17 Mocktails: Drinks That Won't Send Your Blood Sugar Soaring

Hold the alcohol! Love a good cocktail but hate what it does to your blood sugar? These party “mocktails” made with alcohol-free beer, wine, or champagne, and homemade mixers with far fewer carbs.

Mix up a non-alcoholic party drink or two just for yourself, or go ahead and double, triple or quadruple any of these recipes to make enough to share.

Alcohol-free wines and champagne are super low in carbs, but remember that many nonalcoholic drinks—especially those made with fruit juices, non-alcoholic beer, and commercial mixers like tonic water—can run high in carbs, so it’s best to limit those drinks to just one or two max.

Some drinks call for optional sweetener—you can experiment with stevia or any other sweetener you normally use. Also note that commercial beverages labeled “alcohol-free” can, by law, contain up to 0.5% alcohol. Plus, some ingredients, like vanilla or rum extract, also contain trace amounts of alcohol. That’s insignificant for most people but may not be right for someone who must absolutely avoid even a trace of alcohol. Better, in that case, to stick with tea or juice-based “mocktails.”

#1. Cherry Chaser

Cherry JuiceCherry Chaser (Photo: Unsplash, Brooke Lark)

In an 8-ounce glass, combine 1/2 cup cold non-alcoholic beer and 1/4 cup cold tart cherry juice. Somehow this combination cancels out some of the bitterness of the beer and some of the tartness of the cherry juice for a surprisingly delicious and refreshing combination. (16 g carbohydrate)

#2. Chili Beer

For those who like to spice things up! Lightly rub the rim of an “old-fashioned” or “rocks” glass with a wedge of lime. Dip briefly into a half-half combination of salt and chili powder spread out on a saucer. (You just want a very light coating of chili salt around the edge of the glass. Fill the glass with ice, then with 1/2 cup nonalcoholic beer. Add the lime wedge. (10 g carbohydrate)

#3. Ginger Lime Beer
Ginger Lime beer mocktailGinger Lime Beer Mocktail (photo:123rf)

Similar to a popular Cuban beer cocktail, you may or may not want to add a little sweetener to this drink. Fill a tall glass with ice. Add the juice of one lime and the juice of one 2-inch piece of ginger root. (To make ginger juice, grate fresh ginger root over a plain paper napkin. Gather up the sides of the napkin to make a little bundle, then, with your fingers, press the bundle over your drink to squeeze out as much juice as you can.) Add 1/2 cup of nonalcoholic beer. (10 g carbohydrate)

#4. Tonic Cooler
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add up to 8 ounces tonic water. Float several cucumber, lemon or lime slices, or a crushed sprig of mint on top. Note that tonic water is sweetened with both sugar or corn-syrup and artificial sweeteners, and contains quinine, which is responsible for it’s signature bitter flavor. (22 g carb).

#5. Mock Gin & Tonic

mock gin and tonicMock Gin and Tonic (Photo:123rf)

Add a few crushed, dried juniper berries (only those sold commercially for culinary use), a couple of star anise, if you have them on hand, and a shaving of lemon or lime peel to 8 ounces of tonic water; let stand 15 minutes. Strain through a small wire mesh sieve before serving in a tall glass over ice; discard berries and peel. (Note: Do not consume food or drinks made with juniper berries if you have kidney disease or you are pregnant.) Garnish with a fresh lemon or lime slice. (22 g carbohydrates)

#6. Chai Tea Twist

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add cold brewed chai tea until glass is 3/4 full. Add just a drop or two of vanilla extract, if you like. Fill the glass with seltzer and float a slice of lemon on top. (0 carbs) 

#7. Chili-Pineapple Spritzer

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add 1/2 cup pineapple juice. Add a squeeze of lime and fill the glass with seltzer. Garnish with a pinch of dried chili pepper or crushed red pepper flakes and a sprig of cilantro. (17 g carbohydrate)

#8. Hibiscus Lime Drink

hibiscus limeHibiscus Lime Mocktail (Photo:123rf)

Fill a tall glass with ice and add cold, brewed hibiscus tea. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and sweeten to taste with stevia or your preferred sweetener. Garnish with a lime slice and a sprig of mint. (0 g carbohydrate)

#9. Pomegranate Fizz

Fill a flute glass 3/4 full with cold, non-alcoholic Champagne. Add a tablespoon or two of cold pomegranate juice. (5 g carbohydrate)

#10. Christmas on Cape Cod

Fill an 8-ounce glass with ice. Add 1/4 cup 100% cranberry-raspberry juice. Fill the glass with seltzer, add a squeeze of lime juice, and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. (6 g carbohydrate)

#11. Pineapple Green Tea Cooler

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add cold brewed green tea until the glass is 3/4 full. Fill the glass with pineapple juice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. (9 g carbohydrate)

#12. Bellini Mocktail

bellini mocktailBellini Mocktail (Photo:123rf)

Fill a flute glass 3/4 full with cold, non-alcoholic Champagne. Add a tablespoon or two of cold peach nectar. (5 g carbohydrate)

#13. Blender Coconut Daiquiris

In a blender, combine 1 banana, 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (from a refrigerated container, not a can), 1/4 cup fresh lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon rum extract. Add 6 ice cubes and blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into a stemmed cocktail glass. Garnish with a pitted cherry on a stem or a slice of orange or lime. Makes 4 servings. (Per serving: 7 g carbohydrate)

#14. Fruity Red Sangria

sangria mocktailNon-alcoholic sangria is refreshing anytime of year. (Photo:123rf)

Add any combination of sliced and diced (bite-size), fresh or frozen apples, peaches, plums, oranges, lemons, and limes to a pitcher of non-alcoholic red wine.

Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to mingle. Just before serving, add a splash of seltzer or club soda. (When the weather warms up, try a summer sangria with non-alcoholic white or rose wine in place of red wine.) Makes approximately 8 servings. (5 g carbohydrates per 1/2 cup.)

#15. Mulled Wine

In a crockpot, slow cooker, or large saucepan, combine 1 bottle nonalcoholic red wine, such as Cabernet, 1 cup apple cider, 1 cup orange juice, 2 sticks cinnamon and 4 whole cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Serve warm in small handled punch cups or mugs. Makes 8 servings. (9 carbohydrates per 1/2 cup.)

#16. Virgin Mary

two bloody mary cocktails with limeVirgin Mary

Morning, noon or night, enjoy a classic Bloody Mary without the traditional vodka or gin. Fill a tall glass with ice. Fill almost to the top with sodium-free tomato juice, add 1 teaspoon each of fresh lemon juice and prepared horseradish and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. If you want it really spicy, add a drop or two of hot sauce. (For more gin-like flavor, steep 2  tablespoons crushed juniper berries in 1 quart (32 ounces) tomato juice overnight or up to a few days in the refrigerator. Strain out and discard the berries before using the juice. Garnish your drink with a tall, leafy celery stick. (6 g carbohydrate)

#17. Fruity Ice Water

fruit ice cubesWater is more fun to drink with fruity ice cubes floating in it. (Photo:123rf)

A plain glass of tap water, sparkling water, or seltzer will look and taste more festive if you chill it with fruit-flavored ice cubes. Spoon sliced strawberries or chopped cherries into each compartment of an ice cube tray; fill with water or unsweetened cranberry or tart cherry juice diluted with water for more color. Freeze at least 8 hours or overnight. Fill a tall glass with a combination of plain and fruity cubes, then fill with water or seltzer. Garnish with a sprig of mint, if you like.

Updated on: January 10, 2019
Continue Reading
Diabetes? Think Before You Drink