When you're craving a cocktail, plain old juice or soda just doesn't cut it. Luckily we've got an archive full of really good options; alcohol-free recipes that really make good cocktail substitutes. These eight drinks are remarkably complex, thanks to the thoughtful use of spices, tart vinegar, fruit, and nuts.
'non-alcoholic' on Serious Eats
Mexican atole, a hot drink made from corn, comes in a staggering variety of flavors, from sweet to savory, each one more delicious than the next. Take the chocolatey version known as champurrado: One sip and you may never crave a regular old hot chocolate again. Here's a look at what makes atoles so great, along with three recipes to get you started.
This dairy-free creamsicle smoothie (think Orange Julius with a little more oomph) uses puréed whole kumquats for the citrus component, providing a bright, tart, complex flavor.
This dairy-free creamsicle smoothie (think Orange Julius with a little more oomph) uses puréed whole kumquats for the citrus component.
I'm on Team Savory Breakfast—anyone else with me? I'm far more interested in spicy chilaquiles than sweet French toast, and I've even been known to garnish my oatmeal with a little sriracha; I like to start my day with a little heat. This smoothie satisfies all my breakfast desires with a spicy kick of jalapeño, creamy avocado, a hearty helping of greens, plus some tropical flavors to round things out.
This smoothie satisfies all my not-too-sweet breakfast desires with a spicy kick of jalapeño, creamy avocado, a hearty helping of greens, and some tropical flavors to round things out. The end result is a slightly-tart, veggie-packed, green smoothie that doesn't taste too 'green.'
Inspired by coquito, the Puerto Rican holiday punch, this rich dairy- and egg-free smoothie is a great way to start a winter morning.
Many mocktails are pale imitations of the harder stuff, but we've been collecting recipes for a few favorite alcohol-free options, perfect for teetotalers or for sipping between rounds of something stronger.
I've paired pumpkin with a natural fall partner: apple cider vinegar. The flavors are pumpkiny with a hint of cinnamon and ginger to very gently remind you of pie season, without hitting you over the head with the Pumpkin Pie Spice flavors that are so common at this time of year.
This extra-thick milkshake has all the flavors of a classic Snickers bar: caramel, chocolate, and peanuts. Unsweetened cocoa powder works to add a punch of chocolate flavor without amping up the sippable dessert's sweetness.
I set out to improve upon the unimprovable, to somehow capture the spirit of the Reese's Cup in drinkable ice cream form.
Smooth peanut butter and butter pecan ice cream create layers of nutty flavor in this sweet, salty take on the classic peanut butter cup.
Kefir is great straight out of the bottle, adding yogurty tang and lots of richness to a smoothie. But freezing it helps you make frosty, incredibly creamy milkshake-like smoothies with fresh fruit—without the diluting affects of water-based ice cubes.
A thick, frosty blueberry shake made with frozen kefir cubes and fresh ginger.
A sophisticated take on peaches and cream, this 3-ingredient smoothie combines fresh peaches, basil, and frozen kefir cubes.
Fresh raspberries and mint are blended with cubes of frozen kefir plus a little honey for balance in this frosty, fresh smoothie.
This shake has a generous amount of goat cheese, layers of flavor, and is topped off with a few big turns of freshly ground black pepper for a perfect savory finish.
Figs and balsamic vinegar are a classic pairing, and make a remarkably delicious soda.
This subtly sweet smoothie gets a flavor boost from matcha powder and extra creaminess from frozen banana.
This subtly sweet vegan smoothie makes the perfect summer breakfast: ultra-creamy with a hint of grassy green tea powder, it's delicious enough to double as dessert.