14 Refreshing Summer Mocktails To Beat The Heat At A Pool Party

Whether you are trying to drink less, don't like feeling intoxicated, or are underage, enjoying a flavorful, festive mocktail is a great way to cool off and socialize with others. The possibilities are endless, with myriad mixes and flavorings popping up everywhere. All it takes is some creativity and know-how to pull together a beverage that will have you feeling chill in every sense of the word.

The key to a dynamite mocktail is to consider all of your senses. Incorporate plenty of color, aromatics, and textural complexity using edible garnishes. And don't forget to tap into all of your taste buds by using elements that are sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and have some umami-rich nuance. All of this will stimulate and satiate you while quenching your thirst.

If you are looking for delectable and distinctive mocktail recipes for your next summer pool party, look no further than these lively libations from our Daily Meal archives. Just remember, whether you are keeping things classy with a virgin Roy Rogers or spicing things up with a non-alcoholic Bloody Mary, pay attention to presentation. It'll make your guests feel like they are indulging in something special.

1. Fauxjito Mocktail

A classic Cuban mojito elicits the island mood by infusing mint and bubbly soda with white or clear rum. This faux iteration of the classic delivers all the freshness and vivifying acidity without the booze. The key is to muddle the ingredients together well.

Muddling is a process by which bartenders infuse a cocktail with fresh herbs, spices, and fruit. The technique requires a muddling tool, an object that can sometimes resemble a wooden dowel, with which you can pound your ingredients together to release their essential flavorings and meld them into a harmonious delight.

Recipe: Fauxjito Mocktail

2. Virgin Tropical Blackberry Cocktail

This smoothie-like mocktail takes advantage of the natural sweetness of mango and pineapple, fusing it with the tartness of blackberries and the acidity of lime juice. The key is using your juicer or blender to completely pulverize all of the seeds and fibers from the fruit, resulting in a beverage that is as smooth as silk.

Add a shot or two of full-fat coconut milk for a creamy twist. It'll give this drink a luscious mouthfeel and a slightly nutty aftertaste. Make tiny fruit skewers with a single blackberry and pieces of mango and pineapple to garnish this tropical delight.

Recipe: Virgin Tropical Blackberry Cocktail

3. Shirley Temple

Recapture a bit of childhood nostalgia by whipping up a classic Shirley Temple. Like its namesake, this sweet and bubbly mocktail will brighten your mood. The secret ingredient that makes this beverage special is grenadine.

Grenadine is a syrup made by combining pomegranate juice and sugar. The resulting viscous concoction is a bright crimson hue with a tart yet sweet flavor. Its tartness is balanced by bubbly ginger ale or lemon-lime soda. Whatever you do, don't skip the maraschino cherry garnish. Part of the fun of this beverage is nibbling the cherry from the stem after dipping it into this legendary libation.

Recipe: Shirley Temple

4. Mango Lassi

While a lassi isn't a mocktail in the sense that it is a variation of an alcoholic beverage sans the booze, it is a delightful drink that is ideal for cooling off on a hot summer day. This drink of Indian origin features yogurt as its bedrock ingredient. It can be made sweet or savory, using water, fruit, sugar, herbs, and spices that are expertly blended into a milkshake-like texture.

This iteration features mangos, though you could substitute any fruit you like or can find fresh. The key is using plain yogurt, not Greek, which can make the beverage too dense to slurp.

Recipe: Mango Lassi

5. Violet Lemonade

This recipe solves two problems at once. It uses one of nature's most beautiful yet annoying spring visitors, the violet, and yields a visually stunning potable. The key is harvesting plenty of violets.

The best violets for this purpose are those grown in your yard. They should be free of pesticides and selected from an area that is not near any contaminants. If you cannot find violets in your yard, purchase them from a gourmet grocery store or online. And if purple is not your favorite color, try making this concoction using other edible plants, like orange calendula or varying hues of nasturtium.

Recipe: Violet Lemonade

6. Moscow Mule Mocktail

There's something fancy about drinking a Moscow Mule. The zesty, sweet vodka-infused cocktail is marvelous alone or paired with food. At its core, the flavor of this beverage is conferred by the combination of ginger beer mixed with simple syrup, club soda, lime juice, and mint. These can easily be enjoyed without the vodka, using a non-alcoholic ginger beer.

While a copper vessel may be traditional, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division warns it could also be toxic when used to serve an acidic drink like a Moscow Mule. Most of us don't own a copper drinking vessel, though. This drink can be served in a well-chilled glass to keep your mule cold.

Recipe: Moscow Mule Mocktail

7. Roy Rogers

Though a Roy Rogers is often compared to a cherry-flavored Coke, they are not quite the same. Grenadine is made from pomegranates, not cherries. They are both characterized as being sweet and tart but contain different types of tannins, making cherries generally less bitter than pomegranates.

