Mocktail vs Cocktail

Mocktail vs Cocktail

Cocktails and mocktails are drinks made with a mixture of delicious delights. However, the main difference between the two is one contains alcohol while the other doesn’t. 

A mocktail is a non-alcoholic drink that mimics popular cocktails and consists of a mixture of fruit juices and other items that tickle your taste buds. Cocktails are alcoholic mixed drinks that consist of a combination of spirits or spirits mixed with other ingredients. 

three cocktails
Photo by master1305.

Benefits of Cocktails

When drinking alcoholic cocktails there is a potential for obtaining fruit and vegetable servings, nutrient value, antioxidants, and medicinal properties.

For health-conscious drinkers, here are five health benefits of cocktails:

  1. Low-Calorie Options

  2. Vitamin C

  3. Medicinal Properties in Mixers

  4. Medicinal Properties in Bitters

Low-Calorie Options

There are a variety of low-calorie options within many different liquors -- Tequila and Gin are the cleanest for consumption when it comes to alcohol. Mix accordingly, understanding the health risks of alcohol consumption. Like with all things, in moderation is best. 

Vitamin C

Fruit juices and freshly squeezed citrus fruits bring tons of vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts immune support and neutralizes free radicals that damage skin cells and tissues. 

Medicinal Properties in Mixers

The key factor is to look at what is being mixed with your spirit of choice. One of the most health-benefiting ingredients found in cocktails is ginger. 

Ginger, found in natural ginger beer, has anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, and many more medicinal properties that do wonders for your health.

Ginger is a good source of vitamins A, B, C, and E, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, iron, zinc and calcium. 

Medicinal Properties in Spirits

Gin and Tequila are the best when considering health benefits. These liquors are made with juniper berries, agave root, angelica root, rosemary, citrus peel, nutmeg, sage and lemon grass. 

These ingredients fight infection and are full of antioxidants and help neutralize free radicals.

Medicinal Properties in Bitters

Bitters are commonly used in cocktails and are quite essential. Angostura bitters have a restorative property. It can be used as a remedy for hiccups and to cure an upset stomach. 

A hand mixing cocktails surrounded by cut fruit
Photo by Kamran Aydinov.

Benefits of Mocktails

Alcohol isn’t for everyone. There are certainly pros and cons to consuming cocktails. If alcohol is starting to leave you the worse for wear, then it might be time to switch to mocktails. 

Mocktails allow you to indulge in the delicious flavors of a regular cocktail but without any alcohol and receive twice the benefits. Whether you prefer drinks with a sweet taste, a bitter taste, or a sour taste, there’s a mocktail for you. Here are five health benefits of mocktails:

  1. More Nutrients- When making mocktails at home, you are completely in charge of what goes into your drink. Adding fresh fruits jam packed with antioxidants, herbs like mint and spices like cinnamon will tremendously improve your overall health.

  2. No Hangovers- The main factors that cause hangovers are dehydration and the toxic effects of alcohol on the body. Alcohol disrupts your sleep quality and leaves you feeling groggy. 

  3. Non-Addictive- Alcohol triggers an endorphin release to the brain that leads to a sensation of pleasure. This process produces a craving for more alcohol which ultimately leads to alcohol abuse and addiction. 

  4. Hydrating- Depending on what you use, mocktails can hydrate your body. Ingredients used could be more or less hydrating. Coconut water and sparkling mineral water are recommended. 

  5. Disease Prevention - Alcohol is a carcinogen that can increase your risk of colon and breast cancers. Consuming too much alcohol can be detrimental to your gut and liver health. Making the switch to healthy mocktails can improve your overall gut and liver health. 

Healthy Mocktail Ingredients

  • Natural sparkling mineral water

  • Pomegranate juice

  • Unsweetened cranberry juice

  • Acai berry juice

  • Noni juice

  • Kombucha

  • Green tea

  • Coconut water

  • Coconut milk

  • Whole fruit or vegetables

  • Fresh herbs (mint, basil)

  • Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves)

  • Citrus peels, zest

Healthy Mocktail Recipes

Kombucha Mule Mocktail

You will need:

  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 4 ounces ginger-flavored kombucha

  • For garnish: lime wedge, mint sprig, and/or slice of granny smith apple


  1. Fill cup with crushed ice.

  2. Add lime juice.

  3. Top with kombucha and stir until well mixed.

  4. Top with garnish of choice.

Strawberry Sparkling Mocktail

You will need:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries

  • ⅓ cup lemon juice

  • 8 cups sparkling water

  • ¼ cup coconut sugar (optional)


  1. Place frozen strawberries in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on the defrost setting until the strawberries are thawed but still cold.

  2. Add lemon juice and coconut sugar (optional) to the strawberries and blend together with a blender.

  3. Pour ¼ cup of strawberry mixture into each cup and top with 1 cup sparkling water.

Sangria Mocktail

You will need:

  • 1 orange, sliced ¼-inch thick

  • 1 lemon, sliced ¼-inch thick

  • 1 lime, sliced ⅛-inch thick

  • 2 medium apples (cored and chopped)

  • 3 cups red grape juice

  • 1 cup white grape juice

  • 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1 bottle (25 7/16-ounce) sparkling apple cider


  1. Layer half of the orange, lemon, lime slices and chopped apples in the bottom of a 4-quart glass pitcher. Repeat with the remaining fruit to create a second layer.

  2. Pour in grape juices, orange, lemon and lime juices. Use a long spoon to gently stir until well mixed. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours to overnight. 

  3. When ready to serve, add the sparkling cider to the pitcher. Stir gently. Serve over ice.

Written by Emma Suarez.

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