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Make These 10 Kick-Ass Whiskey Mocktails at Home

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Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Heather Wibbels

Non-Alcoholic Whiskey Alternatives for Whiskey Mocktails - Bottles of Lyre's, Seedlip Spice, Ritual Zero Proof and Kentucky 74
Non-Alcoholic Whiskey Alternatives for Whiskey Mocktails

Updated 11/5/23 — Whiskey mocktails are going mainstream. People have many reasons for going spirit-free, from personal preference or pregnancy to medication or dependence, and there are plenty of reasons to keep alcohol out of the mix. While in the past this meant cloyingly sweet blends of fruit juices or sodas, in today’s spirit-free market alternatives to classic spirits exist. As a whiskey lover and a member of Bourbon Women, I love to make sure that all my guests and friends have a great drink in their glasses, whether they are drinking spirits or not.

If you want to head straight to cocktail recipes, and prefer not to learn a bit about non-alcoholic whiskey, mocktails and what they are, page down a bit. 

(Post may contain affiliate links).

When to Order an Alcohol-Free Cocktail or Mocktail

There are many reasons to order a mocktail. Here are just a few reasons you or a friend might want a great alternative to a cocktail:

  • Pregnancy – during pregnancy, drinking alcohol of any kind is contraindicated.
  • Medication/Medical contraindication – alcohol can interact with many medications in negative ways, from antidepressants to beta-blockers, to migraine and sleep medication. If your doctor or pharmacist has suggested you limit your alcohol intake, these whiskey mocktails are a great alternative.
  • Alcohol dependence – if you’re someone who is recovering from alcohol dependence, or who has dependence issues in your family, drinking alcohol can be something best avoided altogether.
  • Diet/health reasons – for many on restricted diets or with special nutritional needs, alcohol is something to be limited or eliminated if possible.
  • Personal preference – some people simply don’t want to drink. It could be the way it makes them feel, or the taste. It doesn’t really matter. Mocktails give you the option to join in social behavior in a way that’s safe and meets your preferences.
  • Designated driver – if you’re the one responsible for getting everyone home, limiting your alcohol intake with mocktails keeps yourself and your posse safe. 

Whatever the reason, being able to offer a great non-alcoholic drink makes your event more inclusive and inviting to all people. 

What Are Alcohol-Free Spirits?

Non-Alcoholic Whiskey Alternatives for Whiskey Mocktails - Bottles of Lyre's, Seedlip Spice, Ritual Zero Proof and Kentucky 74 and a cocktail
Non-Alcoholic Whiskey Alternatives for Whiskey Mocktails

Distillation is usually associated with alcohol and spirits, but there are methods to distill that infuse flavors while removing alcohol from a liquid. Many of the spirit-free producers use proprietary methods to create them. 

But in essence, the flavors in spirits come from a combination of both water-soluble and fat-soluble substances. During traditional distillation, flavor molecules from both types of substances are left in the spirit. Sometimes, as in the case of maceration with botanicals or food elements (think gin and some liqueurs), a spirit’s final content of both water and alcohol lets it collect and concentrate the flavors from both types of elements. 

In the case of spirit-free alcohol, alcohol is removed from the substance, and many of the flavoring compounds more easily gathered and concentrated in alcohol are removed. For that reason, companies like Seedlip, Ritual, or Lyre’s have patented or proprietary methods to gather those flavors and keep them in the liquid.

One interesting fact is that because alcohol is naturally antisceptic, the creation of alcohol-free spirits is much more expensive than you might expect. Keeping the equipment clean and the liquid sterilized is much harder than when working with a true alcoholic spirit. Thus the price tag on some bottles of non-alcoholic spirits approaches $35 to $40 a bottle. 

In the US, a non-alcoholic spirit can still have up to 0.5% alcohol, so you’ll need to check the information on specific brands if you want to consume fully alcohol-free drinks. In addition, note that adding bitters to your non-alcoholic cocktails will add minute amounts of alcohol to the drink. Very minute, but it will be present nonetheless.

A Caveat Before Starting to Mix

I want to offer a caveat before you get out your mixing glass and start to create your own non-alcoholic cocktails and mocktails. These are not going to be exact replacements for the flavor, bite, and mouthfeel of a traditional whiskey or bourbon. As far as I’ve found, there’s no replacement for that hit of the proof of alcohol on the tongue, and flavors infuse differently in water than in alcohol.

