Photo by Whitney Wright on Unsplash

There is nothing quite like a warm evening out in the yard with good friends and a cool drink in hand. What often happens though is that our drinks are filled with refined sugars, artificial flavours & colours. Did you know that one pina colada can cost you up to 10 teaspoons of sugar and 600 calories?

Take your bevvies up a notch with these simple and tasty recipes. You won’t find any artificial flavours or copious amounts of refined sugar here!

Step 1: Choose Your Base

Kombucha – fermented tea with probiotic activity, supports digestion, even though it tastes sweet, it contains far less sugar than pop

Sparkling Water – carbonated water, no sodium or sugar

Ginger Beer – alternative to ginger ale, often more natural ingredients and less sugar; since it has a stronger flavour, you will also use less

100% Fruit Juice – avoid fruit ‘beverages & cocktails,’ that often contain additional sugars

Tea – herbal, green, black – look for natural options without added artificial flavours

Step 2: Consider Your Sweetener

Not all mocktail recipes require any additional sweetener. Much will depend on your taste buds and also how much natural sweetener is already present from fruit & fruit juice ingredients.

Stevia – Can be up to 400x sweeter than refined sugar; doesn’t adversely affect blood glucose levels and may be used by diabetics. Stevia has a unique flavour. Along with its sweetness there is also a bitter component. The poorer the quality of the leaf the more bitterness is evident in the taste.

Honey – if you are using tea as your base, you can naturally sweeten with a little bit of honey during the steeping process while the tea is still hot. Adding honey to cold tea won’t dissolve as well.

Simple Syrup – 1 cup raw organic sugar to 1 cup water – gently heat mixture to dissolve. Store in a glass mason jar in the fridge. Use sparingly.


Make ice cubes out of fruit juice to avoid diluting your drink. Add frozen fruit or citrus slices to fancy them up a bit.

Make ahead and serve in a large glass jar. Use a ladle to serve fruit to each glass.

Left over mocktail? Turn it into a healthier frozen treat option.

Recipes are by the cup unless otherwise noted. Mocktails will become more flavourful with infusing time. Make your drink ahead of time and let sit for a few hours in the fridge. Add sparkling water or ginger beer just before serving.

Cucumber, Lime & Mint Mojito

1″ cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 lime, thinly sliced

1/2 lime, juiced

1 mint sprig or 5 leaves

1 c sparkling water

Ginger Beer Mojito

1/2 c ginger beer

1/2 c sparkling water

3 – 4 lime slices

1 mint sprig or 5 leaves

Kombucha Mocktail

1 c kombucha, unflavoured

1/4 c frozen fruit of your choice – blueberries, strawberry slices

Blueberry Infusion Herbal Iced Tea

1 c blueberry herbal tea, steeped & cooled

1/4 c frozen berries

1/4 c sparkling water

1 tsp simple sugar syrup

Watermelon-Lime Mocktail

serves 4 – 6

8 c seedless watermelon, cubed

1 lime, freshly squeezed

1 lime, sliced for garnish

mint sprigs

1 can sparkling water


serves 10 – 12

1 litre white grape juice

1 c orange juice

1 litre sparkling water

1 bag frozen mixed berries

2 limes – 1 squeezed & 1 sliced

1 orange, sliced

Raise a glass with me to starry nights & good friends!