We love cocktails. The boozy kick of spirits is a welcome addition to every drink. But sometimes you want to lay off the bottle, and there's no reason that cutting out alcohol has to mean sacrificing flavor. To that end, we've rounded up a collection of refreshing, warming, and rich nonalcoholic drink recipes for the whole family to enjoy.
Mexico is home to all sorts of great nonalcoholic drinks. Horchata is a milky cooler made with various types of ground grains and seeds. A classic version is made with toasted rice and flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. For a richer version, try fortifying the drink with coconut water and milk.
India has a long history of making nonalcoholic drinks that provide relief from the country's heat. If you’ve been to an Indian restaurant in America you're likely familiar with the lassi—a creamy drink made with milk or yogurt often blended with fruits like mangos or strawberries. A lighter choice is nimbu pani, a bubbly limeade enlivened by coarsely ground black pepper.
Rich, creamy milkshakes are a drink and dessert all in one. The general recipes is simple—ice cream, flavorings, and milk if you want to thin it a little. Try spiking your milkshake with maple syrup or, if you're feeling decadent, a whole slice of blueberry pie. For something a little different but totally addictive, avocado and mint is a delicious combination.
Find all of these drinks and more in our collection of nonalcoholic drink recipes.
This thirst-quencher punches up pineapple and apple with cactus.
A refreshing, non-alcoholic drink, the lime rickey offers up a bit of sweet cold lime heaven, well worth the labor of making it.
Bright and fruity with a caramelized depth of flavor thanks to brown sugar and a four-day ferment, this homemade lemon soda is enjoyed during the May Day celebration in Finland.
This sweet-tart drink is a popular streetside cooler.
“This is just the freshest and most refreshing juice you can drink, ever,” gushes Marcus Samuelsson about his favorite drink at Zanzibar’s night market. Feel free to add the juice—which, when fermented and distilled, turns into rum—to beer for a sweet cocktail, as some Zanzibaris do, or drink it straight, as shown here, with ginger for added spice.
This recipe treats iced coffee like a cocktail, adding peach nectar and lime juice to amp the beans’ citrus and other fruit notes. Get the recipe for Gone in 60 Seconds »
In early spring, the first of the season’s unripe mangoes are eagerly anticipated in India. Green, unripe mangoes, with their tart flavor and rich pectins, are used to add tang to all sorts of dishes, from dals to desserts. Here, they are boiled until tender and blended with sweet jaggery, pungent black salt, asafoetida, and other spices in a thirst-quenching north Indian drink.
This sweet, creamy milk drink is flavored with nuts and mixed with spices such as cardamom, poppy seeds, and rose water.
A staple in restaurants throughout southern India, masala paal is a milk-based beverage that is sweetened with sugar and garnished with almonds and pistachios. We learned how to whip up a homemade version when cookbook author Raghavan Iyer stopped by our test kitchen and taught us this recipe. Get the recipe for Steamed Milk with Pistachios and Almonds (Masala Paal) »
Throughout India, creamy, chilled lassis are the go-to beverage for cooling off during the warmer months. To make them, milk or water-thinned yogurt is blended with ingredients such as ripe mangoes or, as in this recipe, rose water and strawberries. Get the recipe for Strawberry Lassi »
In Lucknow, India, the hakims—local practitioners of Yunani medicine, derived from ancient Greece and focused on balancing the humors in the body—concoct cooling drinks to beat the heat. Called by the Persian name sharbat, the iced drinks often contain sweet and tart fruits and pungent and fiery spices. This refreshing cooler gets a carbonated lift from seltzer and a pleasantly saline tang from black salt and dried mango powder.
Honey adds unique depth as a sweetener for hot cocoa, balanced by a pinch of salt. Get the recipe for Honeyed Hot Cocoa »
If you’d rather drink your breakfast, try atole—a traditional Mexican drink thickened with masa harina and served hot.
Cardamom gives this Indian drink a bright, piney sweetness tempered by a creamy base of evaporated milk and black tea. Get the recipe for Spiced Tea (Masala Chai) »
A scoop of vanilla ice cream and a hefty slice of pie go into the blender together, and out comes the ultimate dessert: A creamy shake with buttery crumbles of pie crust and ribbons of gorgeous fruit filling throughout. Get the recipe for Blueberry Pie Milkshake »
Vanilla ice cream is a natural partner for dark, Grade B syrup: simple and bracingly cold, with overlapping layers of sweetness, they’re at their best blended together in a milkshake. Get the recipe for Maple Syrup Milkshake »
Throughout India, creamy, chilled lassis are the go-to beverage for cooling off during the warmer months. To make them, milk or water-thinned yogurt is blended with ingredients such as Rooh Afza, a scarlet-colored syrup tasting of rose petals and pine, or—for this recipe—ripe mangoes, resulting in a refreshing drink that’s as thick as a milkshake.
This hot pink lemonade gets its vibrant color and extra boost of sweetness from an unexpected source: beets.
This chilly treat is an adaptation of one served at the Royale Eatery, a burger and shake shop in Cape Town, South Africa. A simple purée of avocado, ice cream, mint leaves, and ice, it’s sweet, rich, and dense enough to stand a spoon in. Get the recipe for Avocado-Mint Shake »
Hibiscus tea has a tart, floral flavor that pairs beautifully with spicy fresh ginger in this refreshing drink. Get the recipe for Iced Ginger Hibiscus Tea »
Toasted rice horchata is traditionally served in the Mexican state of Campeche. Surprisingly clean and refreshing in flavor, it’s an ideal thirst quencher on a hot day.
Cantaloupe seeds, usually discarded, make a refreshing drink when ground with water. Cubes of cantaloupe are a great garnish.
This sweet, fizzy Concord grape soda is set to bubbling with a purchased culture of champagne yeast, which gives it a pronounced effervescence.
This nonalcoholic sparkler is decidedly sophisticated: fennel’s light, anise flavor is tempered by sweetly autumnal apple juice.