Think of these as less of a replacement and more of an alternative. Keep an open mind to the flavor and experience, and remember that making an alcohol-free spirit is far more difficult than a liquor.

Distilled spirits have been around for centuries, but the technology to create a spirit that’s alcohol-free has only really flowered in the last 15. As more and more are developed and produced, we’re still getting used to the ways non alcoholic spirits can be used to create fun and intriguing beverages. 

I could only locate four whiskey alternatives available in my market. Others may be available but were more difficult to source.  

What Does Non-Alcoholic Whiskey Taste Like?

Non-Alcoholic Whiskey Alternatives for Whiskey Mocktails - Bottles of Lyre's, Seedlip Spice, Ritual Zero Proof and Kentucky 74 and a cocktail
Non-Alcoholic Whiskey Alternatives for Whiskey Mocktails

While spirit-free whiskey does have some of the same flavor notes as a true bourbon or whiskey, your palate won’t be fooled if you taste it neat. The non-alcoholic whiskey doesn’t have the same burn or heat as a true distilled spirit. In fact, if you taste it neat, you’re not sipping it as the makers intended. 

Nothing without alcohol can truly replace the flavor and experience of a great glass of bourbon or whiskey. And these whiskey alternatives are designed to be used in cocktails, not to be sipped neat on their own or on the rocks.

One of the reasons spirits pop with flavors is that alcohol strips and concentrates flavors. Think about the process of making a tincture. You add very high proof spirits (often Everclear) to dried herbs, roots, spices, herbs, or food. The high-proof alcohol grabs the flavor molecules from the infusion and transfers their smell and taste to itself. You’re left with a very high-proof, very concentrated boost of flavor and aroma. Tinctures are often used in cocktails to provide a spritz of flavor, either coating the inside of the glass before the cocktail is poured, or misted across the top of a cocktail. 

That high concentration of flavors that are readily dissolved in alcohol doesn’t make it to the non-alcoholic spirits in as much concentration. So the kinds of flavors and the potency of those flavors are somewhat diminished.

Tasting Notes on Four Different Whiskey Alternatives

I tried three different non-alcoholic whiskies. All that I tried were sweet, but some had more tannic/oak notes, and others a little heat added by some capsaicin. None are meant to be sipped neat but are designed to work as a whiskey analog in cocktails. Here are my notes on sipping them neat:

Kentucky 74 – This iteration on non-alcoholic whiskey is both sweet and dry. It wasn’t my favorite in mocktails of traditional spirit-forward cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Manhattan but it worked fine in tall drinks like a Highball, John Collins, or Bourbon Tea, but it was the only version easy for me to find on the shelves in Kentucky. On the nose it’s sweet, woody – more fresh, resinous wood than toasted oak, a bit of caramel, some apple, and a touch of baking spice, but nothing overwhelming. For flavor, it’s got some sweetness to it, a little bit of dry woodiness, and a bit of vanilla and caramel. There is a touch of citrus – dried orange peel – to both the nose and taste, but it’s not predominant. 

Ritual’s Zero Proof Whiskey Alternative has similar vanilla notes, but more citrus – specifically orange. I get a touch of cherry on the nose as well.  Ritual uses capsaicin, the active ingredient in chiles that make them hot in the mouth, as a way to replace the burn of an alcoholic spirit. The heat doesn’t affect the flavor, only the mouthfeel, and actually could be replicated in any non-alcoholic drink with a few drops of Scrappy’s Bitters Firewater or a pinch of cayenne pepper. It does have a hint of woodiness, but nothing as pronounced as Kentucky 74. The flavor has more baking spices – specifically a little cinnamon and a touch of clove. I associate both with heat, so it could be more from them capsaicin than the non-alcoholic whiskey’s flavor.

Lyre’s American Malt – On the nose, strong brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla. It’s sweet, with a little oakiness on the tongue, but no strong spice flavors aside from vanilla. I do get the same nose as I do from the spices from baked apples, and a touch of maple. This would work extremely well in a low ABV Manhattan, and in an Old Fashioned mocktail. 

Seedlip Spice 94 – Citrus heavy and spice-forward this iteration of an alcohol-free spirit isn’t meant to be a replacement for whiskey. Its spicy flavors fall somewhere between a full-bodied bourbon and a spiced rum. With lots of allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, and lime, it’s a spiritless ingredient that packs a lot of flavor with each sip and will easily stand up to the addition of sweet juices and syrups. 

