Whether you’re just trying to beat the heat with a refreshing drink, or don’t do alcohol and looking for a delicious alternative to a cocktail… there are easy and tasty ways to create mocktails that anyone would love. Jennifer Sloan shares tips and must-haves for mixing delicious mocktails.

There are a few essentials to have on hand that make it easy to whip up mocktails in moments – drinks anyone will love from kids to adults. Let’s start with the must-haves. Easy things to keep on hand so you can create a mocktail anytime. You’ll want to have the best water, fruit, and herbs.

Jennifer recently found Richard’s Rainwater at Whole Foods and she cannot get enough this summer! It’s exactly what it says – 100% pure rainwater. Richard’s Rainwater is better for you and for the planet than traditional bottled water. It’s captured before it ever hits the ground, so it’s minimally processed and doesn’t contain any minerals or chemicals – which is why it tastes so incredibly clean. It’s also the most renewable water source – one inch of rain produces 30 thousand gallons of pure rainwater that would otherwise go unused. And it makes the best mocktails! Find it at Whole Foods.

For your fruits – good ones to have on hand include lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, berries and watermelon. Most herbs make great additions to mocktails too – rosemary, thyme, basil and mint of course! Use your garden for inspiration.

You could just start here – choose your favorite combination of still or sparkling water and fruit and herbs. But there are some easy ways to level up your mocktail that really create that craft drink experience. Add a sweetener, like a plain simple syrup or infused simple syrup such as lavender! Agave nectar and honey also make great sweeteners. Using a liquid sweetener is great in drinks because it mixes faster and they are more concentrated, so you only need a tiny bit to get great flavor, so you’re using less than you would adding refined sugar.

Turn your fruit into ice cubes. Add your fruit to ice cube trays, top with water and freeze. When you’re ready to make your mocktails, pull out your ice cubes and top with the ingredients. As they melt they add incredible flavor.

The other ingredient you can keep on hand to create craft mocktails is non-alcoholic bitter such as Dram bitters from a bar right here in Denver. They were created by two brothers right here in Colorado and are now based in Salida, CO. You can order them online at Dramapothecary.com  or find them at all kinds of local liquor stores. They have really fun flavors and they take your mocktails to a whole new level!

Now it’s time to mix. You’ll want to find your favorites, but here are a just a few of my favorite combinations:

  • Lime + orange + agave + still water = margarita flavor
  • Lime + grapefruit + dash of salt + sparkling water = paloma flavor
  • Squeeze of orange + orange bitters + sparkling water = Aperol spritz mocktail
  • Blackberry + lime + rosemary + bitters + sparkling water
  • Lemon + lavender simple syrup + sparkling water
  • Lemon + thyme + orange/ citrus bitters + sparkling water
  • Watermelon + mint + lime + honey + sparkling water
  • Cucumber + lime

**Last pro-tip! Slap your herbs between your hands to release the essential oils, this will really intensify the flavor. You can also muddle them gently in your glass by pressing on them with a wooden spoon.