Whether you’re at a work function or are the designated driver for your friends, mocktails are a great option for those looking for non-alcohol drinks that are more than your average soda. Mocktails are taking the world by storm and they’re going above and beyond the Shirley Temple we all know and love. Get in on the “Year of the Mocktail” and impress your friends with these tips.

Bring out the cocktail glasses

Skip the plastic cups and bring out your fanciest glassware. Champagne flutes are great for bubbly mocktails without ice. Use tall highball glasses for drinks with muddled fruit and herbs. Want to rim the glass with sugar or salt?  Margarita glasses are a must have!

Use fun ice cube trays

There are many silicone molds or ice cube trays that can create fun shapes and textures. Hosting a themed party? That’s the best time to get creative and find the perfect mold for your drinks. From pineapples for your luau to flamingos for a bachelorette party, you’ll find everything you need with a quick search online.

Mix it up with mixers

Club soda may be the most popular mixer, but don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Kombucha, ginger ale and sparkling water are great bubbly alternatives to prosecco and champagne. Juice and lemonade are a great base with plenty of flavor. If you want to cut back on sugar, add a splash of juice with to a bubbly base for a light and refreshing taste.

Keep it fresh

Fresh fruit and herbs are key to giving your drinks a handcrafted feel. Citrus like lemons, lime and grapefruit are cocktail staples because they give an otherwise bland beverage the zing it needs. Punch up the flavor of a sparkling libation with a squeeze of juice or zest of the fruit. Berries are ideal for muddling and can give a sweet note to your mocktails. If you’re feeling adventurous, add in fresh herbs like mint or basil to add complexity that will take your alcohol-free drinks to the next level.

Give it a garnish

What’s a drink without a garnish? Fruit, herbs or tiny umbrellas are all fun additions that give your mocktail the perfect finishing touch. Are you having a unicorn-themed birthday party? Spear fruit on a toothpick to create a unicorn horn. Garnishes are also an opportunity to give your drink balance. Is it super sweet? Use fruit with acidity to cut the sweetness. The options are endless!

Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of a fancy drink this spring! Make your own mocktail that is as delicious as it is beautiful.


Berny Centeno is General Manager of modern Southwest restaurant Ghost Ranch. Ghost Ranch is located in Tempe at 1006 E. Warner Road, Suite 102-3 and offers daily happy hour with impressive margaritas, appetizers and cocktails, as well as a brunch menu on the weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information visit ghostranchaz.com or follow them on Facebook at @Ghostranchaz or Instagram at @ghostranch_az.