How to Make Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Cocktails

The secret to a non-alcoholic cocktail doesn’t have to be buying a spirit-free base. Rather, think about what makes a cocktail fantastic: balance, flavor, and creativity.

Whiskey, rum, gin and other complex spirits make fantastic cocktail ingredients because alcohol can present so many different flavors in one sitting. A whiskey drinker knows that a single pour can give you flavors of dried fruit, pepper, baking spices, caramel, chocolate, coffee, oak, leather and tobacco. In building whiskey mocktails, think about creating a spirit-free drink with those base flavors, whether or not you’re using one of the whiskey alternatives above.

Previously, mocktails weren’t taken seriously, and you were just as likely to be given a syrupy sweet cocktail as a simple soda and lime. But now, with the prevalence of Dry January and the Sober movement, people across the country realize you don’t have to add alcohol to have a fantastic drink.

If you’d like to read up on some great mocktails and spirit-free cocktails, try Julia Bainbridge’s Good Drinks, Maureen Petrosky’s Zero Proof Drinks and More, or Mocktails by Caroline Hwang.

But the central tenets are the same for cocktails as for mocktails. Here are a few tips as you start building mocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails on your own. 

Include contrasting tastes that balance one another. Remember that bitterness balances both acid and sweet flavors. And sweet and acid balance one another as well. 

  • Use bitterness (and/or salinity) to make sweet and sour flavors pop. Just a touch of a bitter element, either bitters themselves or a bitter ingredient will heighten the perception of the sweetness or the sourness of a drink.
  • Pay attention to the mouthfeel. Consider using sodas for that pop and crackle in the mouth from carbonation. Think about adding a touch of spice or heat for the warming feel of alcohol in the mouth. Or consider adding a few drops of vanilla extract to accentuate the creaminess of the cocktail and the overall vanilla notes.
  • Make sure you pair with an aromatic garnish that’s vibrant and fresh or top with a spritz of a tincture. Alcohol evaporates faster than water, and as it evaporates those volatile molecules that make up the nose of a drink drift up as the drinker inhales. Using a fresh garnish or a tiny bit of tincture can replicate that. 

Whiskey Mocktails or Low ABV Cocktail?

While these recipes will be mocktails, if you prefer to just lower the alcohol content of your drinks (so you can have two instead of one and still make it home safely), split the base of the cocktail – half bourbon, half whiskey alternative spirit.

Using non-alcoholic whiskey for half reduces the overall proof of the cocktail without sacrificing a lot of flavor and mouthfeel. For some spiritless spirits, like Kentucky 74, this was what their product is designed for – a way to lengthen cocktails, but still keep them cocktails at heart.

Whiskey Sour Mocktail

Suze Sour - two in coupe glasses

The classic whiskey sour gets its flavor from the bite of whiskey, the sour of citrus, and a touch of simple syrup. For more on the background of the whiskey sour (and its link as a medical concoction designed to prevent scurvy by the British Navy), click on this link on How to Make a Classic Whiskey Sour.

For this non-alcoholic whiskey sour, I’ll give you two versions, a rocks version, and an egg white/up version. If you’re feeling really fancy, float an ounce of non-alcoholic red wine on the top of either for a spiritless New Your Sour Mocktail. Or, if you are simply going to reduce, not remove, alcohol, put ½ to 1 oz of dry red wine atop the cocktail in a float.

One easy tip to make the whiskey mocktails sing: add a dash or two of Hella Bitters Smoked Chili bitters. This adds two things, a touch of the heat of chili peppers, but not vegetal taste. And it also adds a touch of smoke, reminiscent of the barrels in the rickhouse. I added a touch on a whim and the cocktail I enjoyed leveled up to wow.

In both cases, the refreshing taste of the non-alcoholic whiskey sour cocktail is the best of all possible summer mocktails, the taste and feel of a cocktail without the alcohol.

Classic Whiskey Sour Mocktail

  • 2 oz non-alcoholic bourbon or whiskey
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • Optional: 1 dash of smoked chili bitters, or another bitter you fancy
  • Garnish: lemon peel and/or cocktail cherry

Add spirit-free whiskey, lemon, bitters (if using), and simple to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake for about 10-12 seconds and strain into a rocks-filled, chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel and cocktail cherry.

