Holiday Mocktail Recipes

Celebrating a sober New Year? Try these mocktail recipe recommendations from UPMC Magee Chef Jon Polley. These mocktails keep the holidays festive, healthy, and fun.

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Mocktails for an Alcohol-Free Celebration 

Virgin Grapefruit Margarita:

We used this one for our UPMC Magee Street Fair Friday when we prepared barbacoa and roasted root veggie tacos.  And citrus fruit is in season in the winter.

To make a pitcher:

  • 1 cup Grapefruit Juice (if you’re not a grapefruit lover, orange juice works as well)
  • 1 cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 cup Sweet and Sour (see below)
  • 4 cup Club Soda or Sparkling Water
  • 1 cup Simple Syrup (see below)
  • Orange and Lime Slices for garnish


If you’re in a hurry, go to the store and buy simple syrup and sweet and sour mix, then jump to step 3.  But if you’ve got some time and want to do this right… start at step 1.

  1. To make simple syrup, we will need:
  • 2 cup Water
  • 2 cup Sugar

Bring water to a boil, stir in sugar until dissolved.  Simmer for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Note:  You can keep this in your fridge for up to a month.  Use it in tea, coffee or drizzle on fresh berries.

  1. Next, divide your Simple Syrup in 2. Half will remain Simple Syrup, and with the other half, add:
  • 2/3 cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2/3 cup Fresh Lemon Juice

Stir it up.  Now you’ve got Sweet and Sour Mix.

  1. Mix everything together except for the simple syrup. Taste and then add simple syrup until you reach a level of sweetness that fits your liking.  Pour over ice and garnish with orange and lime slices.

Lavender Lemonade Spritzer

This one has a special place in my heart.  When my wife was pregnant with our first son, fresh lavender was like magic for her.  Lavender can be a little tricky to find year-round but we’re steeping it, so dried lavender will work too!


  • 8 cups of water (64 ounces)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup Meyer lemon or regular juice, about 6-8 lemons
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 6 sprigs of fresh lavender​ (or 3 tsp of lavender)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Club Soda or Sparkling Water


  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium pot. Add sugar and then lower to a simmer for about 5 minutes.  Make sure to stir regularly so that the sugar dissolves completely.
  2. Turn off the heat and stir in lemon juice, lime juice and lavender. Let it cool until it comes to room temperature.  Strain out the lavender.
  3. Put lemonade in fridge until completely cool.
  4. Pour over ice, add desired amount of club soda or sparkling water, stir and garnish with lemon wedges and pinch of the lavender.

For the less labor-intensive, here are some quick, alcohol-free twists on a few classics…

Dark and Stormy

  • 8 ounces Ginger Beer
  • ½ ounce of Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2-3 ounces of Pineapple Juice


  1. Pour ingredients over crushed ice and enjoy.

Meyer Lemon Sangria (Meyer Lemons are the best! Sweet and sour all in one awesome fruit!)

  • 1 Apple, Sliced
  • 1 Orange, Sliced
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 2 Meyer Lemons, juiced
  • ½ cup Orange Juice
  • ¼ cup Lime Juice
  • 40 ounces White or Red Grape Juice
  • Ice


  1. Add sliced fruit and juice to a glass pitcher.
  2. Add ice and chill until time to serve.

Faux Mojito (Fresh mint is your friend.  Use it in both sweet and savory dishes!)

  • Crushed Ice
  • 8 Mint Leaves
  • 3 ounces Lime Juice
  • 1 ½ ounces Simple Syrup
  • 2 ounces of Club Soda
  • Extra Mint to garnish


  1. Fill a pint glass one-third full with ice, then add mint leaves. Add the lime juice and sugar syrup. Lightly mash the leaves together with the liquid using a muddle stick or wooden pestle, careful not to tear the leaves.
  2. Fill the glass with more ice, then add club soda.
  3. Garnish with a little more mint, enjoy!


About UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital

For more than a century, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital has provided high-quality medical care to women at all stages of life. UPMC Magee is long-renowned for its services to women and babies but also offers a wide range of care to men as well. Our patient-first approach ensures you and your loved ones get the care you need. Nearly 10,000 babies are born each year at Magee, and our NICU is one of the largest in the country. Our network of care – from imaging centers to hospital services – provides care throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, giving you a chance to get the expert care you need close to home. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes UPMC Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and the Magee-Womens Research Institute is the largest research institute in the U.S. devoted exclusively to women’s health and reproductive biology.