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Making The Perfect Summer Mocktail

Struggling to beat this hellish heat, and craving a festive summer cocktail? Us too. So we dispatched a reporter to a bunch of A-list bars to dig up the recipes for their finest "mocktails." They're delicious, they don't look too dorky, and they won't get you drunk (or arrested.) Did we happen to mention that they're all virgins?

  • Shirley Temple (with a kick)

    The classic mocktail, sipped by five-year-olds and the newly-sober worldwide. But this time, add a little class to your Shirley by shaking her up in a martini glass. It's a great way to sip a mocktail at the bar and still feel just as “in” as ever.

    Ingredients:
       3 ounces lime juice
       3 ounces ginger ale (or 7-Up/Sprite)
       Dash of grenadine
       Maraschino cherries

    Directions:
    1. Add 3-5 ice cubes to a highball or martini glass.
    2. Add lime juice.
    3. Add ginger ale or substitute.
    4. Add a dash of grenadine.
    (The grenadine's function is to provide color, more than taste. Adding too much can make your drink painfully sweet.)
    5. Add a cherry (or two) and a straw.
    6. Stir... And enjoy!

    Photo via

  • Mint Juleps

    Suitable for sipping with Tennessee Williams on a hot summer porch, this virgin mint julep is sure to bring out all the cats on a hot tin roof. Perfect for barbeques, early evening soirees and the occasional seductress.

    Ingredients:
       6 mint leaves, rinsed
       1 1/2 cups sugar
       2 cups cold water
       3/4 cups lemon juice
       4 cups Fresca (or any lemon-lime soda pop)
       2 cups ginger ale

    Directions:
    1. Place sugar, water and lemon juice in large bowl. 
    2. Mix until sugar dissolves and add mint leaves. Let sit for 1 hour.
    3. Fill a large pitcher with ice and pour sugar, lemon juice mixture over ice. You can discard the mint leaves at this time. We left them in because we wanted a stronger mint flavor.
    4. Add Fresca and ginger ale.

    Photo via

  • Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri

    Just like spring break in Daytona Beach, except without the beer bongs and the one-night stands—but who said there are no wet T-shirt contests in sobriety? The Virgin Daiquiri is like a smoothie with style and the perfect mocktail for a poolside party.

    Ingredients:
       8 large strawberries, hulled

       3 cups chilled lemon-lime soda

       1 cup white sugar

       4 tablespoons lemon juice

       16 ice cubes

    Directions:
    1. In a blender, combine strawberries, lemon-lime soda, sugar, and lemon juice.
    2. Add ice and blend until smooth.
    3. Pour into a margarita glass.
    4. Garnish with a fresh strawberry.

    Photo via

  • Raspberry Lime Rickey

    I don’t know what a Lime Rickey is, but this sure does sound good. Impress your friends by bringing a little class to the party—refreshing, tasty and a perfect substitute for the Madras cocktail.

    Ingredients:
       1 lime, quartered
       8 fluid ounces carbonated water
       1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger raspberry syrup

    Directions:
    1. Fill a tall glass with ice.
    2. Squeeze each of the lime wedges into glass, and drop in.
    3. Fill glass nearly to the top with carbonated water, and top with raspberry syrup.

    Photo via

  • Cosmo-Not

    You can pretend it's 1999 and you’re wearing your Carrie Bradshaw-approved Manolos with one of these Cosmo-Nots in hand. Just when you thought you would never have to drink one of these bad boys again, they gave us a virgin version to let our inner Sex and the City girls out.

    Ingredients:
       1 cup ice, crushed
       3 ounces peach nectar
       2 ounces cranberry juice
       1/2 ounce grenadine
       1 ounce lemon-lime soda
       Twist lemon peel   

    Directions:
    1. Fill shaker with ice and pour in peach nectar, cranberry juice, and grenadine.
    2. Strain into a martini glass and top with lemon-lime soda.
    3. Garnish with twist of lemon.

    Photo via

  • Mock Champagne

    Perfect for baby showers, weddings, and Sunday brunches. Who needs Veuve when you've got ginger ale? Mock Champagne is a way to celebrate without foregoing the bubbly. And with this delicious recipe, people might never know the difference...

    Ingredients:
        3 quarts Ginger Ale
        1/2 cup grenadine
        1/2 cup lemon juice (clear)
        1/2 cup grapefruit juice (clear)
        2 cups tonic water or 2 cups club soda

    Directions:
    1. Combine in a large punch bowl.
    2. Serve chilled.

    Photo via

  • Orange-Basil Bellinis

    One of my first cocktails was a Bellini (I was 11) so this recipe holds a special place in my heart. Invite over the girls (or the boys) and mix up a batch of these terrific treats to turn any day into a special event.

    Ingredients:
       1 cup water
       1 cup sugar
       1/2 cup fresh basil leaf, more for garnish
       1 orange
       1 (1 liter) bottle sparkling water (or seltzer)

    Directions:
    1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the water and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, add the basil, and let cool. Strain out the basil and refrigerate until ready to use. Syrup will last up to 2 weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
    2. Slice a 1/4-inch thick slice from the center of the orange. Slice that into quarters and set aside for garnish. Squeeze the juice from the 2 remaining halves into a bowl.
    3. Pour 1 tablespoon orange juice and 1 tablespoon basil simple syrup into a Champagne flute. Top with sparkling water.
    Garnish with a slice of orange and a basil leaf.

    Photo via

  • Hot Cider Nog

    There’s nothing worse than an eggnog hangover. But now you can have the yummy goodness of holiday fare without the day-after effects. This inviting drink is even better than the real thing—and prettier too!

    Ingredients:
       2 cups half-and-half
       1 cup milk
       1 cup apple cider
       2 large eggs
       1/2 cup sugar
       1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
       1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
       1/8 teaspoon salt
       1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
       Garnish: cinnamon sticks

    Directions:
    1. Whisk together first 8 ingredients in a heavy saucepan.
    2. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally, until mixture thickens and coats a spoon (about 15 minutes).
    3. Top each serving with whipped cream.
    4. Garnish if desired.

    Photo via

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By Kristen McGuiness 07/14/11

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