Boston Sour Mocktail

  • 2 oz non-alcoholic bourbon or whiskey
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • ¾ oz egg white or aquafaba 
  • Optional: 1 dash of smoked chili bitters, or another bitter you fancy
  • Garnish: lemon peel and/or cocktail cherry

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake for 10-12 seconds. If you have a latte whisk, strain into a tin and use a latte whisk on the cocktail for about 10-15 seconds or until you have a lovely, creamy cocktail with a great head of foam on it. Pout into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a cocktail cherry and lemon peel.

A couple of fun substitutions to make the whiskey sour your own:

  • Substitute maple syrup or honey syrup for the simple syrup above
  • Add contrasting or complementary flavors of bitters to the cocktail. For example, peach, cherry, ginger or smoked chili bitters are all wonderful additions to a non-alcoholic cocktail.
  • Add a fruit syrup in place of the simple – peach, watermelon, strawberry, cinnamon, ginger or blackberry are all fabulous flavor combinations to add to a whiskey sour – spirit-free or not!

Here’s my favorite variation on the zero-proof whiskey sour mocktails above. I added ginger syrup for some of the bite you miss without alcohol and leaned on two kinds of bitters to add complexity and layers to the whiskey mocktails’ nose and palate.

Gingered Up Zero Proof Sour

  • 2 oz non-alcoholic whiskey
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ¾ oz ginger syrup
  • 2 dashes of ginger bitters
  • 2 dashes smoked cinnamon bitters
  • Garnish: candied ginger and lemon twist

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake for 10-12 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish. 

Kentucky Mule Mocktail

Kentucky Mule Mocktail in copper mug with lime wedge garnish
Kentucky Mule Mocktail

For me, the Kentucky Mule is the perfect whiskey cocktail to transition to a non-alcoholic cocktail. Because we’ll add a bit of sour with the lime and bite with the ginger beer, the non-alcoholic Kentucky Mule is a great alternative that doesn’t sacrifice a lot of flavor just by going non-alcoholic.

The flavors of whiskey are already muted in a Kentucky Mule, and it’s meant to be a fast, refreshing cocktail. So swapping out Lyre, Kentucky 74, or Ritual Proof’s Whisky Alternative will work wonders in the whiskey mocktail. 

Use the best ginger beer you can find – don’t just get a knock-off generic Schweppes. If you have access to ginger beer from Fevertree, Regatta Craft Mixers or Q Mixers, use them.

  • 2 oz bourbon or whiskey alternative
  • ½ oz lime juice (or juice from one wedge)
  • High-quality ginger beer
  • Garnish: lime wheel and sprig of mint

Add non-alcoholic whiskey to a chilled copper mule mug. Add ½ oz of lime and fill with ice. Top off with ginger beer and a lime wheel. Add a sprig of mint if you like. 

If you have friends over for summer and they’re looking for a non-alcoholic drink, make them this easy Kentucky Mule Mocktail. They’ll love it!

Highball Mocktail

chai highball with cinnamon stick, pineapple, orange and pineapple frond garnish

Like the Kentucky Mule mocktail, this Highball mocktail can easily transition to spirit free cocktail. Here, the flavor of the soda will combine with the non-alcoholic whiskey and will add a great crackle and pop to the mouthfeel with the soda. As a tall drink, a Highball has a lot more volume and a lot less whiskey burn. The transition to low or no alcohol in the cocktail is an easy one to make.

I prefer a dash of lemon in my highballs, and often add a splash of fruity syrup. These slight additions will add color and flavor interest to your non-alcoholic highball. 

  • 2 oz whiskey alternative or non-alcoholic bourbon
  • Juice from one wedge of lemon
  • Splash of flavored simple syrup (I love ginger, blackberry, strawberry or fall spice)
  • 3-4 oz of soda or flavored seltzer
  • Garnish: fresh herb, berries, fresh citrus (I’m partial to mint, lavender, and lemon verbena as garnish)

Add non-alcoholic whiskey to a Collins glass. Add lemon and a splash of simple syrup if using. Top with soda and garnish with fresh herbs and citrus.

I had a little time to tinker with some flavor combinations to make outstanding whiskey mocktails. Here is my favorite summer highball with a non-alcoholic whiskey:

Lazy Summer Sunset Whiskey Mocktail

  • 2 oz whiskey alternative 
  • ½ oz blackberry syrup
  • Juice from one lemon wedge
  • 2 dashes peach bitters
  • Top with Izze Sparkling Peach
  • Garnish: mint and peach slice

Add whiskey alternative, bitters, syrup, and juice from one lemon wedge to a highball glass and stir. Add ice, top with sparkling peach, and garnish. 

