Weddings are a time to let your hair down and party, but for those guests who can’t or don’t want to imbibe, an open bar serving spectacular cocktails can leave them feelings left out of the festivities.
Fortunately, there are some amazing non-alcoholic options you can serve which are just as impressive and stylish as traditional cocktails and help non-drinkers and children to feel included in the wedding. Whether you’re having an alcohol-free reception or you just want to provide some stunning alternatives to soda, these delicious mocktails are sure to be a hit with your guests at the wedding reception.
Tangy Grapefruit “Margarita”
Kids will adore this grown up looking drink, and non-drinking adults will love the combination of sweetness and tartness from the grapefruit and the grenadine.
Recipe: (serves 12)
4 tablespoon fine sugar
12 teaspoon grenadine
3 cups pink grapefruit juice
- Place sugar on a plate and wet the rim of a margarita glass with a lime wedge. Dip and roll the rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
- Add 1 tsp of grenadine to the bottom of the glass.
- Add juice plus 4 cups ice to a blender. Blend on high speed until mixture is slushy. You can do this in 2 batches.
- Add frozen mixture to a glass and stir to combine.
- Garnish with a lime wheel on the rim.
*sanding sugar used in cake decorating comes in a variety of colors for a stunning garnish, but regular granulated sugar can be used as a substitute.
A classic non-alcoholic drink beloved by guests of all ages is the Shirley Temple. This elevated version is an elegant option for your wedding reception.
Recipe: (serves 12)
2 cups grenadine
2 liters lemon flavored sparkling water
- In a saucepan, add 4 cups of water, and bring to a boil.
- Stir in grenadine, then pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid but, preferably, overnight.
- To serve, fill a glass with grenadine ice cubes, top with flavored water, and garnish with 2 or 3 maraschino cherries.
Sparkling Pomegranate Seltzer
The addition of pomegranate seeds to the sweet syrup creates a glamorous jewel-like effect in the glass. The layers of ingredients also form a mesmerizing ombre effect, giving you the perfect addition to your drinks list while staying on point with the latest color trends for 2017.
¾ cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
- In a tall glass, add 1 tablespoon of fresh pomegranate seeds.
- Add pomegranate juice and 2-3 ice cubes.
- Top carefully with sparkling water.
Hot Apple Cider
For those of you planning a whimsical winter wedding, a warming virgin hot apple cider will hit the spot. Subtly spiced with allspice berries and garnished with sugared cranberries, this cozy mocktail evokes plenty of festive feelings, leaving your guests feeling pleasantly warm and ready to party.
You can make this as a big batch and have it ready to greet guests as they arrive at the reception:
2 parts apple cider
2 allspice berries
Sugared cranberries, to garnish
- Bring cider and berries to the boil. Remove from heat and leave to infuse for at least 10 minutes—longer if you want a deeper spice flavor.
- Skim foam from the top and remove allspice berries.
- Ladle into heatproof glasses, and garnish with two cranberries threaded onto a skewer.
This alcohol-free spin on the classic mojito is a refreshing summer alternative for anyone forgoing alcohol at the wedding. For another alternative to the classic recipe, you could also try muddling your favorite fresh, soft fruit with the lime.
½ lime, cubed
4 mint leaves
1 tsp brown sugar
1 oz. simple syrup
Sprig of mint and lime wheel for garnish
- In a tall glass, muddle ½ lime, mint leaves, and brown sugar.
- Add simple syrup and crushed ice. Stir to combine.
- Top with soda water.
- Place lime wheel on the rim of the glass and garnish with the sprig of mint.
Citrus Cucumber Water
Flavored waters are fantastic not only for guests refraining from alcohol but also for your party animal guests who need some serious hydration after enjoying the bar. This refreshing citrus cucumber water will quench the thirstiest guests even in the middle of a sweltering summer wedding.
½ gallon filtered water
1 lemon, sliced
2 limes, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced
- Place all ingredients in a large pitcher and cover with water.
- Allow to sit for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Serve in a tall glass over ice.