8 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Mocktails

To help you perfect your non-alcoholic cocktail game, we’ve gathered eight insightful tips from registered dietitian nutritionists and CEOs. From understanding how to balance flavors to getting creative and not merely copying alcoholic drinks, these experts share the common mistakes to avoid when crafting your mocktails.

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Balance Flavors

One common mistake to avoid when making non-alcoholic cocktails is neglecting flavor balance. Sweetness can easily overpower the drink, so avoid excessive use of sweet ingredients.

Incorporate acidity from citrus juices or vinegar-based mixers to counterbalance sweetness. Experiment with bitters, herbs, and fresh ingredients to add complexity. Think about the texture of the drink as well. Adding some carbonation through soda water or tonic water can enhance the drinking experience and provide a different dimension to the flavor.

This can be the same with using tannins in tea or the use of an atomized oil to create unique mouthfeels. Finally, always taste and adjust the drink as you go, following any recipes you have as guidelines but adapting them to your concept or event.

Charles Steadman, Director, Food and Beverage Experience and Strategic Partnerships, Virgin Voyages

Avoid Excessive Sugars 

One common mistake to avoid when making non-alcoholic cocktails is overloading the drink with concentrated sugars. These can come from added sugars like simple or flavored syrups, grenadine, agave nectar, and maple syrup, as well as natural sugars present in fruit juices. While they may seem harmless, too much concentrated sugar can exacerbate certain health conditions.

For instance, high sugar content can lead to digestive issues, such as worsening loose stools. Hence, it’s crucial to balance flavor with health considerations when crafting your perfect mocktail.

Danielle Gaffen, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Eat Well Crohn’s Colitis

Enhance Drinks with Creative Ice

One common mistake to avoid when making non-alcoholic cocktails is to not use boring ice.

Splurge on the pebble ice maker you have been “saving for later,” or just buy a simple ice cube tray. Make your own fruit-infused ice cubes, or add edible glitter to your ice to create a sparkly mocktail. You can even freeze different juices, so your mocktail never gets watered down.

The possibilities are endless!

Riley Farmiloe, Social Media Manager

Craft Health-Conscious Drinks

When crafting non-alcoholic cocktails, it’s crucial to be cognizant of certain pitfalls that can impact their intended health benefits. The healthiest (and tastiest) non-alcoholic cocktails utilize evidence-based ingredients and methods. One example is the functional non-alcoholic beverage, GOOD IDEA, which has been meticulously developed with 20 years of scientific research in order to harness its ability to reduce post-meal blood sugar levels by an impressive average of 25%.

Nonetheless, some pitfalls warrant careful consideration. Excessive use of fruit juices or sweetened syrups, even in non-alcoholic concoctions, can inadvertently raise blood sugar levels due to their high natural sugar content. Additionally, neglecting portion control, even in non-alcoholic options, can lead to an inadvertent intake of excess calories and sugars. The sugar-free, blood sugar-reducing, and flavorful GOOD IDEA provides a great base for non-alcoholic cocktails.

Dr. Colleen Gulick, Scientific Writer and SEO Specialist, Good Idea Drinks

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Avoid Common Pitfalls

First, avoid over-sweetening your drinks, as excessive sugar can overpower the flavors. Secondly, neglecting the importance of balance is a pitfall: just like alcoholic cocktails, non-alcoholic ones require a harmonious blend of flavors. Another mistake is using poor-quality ingredients, which can greatly impact the final taste.

Furthermore, overlooking the role of ice can dilute your drink if not properly managed. Lastly, failing to innovate and experiment can lead to mundane creations—push the boundaries and explore unique combinations for a memorable zero-proof cocktail experience.

Franck Desplechin, Principal, Incrementum LLC

Beware of Overusing Grenadine

Too much grenadine is one easy-to-make mistake with any cocktail. The simple syrup mixture of grenadine has a very distinct flavor that can easily overwhelm a drink when too much is used.

With many recipes, grenadine is meant to “float” on top of the ice to get that flavor front and center, and/or add to the visual element. When the grenadine immediately sinks to the bottom of the glass, it is often a sign that too much has been used.

Max Schwartzapfel, CMO, Schwartzapfel Lawyers

Shake Up Fruit Juices Before Pouring

A common mistake of those who are making non-alcoholic cocktails is that they don’t shake up the fruit juices before pouring them into the drink. This can be a problem with regular cocktails too, but it is more of a problem with the non-alcoholic variety because flavors are more noticeable without the alcohol.

Always shake bottle-juices like orange juice, pineapple juice, and even tomato juice so the thickened, flavorful portion doesn’t sit on the bottom when you pour.

Bruce Tasios, CEO, Tasios Orthodontics

Get Creative, Don’t Copy Alcoholic Drinks

One big mistake that people often make when creating non-alcoholic cocktails is trying to make a direct, non-alcoholic copy of an alcoholic drink. But this often doesn’t work because alcohol and its flavors play such a big part in the original drink.

Instead of trying to replicate alcoholic drinks without the alcohol, we should view non-alcoholic cocktails as something different. This means picking and combining flavors in a new way, not just trying to cover up the lack of alcohol. This gives us the chance to get creative and maybe even come up with something better than the original!

Martin Potocki, CEO, Jobera

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