And in case you wanted to batch it for a summer party: 

Batched Lazy Summer Sunset

  • 2 cups whiskey alternative 
  • ½ cup blackberry syrup
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 8 dashes peach bitters

Combine ingredients in a large pitcher. Chill. Taste test to make sure it’s not too sweet or too sour. Adjust as needed. To serve, pour into an ice-filled highball glass about ⅔ full and top with sparkling peach and garnish with mint and fresh peach.

Tips for Highball Mocktails

  • Use the best mixers you can find, whether you’re topping with a classic soda, a ginger ale, a ginger beer, or one of the many flavored seltzers available these days.
  • Add a fragrant garnish. Don’t settle for just a dehydrated citrus wheel. Use something with a fragrance that complements the whiskey alternative you’re using and the flavor of the soda you’re adding. If you’ve got fresh herbs, fruit, or citrus that fit with the flavors of the drink, add them.

Zero Proof Whiskey Smash Mocktails

cocktail with mint and lemon garnish

One of the reasons whiskey cocktails with sour elements work so well as whiskey mocktails is the balance of sweet and sour flavors melds with the bourbon and whiskey, keeping the cocktail from becoming centered around a single flavor: whiskey. Adding both sourness and sweetness in the form of a smash allows you to play with the complexity and interplay of flavors as you choose a fruit to smash and an herb to accent the flavors.

Smashes are simple to make, and they taste fabulous, whether you are using non-alcoholic whiskey or the real thing. While the classic whiskey smash has lemon and fruit as the flavor base along with whiskey, adding fruit that’s in season, like berries, stone fruits, or different types of citrus, expands the flavor possibilities. 

While mint is traditional, basil, rosemary, sage, and lavender all make wonderful fragrant additions to the whiskey smash. For a classic Non-Alcoholic Whiskey Smash, use this recipe:

Zero Proof Classic Whiskey Smash

  • 2 oz non-alcoholic whiskey
  • ½ lemon, quartered
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • 10 mint leaves
  • Garnish: lemon wheel and mint sprig

Combine simple syrup and lemon in the bottom of a mixing tin and muddle well. Add mint leaves and bourbon and muddle briefly. Add ice, shake for 10-12 seconds and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel and mint sprig.

But my favorite combination – both with and without alcohol, is this zero-proof whiskey cocktail. It’s fresh, bright, a hit in the summer, and easy to make in the fall with defrosted frozen peaches. 

Just Peachy Non-Alcoholic Whiskey Smash

  • 2 oz alcohol-free whiskey
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ¾ oz peach simple syrup
  • ½ fresh, very ripe peach
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • Garnish: fresh rosemary and peach wedge

Add the peach, lemon juice, simple, and rosemary to the bottom of a mixing tin and muddle well. Add the non-alcoholic whiskey, ice, and shake for 10-12 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig and a wedge of fresh peach.

Old Fashioned Whiskey Mocktail

One of the easiest and most basic bourbon cocktails, the Old Fashioned, has a long and storied history (head to How to Make a Perfect Old Fashioned) for background on the cocktail. A simple combination of simple syrup, bitters, and whiskey, in this case, we’re substituting a non-alcoholic spirit for our usual bourbon or rye whiskey. 

To help bolster the usual flavors in bourbon, I use modifiers with flavors that I love in bourbon, and head away from bitterness. In lieu of the usual aromatic bitters, I preferred orange bitters. I also added two kinds of sweetener: maple syrup, and bourbon smoked sugar simple syrup. Both had hints of the flavors I enjoy in great bourbon. They added more of the flavors I love in a true Old Fashioned cocktail. 

  • 2 oz non-alcoholic bourbon or whiskey
  • ¼ oz maple syrup
  • ¼ oz bourbon smoked sugar simple syrup
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Garnish: orange peel

Combine spirit-free whiskey, syrup, and bitters in a mixing glass and add ice. Stir briefly and strain into a chilled rocks glass with one large cube. Garnish with an orange peel.

