It’s almost time! Break out the Slip N’ Slides. Inflate the flamingos. Summer is heating up!

A group of people enjoying a casual pool party. A woman relaxes on a large inflatable flamingo pool float and her friend jumps in on her.

Flamingos, unicorns, sprinkled donuts and another 26 excellent pool floats for 2023.

Memorial Day weekend is around the corner kicking off a season of backyard barbecues, long, lazy picnics in the park, and endless poolside cookouts. If you’re in the early stages of menu planning for the summer season, in addition to the kabobs, pasta and potato salads, hot dogs and hamburgers, consider including a few non-alcoholic cocktails to your bar cart. 

Also known as functional mocktails, these booze-free mixed drinks offer all the fun and flavor of traditional cocktails, but are lower in calories and contain active ingredients beneficial to your health without the negative side-effects of alcohol. A custom mocktail or two at your event ensures everyone feels included and can enjoy a specialty beverage whether they’re pregnant, nursing, sober or sober-curious, or just plain cutting back. 

The Benefits of Functional Mocktails

The benefits of functional mocktails go beyond just reducing calories and alcohol consumption.

You know aloe vera is a powerful anti-oxidant and ingredient in some of your favorite skincare products, but did you know it’s also great for heartburn and can enhance the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals in the body?

Peppermint is great for foot balms and cooling topical sprays, but also soothes an upset tummy and naturally freshens your breath. Chamomile, too, calms the body both inside and out, reducing inflammation and irritation, anxiety and stress.

A collection of vibrantly colored glassware on a glass shelf in front of a window looking out into lush green scenery.

💡Remember to check your crystal highballs and thrifted coupes for lead with an at-home kit before use!

Here’s a starter list of easy-to-find ingredients you can get at your local grocery store:

(Caveat: some ingredients like ginger, hibiscus, or cucumber can have adverse effects for pregnant or nursing people. Always exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before consuming.)

  • Aloe vera juice can aid in digestion, support the immune system, and promote healthy skin. Soothing and detoxifying properties.

  • Chia seeds are a good source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. They can promote healthy digestion, provide sustained energy, and support heart health.

  • Coconut water is a natural electrolyte-rich beverage that can help hydrate the body. It provides essential minerals, such as potassium and magnesium, and can aid in post-workout recovery.

  • Cucumber is hydrating and low in calories. It’s a great source of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin K, and helps promote hydration and healthy skin.

  • Ginger is anti-inflammatory, aids digestion, and helps with nausea and gastrointestinal discomfort.

  • Hibiscus flowers contain antioxidants and may help lower blood pressure and improve heart health. They also lend a vibrant color to cocktails and mocktails.

  • Lemon is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, great for boosting immunity, digestion, and healthy skin.

  • Matcha is rich in antioxidants. Good for a gentle energy boost, supporting brain function, and enhancing metabolism.

  • Mint has a soothing effect on the digestive system and can help with indigestion and bloating. It also provides a refreshing taste.

  • Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Supports joint health, improves digestion, and boosts the immune system.

How to Make Your Own Functional Mocktails

Once you’re a little familiar with a few of your favorite ingredients and what they can do for you, it’s time to get creative! Mix and match to your heart’s content!

Six mason jar mocktail spritzers stuffed with fresh produce and bendy straws

💡Easy fruit spritzer: muddle mint, rosemary, or basil with your favorite fresh-squeezed juice and top with a good tonic. Garnish with fresh fruit wheels.

You are now your own botanical mixologist so go nuts playing around with fresh herbs, flowers and fruit juices. Create your own custom mocktail, go wild with garnish, and serve them in your favorite vintage glasses.

Need a little mocktail inspo to kickstart your mixology journey? We created these easy recipes inspired by ingredients in some of our most popular skincare and wellness products. Mix each custom non-alcoholic cocktail a la carte, or create a batch recipe served in a crowd-pleasing vessel with easy-pour spigot (like this acrylic one from Crate and Barrel) and garnish with fun, edible flowers and fruit ice. 

Recipe for Aloe Lime Mocktail

Local Honey & Aloe Limeade Spritzer

  • Mix 1 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice with 1/2 cup of Aloe Vera juice
  • Sweeten with local honey or agave nectar to taste
  • Top with seltzer and serve over ice.
  • Garnish with a slice of lime and a spring of basil or mint

Recipe for Peppermint Mojito Mocktail

Peppermint Nojito

  • In a shaker, muddle together 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves and 1 tbsp of local honey
  • Add 1/2 cup of club soda and 1/2 cup of peppermint tea
  • Shake well and pour over ice
  • Garnish with raw sugar rim, a sprig of mint and a wedge of lime

    Recipe for Chamomile Yuzu Spritzer

    Chamomile Yuzu Spritzer

    • Mix 1/2 cup cooled chamomile tea with 1/2 cup yuzu juice
    • Top with sparkling water
    • Serve over ice and garnish with a crushed sprig of fresh rosemary or mint

    These recipes are just a starting point - feel free to experiment with your own ingredients and flavor combinations to find your perfect functional mocktail!