This sweet, fizzy Concord grape soda is set to bubbling with a purchased culture of champagne yeast, which gives it a pronounced effervescence. Todd Coleman
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.
A refreshing, non-alcoholic drink, the lime rickey offers up a bit of sweet cold lime heaven, well worth the labor of making it.
Finnish Lemon Soda (Sima)
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 version of the classic Mexican rice-based drink, which writer Sara Deseran adapted from one at Fresno’s El Mercado Super, is made with a mix of coconut milk and coconut water for a beverage that is both luxurious and refreshing. Get the recipe for Coconut Horchata »
Zanzibari Pressed Sugarcane Drink
“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.
Spiced Mango Drink
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.
Spiced Almond Drink (Thandai)
This sweet, creamy milk drink is flavored with nuts and mixed with spices such as cardamom, poppy seeds, and rose water.
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 »
North Indian Spiced Limeade (Nimbu ka Sharbat)
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.
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 »
Concord Grape Soda
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.
Mint and cucumber make this classic summertime drink extra refreshing.