Manhattan Mocktail

French Quarter Manhattan in a coupe glass with an orange garnish and cocktail pick with cherries

The Manhattan is the quintessential whiskey cocktail. It’s whiskey forward and elevates the flavors of the whiskey in a balanced way in the Manhattan cocktail. But I had a hard time sourcing a non-alcoholic vermouth. 

Instead, I used Master of Mixes Manhattan with a bit of unsweetened cranberry juice. This did two things. It added some of the sourness found in fortified wine and a touch of the dryness from a vermouth. I needed a balance to the sweetness of the Manhattan mix.

This non-alcoholic Manhattan is a fine twist on the traditional boozy whiskey cocktail. While it doesn’t have the complexity of a Manhattan cocktail, it does have a balance of flavors and a bright aroma with the spritz of orange oils over the top and a fancy cocktail cherry. A true Manhattan drinker would find this lacking. However, splitting the base half and half between whiskey and zero-proof whiskey lends greater complexity and feel. To learn more about the Manhattan in general, head to my article: How to Make a Classic Manhattan.

  • 2 oz non-alcoholic whiskey alternative
  • 1 oz non-alcoholic sweet vermouth (or ½ oz Master of Mixes Manhattan mix and ½ oz unsweetened cranberry juice)
  • 2 dashes aromatic or spiced cherry bitters
  • Garnish: cocktail cherry, orange peel expressed over the cocktail.

Combine whiskey alternative, vermouth, bitters, and ice in a mixing glass and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry and orange peel expressed over the top of the non-alcoholic Manhattan. 

Where to Buy Alcohol-Free Whiskey

Currently, the best place to find alcohol-free whiskey is online. Because it doesn’t have alcohol in it, it can be shipped across the country, you can easily find it on Amazon, Drizly, and at sober resources as well. 

While some liquor stores do carry it, they can be hard to find. Often store employees may not know where they are. There’s as likely to be on an endcap near the whiskey as they are with the mixers. Just ask before wandering the shelves looking for them.

Your Whiskey Mocktails Journey Awaits

So whip up a few of these whiskey mocktails to see what you think. Start with the Highball, Kentucky Mule, and non-alcoholic Whiskey Sours first. Those are the closest in flavor and the best in balance. While the Old Fashioned and Manhattan are passable as they are, since both rely heavily on the base spirit for flavor, it’s much more difficult to create an alternative for a whiskey lover.

But all in all, these whiskey mocktails were fun to create and experiment with. Each whiskey alternative tasted differently, so if you need help picking out one that would work best for you, email or dm me!

Recommended Bar Tools

You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:

You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:

magenta cocktail garnished with sage

Blackberry Smash Whiskey Mocktail

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Pair the tartness of blackberries with the bite of an alcohol free whiskey alternative for this blackberry whiskey mocktail. I used sage as my herbal element, but try mint or basil as excellent substitutions.
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Course Drinks
Cuisine Mocktail
Servings 1


  • 5 large blackberries (I used frozen ones I had defrosted)
  • 1/2 lemon, quartered (substitute 1/2 lime quartered if you prefer)
  • 1 oz blackberry simple syrup**
  • 5 sage leaves (substitute mint or basil here for amazing results
  • 2 oz alcohol free whiskey alternative (or split the base 1/2 alcohol free and 1/2 regular whiskey)
  • Garnish: sage sprig and blackberries


  • Combine the berries and citrus in the bottom of a shaking tin add blackberry syrup and muddle to press the juices from the berries. Add the sage leaves (or mint or basil) and muddle lightly again. Add the base spirit. Add ice and shake vigorously, until the shaker is so cold it’s hard to hold. Strain into a rocks glass filled with cracked ice. Take a leaf of sage (or mint or basil) and rub the rim of the glass to get some of the aroma/flavors on there. Garnish with a sage sprig (or mint or basil) and a blackberry or two.


Blackberry Simple Syrup:
*Blackberry simple syrup: combine 2 cups frozen blackberries, ½ cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and cook until the blackberries are thawed, soft and very juicy. As the blackberries cook down a bit, press on the berries to release the juice. Stir until the sugar is all dissolved and the blackberries have turned a bit purple. Let the syrup cool and strain out the pulp from the blackberries. Store the syrup in the fridge and save the strained out sweetened blackberries to eat on ice cream.
Keyword blackberry, bourbon mocktail, chocolate mint whiskey, lime, sage, spirit free, whiskey mocktail, whiskey smash, zero proof
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on July 14th, 2021
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey and cocktail author (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.

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