For a more balanced and complex flavor, try adding a shot of cherry juice to this recipe. It will dilute the sweetness somewhat but will develop a nuanced richness that can elevate this drink to the next level. And don't forget the garnishes. A combination of maraschino cherries and pomegranate pearls will deliver flavor and texture.

Recipe: Roy Rogers

8. Blackberry-Mint Lemonade

This recipe takes advantage of the tartness of blackberries and the acidity of lemon juice, pairing it with bright mint. The key is using the correct kind of mint. Peppermint is best for most recipes, as spearmint tends to taste more like toothpaste than something you should eat or drink.

As to the correct amount of ice to use, you want this drink to be more on the liquid side than the slushy side, though that is strictly a matter of preference. If you are more of a raspberry or strawberry fan, substitute these for the blackberries or consider mixing all three.

Recipe: Blackberry-Mint Lemonade

9. Spiced Watermelon Juice

Watermelon and cucumber are similar in that they are both incredibly rich in water, making them the ideal powerhouse combination for hydration. This recipe calls for the flesh of a whole watermelon and a cucumber.

Use a seedless watermelon or remove the seeds before cutting the flesh into chunks for best results. Though you can use any cucumber, an English variety works particularly well because it has fewer seeds and is meatier. And don't skimp on the chipotle powder. The heat will jazz up this refreshing beverage. Alternatively, try using a Mexican spice blend called Tajín powder for a spin.

Recipe: Spiced Watermelon Juice

10. 'Hallow Vera' Mocktail

This slightly sweet, tart, and acidic mocktail uses a distinct ingredient — aloe vera juice. For the uninitiated, aloe vera juice is a viscous, sticky liquid obtained from the leaves of the aloe vera plant. It can be purchased in myriad different iterations and flavors, from plain to mixed with other juices. For this recipe, you will want the plain variety.

Its texture can occasionally be gelatinous, which some dislike. If this is the case, consider puréeing the juices and pomegranate shrub in a blender before shaking them with ice. The cocktail will be more effervescent, but that can make it even more fun.

Recipe: 'Hallow Vera' Mocktail

11. Pineapple Mint Julep

The mint julep is considered the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby. It is a beverage that typically features generous quantities of high-quality bourbon. This play on the classic introduces exotic pineapple for a tropical twist. Again, muddling the ingredients well to infuse these beverages with the essence of every element is necessary to obtain the correct flavor.

If you don't have a homemade sour mix, increase the amounts of simple syrup, lemon, and lime juice. Approximately 2 ounces of simple syrup and ¼ ounce apiece of lemon and lime juices should have a similar puckering effect.

Recipe: Pineapple Mint Julep

12. Virgin Piña Colada

Nothing screams "island vacation" like a rum-soaked piña colada. One sip virtually transports you to the sun-soaked sandy beach with the aromas of pineapple and coconut wafting through the salty air. This virgin variation of the beverage includes shredded coconut for a rich, luxurious mouthfeel.

Consider adding a pinch of Li Hing Mui powder to the blender before whizzing this up for a pop of extra flavor. The slightly salty, sweet, and sour dried plum flavors are a classic garnish for fresh pineapple in Hawaii. Sprinkle toasted coconut atop this mocktail with the pineapple and maraschino cherry garnishes for extra texture.

Recipe: Virgin Piña Colada

13. Frozen Fruit Punch Slushies

This recipe is the ultimate party pleaser, yielding a substantial quantity to quench the thirst of a crowd. The secret ingredient gluing the whole mixture together is cherry gelatin. Once the ingredients are combined, heated, and frozen, the resulting mix is almost granita-like after it begins to thaw.

If fruit punch isn't your favorite flavor, try another type of juice blend. Orange cranberry or apricot mango are popular options, even if they are slightly more viscous. Another good substitute is different flavored gelatins besides cherry to help balance the flavors, like strawberry, lime, or an unflavored variety.

Recipe: Frozen Fruit Punch Slushies

14. Party Punch

Another crowd-pleaser is this play on a sangria using orange strawberry-flavored SunnyD. Again, gelatin glues the liquids together before spending time in the freezer setting. The addition of mixed fruits creates visual and textural appeal.

If this mix is too sweet, you can substitute the ginger ale with sparkling water or club soda. You can also incorporate different flavored sodas, like a lemon-lime soda or a grapefruit soda, for a more citrus-forward twist. Lastly, try using brown instead of white sugar. The molasses will yield a rich caramel flavor, change the color to a darker hue, and give it a more viscous mouthfeel.

Recipe: Party Punch