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Olivia Tipton

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Sip Sober

The Rise of Mocktails

Forget everything you thought you knew about mocktails. The Shirley Temples of yesteryear have given way to a new breed of non-alcoholic drinks that are just as complex, flavorful, and artfully crafted as any cocktail on the menu. Whether you're craving the bitterness of a negroni or the tropical notes of a mai tai, you can now find mocktail versions that don't compromise on taste. With creative ingredients like NA spirits and artisanal mixers, many modern mocktails rival their alcoholic counterparts in complexity and presentation. The mocktail renaissance is here - read on as we shake up some recipes from this delicious new world of non-alcoholic mixology.

Mocktails are far from a modern invention. The idea of creating delicious non-alcoholic drinks dates back centuries, with early mocktails consisting of homemade lemonades, teas, and other refreshments. In the 1920s, during the Prohibition era in the United States, mocktails grew in popularity as a creative way to mimic the taste of cocktails without the alcohol. Classic mocktails from this time included virgin versions of the Mary Pickford as well as virgin Pina Coladas and Daiquiris. The mocktail craze died down after Prohibition, but experienced a resurgence in the 1980s as people became more health conscious. While mocktails are having a moment now, their origins trace back to longstanding traditions of creating sophisticated non-alcoholic drinks.

It’s a sign of the times…

Mocktails are the new IT GIRL, boldly making their way onto your favorite bar menu. And with how delicious they are, it looks like they are here to stay.

I’m sitting at dinner thumbing through the drink menu. After deciding I’m not in the mood for an alcoholic beverage, I come to a section titled  “Mocktails.” The list isn’t just seltzer and lime or the tired old Shirely Temple. It’s a list of complex and interesting beverages just as thoughtfully designed as their boozy counterparts. I order a non-alcoholic (NA) negroni, and it’s fantastic!

Restaurant goers have begun moving to low and zero proof spirits, a market growing in its visibility and appeal for a number of reasons. Looking to reduce or eliminate alcohol intake, health and wellness concerns, even personal and religious reasons are all possibilities for this shift in consumption. As this self declared Sober Curious movement grows in number the demand for bars, restaurants, even liquor stores to have an offering of good low alcohol and NA options is increasing. Gone are the days of sugary and uninspired juice based drinks. Here are the days of fully conceptualized mocktail menus that rival the care, complexity, and, of course, taste compared to any other beverage on the menu.

The good news is, with the growing availability of these products making fun mocktails at home doesn’t require previous bartending experience. You can whip up your own bougie beverage with ease. We’ve put together a few fun recipes for you to try out, perfect for that end of summer wind down.

Badda Bing Cherry Cola Mocktail

This combination of bitter aperitivo and cola make for a complex and grown up cherry cola. Feeling fancy? Add a scoop of ice cream and make it a float.

8 Bing cherries, pitted

½ oz Campari style NA spirit

1 dropper full NA bitters

Probiotic cola soda

In a glass, add cherries, Campari, and bitters. Middle until very saucy. Fill the glass with ice and top with soda. Garnish with a cherry and serve.

NA Jungle Bird

Tikki drinks aren’t going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a new spin on old classics. The Jungle Bird gives you all the tropical vibes without being overly sweet. It’s perfectly fun and refreshing.

Rich Coconut Syrup

½ cup coconut sugar

¼ cup boiling water

Combine the coconut sugar with boiling water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool before using.

1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

1/2 oz Campari style NA spirit

1/4 oz rich coconut syrup

8 drops NA Bitters

Top off with a pineapple soda

Garnish with cleaned pineapple leaves and a fresh pineapple wedge

Slices of lime

Combine all ingredients except the pineapple soda in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold. Strain over fresh ice, top with the soda, garnish with a slice of lime, a pineapple leaf and wedge, and serve!

NA Kentucky Mule

A simple, no fuss mocktail that serves big on flavor.

2 oz NA bourbon spirit

½ oz lime juice

Ginger beer

Garnish with candied ginger

Slices of lime

Combine bourbon spirit and lime juice  in a glass over ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a slice of lime and a piece of candied ginger.

The mocktail movement is more than just a trend - it represents a cultural shift toward more mindful drinking and inclusive environments. While the elaborate garnishes and complex recipes are fun, the real value is in creating an experience where everyone feels welcome, not just those imbibing alcohol. 

  • NA Jungle Bird
  • NA Mule

Olivia Tipton is the founder and owner of Table Culinary Solutions, a company deeply rooted in the belief that food is a catalyst for change. Olivia has spent her professional career working as a product development chef for national brands including Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and SK Food Group. Her work has been featured in media publications such as The New York Times, Forbes, and The Today Show. Along with her passion for menu design and execution, Olivia loves to share her knowledge through culinary education. Working with guests of all ages, she teaches classic techniques helping students feel more confident to explore food and cooking independently. For more food inspiration and to learn more about our services visit

Instagram:  @_table_culinary