of Bombay Sapphire Gin
Watermelon Green Tea Arnold Palmer
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 2 oz. watermelon juice
- 2 oz. green tea
In mixing vessel, combine all ingredients and stir. Pour over ice in a pint glass. Garnish with a watermelon slice and lemon wedge.
For a crowd: Pour all ingredients into a large punch bowl or serving vessel and add large ice block along with watermelon cubes and lemon wheels.
For adults only: Add 1 oz. of Skyy California Apricot Vodka