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Zero or Low Alcohol Drinks for Your Non-Drinking Guests

Zero or Low Alcohol Drinks for Your Non-Drinking Guests

No, we’re not talking about those wussy mocktails you’re used to. We’re talking about real drinks with real flavor that just happen to have a lower alcohol content. Whether your guests are looking for non-alcoholic drinks for whatever reason or just a lower ABV option to sip on, there’s something on this list for everyone. So let’s get wasted—er, I mean, let’s get started, bartenders!

You have questions. I have answers.

  • What is a low-ABV cocktail?
    • Low-alcohol drinks contain between 3 and 10 percent ABV (alcohol-by-volume) or about 6 to 20 proof. For context, that’s about the same alcohol content as a glass of wine or half the strength of cocktails like martinis or margaritas. Some low-proof beverages are even lighter, with an alcohol content similar to beer. They typically feature mixer ingredients like juice or soda in larger volumes than liqueurs, wine, or beer.
  • What can replace alcohol in a mocktail?
    • Seltzer water, sparkling water, club soda, fruit juice, or tea can all replace alcohol in a mocktail. For more, read on!
  • What is the most popular mocktail?
    • The most popular mocktail is the Shirley Temple. But, we’re here to make sure you aren’t serving those anymore. 
  • Why do people come to a bar looking for zero-proof drinks?
    • There are waves of folks opting to not drink. And that doesn’t mean they won’t still come to your bar. In fact, they may be more likely to stop in if there are a few drinks they can choose from. I’ve heard a ton of bartenders grope about making mocktails, but don’t! Here are some reasons why folks don’t drink:
      • They don’t want to. Simply put.
      • They are sober or venturing toward sobriety. They may also just want to do dry January! 
      • Health reasons stemming from pregnancy to blood pressure.
      • It makes them sick.
      • They are allergic.

Story Time: I’ve made some of my best money serving folks non-alcoholic cocktails! One time, I was serving a couple and one of them sat down first. She told me she wasn’t drinking because she was expecting but she hadn’t told her spouse yet. How cute, right! So I made her a little mocktail and kept her secret until she was ready. I’ve also served people who are sober but haven’t told their friends. Remember, we’re not serving judgment, we’re serving delicious cocktails!

9 Low or No ABV Cocktails You Can Make Today

Seedlip Garden 108: Zero ABV


Seedlip Garden 108 can you gift you many fresh takes on a traditional cocktail.

Made with 11 botanical ingredients, this non-alcohol spirit can be enjoyed on its own or mixed in other drinks to create cocktails for all sorts of guests!

They don’t just extract the juice from each botanical, they infuse it. Then after distillation in two bespoke processes that remove any alcohol left over during maturation (which is when they’re really soaking), you’ll find yourself with an exquisite drink that gets ordered again and again.


  • Seedlip Garden 108
  • 2 oz Simple Syrup
  • .75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • .5 oz Cucumber Slices
  • 3 Mint Leaves

To make one of these Seedlip concoctions:

  • Combine Cucumber slices & Mint leaves in a shaker with a muddle. Add ice, Seedlip Garden 108, simple, and lime juice to the shaker. Shake & double strain. Garnish with a dashing cucumber ribbon.



The Grasshopper is a minty-fresh drink that’s served in a martini glass and isn’t meant to be consumed quickly. Making it a perfect, refreshing choice for a sessionable cocktail.

What does it mean when a drink is sessionable?

  • When a beer, spirit, or cocktail is sessionable, it means it can be sipped on all day long. Why? There’s a lower alcohol percentage so your guests don’t get too drunk too fast. People like to session their drinks when they are: drinking for a long time (like at a wedding), have a low tolerance, or just like to pace themselves.

To get the full Grasshopper recipe, head to our list of refreshing cocktails.

Rosemary Paloma


Palomas are the newest mimosas at brunch. But you don’t have to overserve your guests just because they have the Sunday Scaries! This Rosemary Paloma is light. Plus, you can give your guest the option—to tequila or not to tequila? That is the question…


  • .5 oz Giffard Pamplemousse 
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • .5 to .75 oz lime juice
  • .25 oz agave 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • Sparkling water 
  • Rosemary sprig, garnish
  • Grapefruit peel, garnish
  • Optional: simply add .75 oz of Tequila Herradura Silver for a slightly boozy effect


  • Combine all ingredients except garnish and sparkling water in a cocktail shaker. Mix until well-chilled. Strain and serve over fresh rocks, and top with sparkling water, rosemary, and a grapefruit peel.



