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How to Make a Refreshing Summer ‘Mocktail’

These summer sippers will give fresh, new meaning to happy hour.

Summer mocktail
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Summer sipping is a joy, a moment in these hot days to cool off with a bracing drink in hand. If alcohol isn’t on your menu, there’s no need to miss out on happy hour. 

A “mocktail” is a special category of beverage, different from a flavored water or other simple hydrator in complexity and food-complementing satisfaction. 

The purpose of a mocktail is to provide a special sipping moment. Try these tips to make your next glass something worth toasting to.

Rim Your Glass
A number of classic summer cocktails, including margaritas and palomas, offset the sweet tang of limes and grapefruits with a salty rim. Rub a slice of citrus fruit around your glass and dip it into a saucer of coarse salt before pouring in your mocktail elixir for a crunchy, flavor-enhancing experience. A combination of salt and sugar can also elevate a fruity mocktail.

Blitz It Up
Frozen drinks are instant coolers, and yours don’t need alcohol to be fresh and flavorful. Frozen pineapple, lemonade and ice whiz together in your blender to make a bold beverage. Frozen blueberries, mangoes or peaches can pair with citrus juice and ice to have you singing the praises of summer fruits. And coconut milk combines with whipping cream and pineapple juice for tropical frozen joy.

Add Herbs
Herbs can lend a complex note to drinks that could otherwise run the risk of tasting overly sweet. Muddle basil leaves with some lemon in the bottom of a glass before topping with fruit juice and sparkling water. Or, make a simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar simmered on the stove) infused with sage, thyme or rosemary for a fragrant addition to drizzle into your mocktails.

Add a Special Garnish 
What is a special drink without a garnish? Top your drink with a sprig of mint or rosemary or nestle a wedge of peach, lemon, lime or grapefruit onto the edge of your glass. To get even more classic, float a cherry on top.

What are your favorite mocktails?

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