The Bamboo is one of those cocktails that you can enjoy for hours on end. It’s not hard to make and requires just two ingredients: dry vermouth and sherry, plus bitters! To mix it up a bit more try adding some ice before pouring into your coupe – this will result in an even smoother drink with plenty flavor thanks both extracts from the wines themselves as well additional ingredients such citrus juice or other spices like cardamom seeds added during distillation process


  • 1.5 ounces dry sherry
  • 1.5 ounces dry vermouth
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash of orange bitters
  • Lemon twist, garnish


  • Add sherry, vermouth, and bitters in your mixing glass. Add ice then you will stir until the contents are well-chilled. In a chilled coupe glass, strain and then use a lemon twist for garnish.

Campari Spritz


Campari is an Italian aperitif made from a blend of herbs and spices. It’s often served with orange juice, but I like to mix it up with blood orange juice for a slightly sweeter flavor.

DYK? Campari was created in 1860 when Gaspare Campari mixed two different liqueurs together.


  • 1 blood orange juice
  • 1.5 oz Campari
  • 3 oz chilled Prosecco
  • 1.5 oz chilled grapefruit sparkling water


  • Half your blood orange get enough juice for .75 ounces. Save the second half for garnish. In your service glass (use a white white glass), add ice. Then add orange juice and campari. Lastly, top with Prosecco, sparkling water, and garnish.

Ranch Rosé Cocktail


Ranch Water is more popular than ever among bartenders looking for a light and refreshing beverage to serve their thirsty customers. It’s citrusy and low in alcohol, meaning that it’s especially drinkable on hot summer days.


  • 1.5 oz blanco tequila
  • .75 oz Lillet Rosé
  • .5 oz blood orange syrup 
  • 1 oz lime juice, strained of any solids, from 2 limes
  • 2 oz sparkling water 
  • Dried rose petals


  • Add lime juice, blood orange syrup, Lillet Rosé, and tequila in a rocks glass. Add some ice and then sparkling water. For garnish, use rose petals that are safe for humans to consume.

Mindful Mint Mojito



  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 tsp cane sugar or stevia
  • 1 fl. oz Silver Rum*, if desired
  • 2 fl. oz cucumber sparkling water


  • Add mint leaves into your glass and muddle away. Add sugar while you’re doing this! Once it’s good and muddled, add ice, sparkling water, and run. Stir, stir, stir. Add cucumber slices and mint for garnish.

Optional, Yet Bougie: Create flower-infused ice cubes for an added fancy touch.



This classic cocktail is perfect for anyone who wants to drink without alcohol. The Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water come together in a refreshing way that can be enjoyed all day long but if you’re looking for something with more kick then go right ahead change it up by switching out some gin for your preferred spirit!


  • 1.5 oz Campari
  • 1.5 oz sweet vermouth
  • Soda water
  • Orange twist, garnish


  • Grab your highball glass and fill it with ice. Add sweet vermouth and Campari. Before you stir everything up, top with soda water. Finally, garnish with an orange twist.

Liqueur Spritz

Liqueurs are great additions to cocktails. They add flavor and sweetness, and can be used to change the flavor of a cocktail or to make it more complex.

Liqueurs are spirits that are full of flavors like and made with fruits, herbs, or spices. They are typically around 20% ABV. Liqueurs can be used in a variety of cocktails, or simply enjoyed on their own. Some popular liqueurs include amaretto, triple sec, and Grand Marnier.

Basically, this is recipe I’m about to share is so easy, if you know how to stir a a bowl of soup, you can make a St. Germain Spritz.



  • 2 oz St Germain
  • 3 oz sparkling wine, such as Prosecco or champagne, chilled
  • 1 oz soda water
  • Lemon wedge, fresh thyme, lavender or rosemary are all options for garnishes


  • Chill the St. Germain by stirring it with ice. Add Prosecco and some soda water; plus any additional ice if you need it. Give a lemon wedge a good squeeze to add some juice and you’re ready to serve the Spritz.

Make Low ABV Drinks and More Money with Local Bartending School

Low-alcohol drinks are the perfect way to enjoy all the flavor of your favorite cocktails without getting too drunk too fast. And those alcohol-free drinks are great to suggest to your guest who just doesn’t want to drink. There’s something on this list for everyone.

If you’re interested in learning how to make more cocktails with low alcohol content at home, behind the bar, or for your entire team, check out our classes at the Local Bartending School. We’ll show you how to make some delicious and refreshing drinks that will have your guests asking for seconds (or thirds). 

Plus, you don’t have to worry about those extra rounds getting anyone too drunk. That’s a life lesson you don’t want to learn from your job. Cheers!

Local Bartending School in Zero or Low Alcohol Drinks for Your Non-Drinking Guests

Click the link above to learn more