5 Summer Cocktail Recipes With Matching Mocktails for Kids
What's summer vacation without an icy cocktail in your hand? In an otherwise unusual summer, make any evening extra special with a cool new summer cocktail, and let the kids get in on the mixed-drink fun with a corresponding non-alcoholic mocktail. From pink-hued sangria (with Shirley Temples) to mojitos (and minty limeade), we have five yummy cocktail-mocktail pairings for parents and kids to enjoy together.
Fresh mint "makes" the mojito.
1. Classic Mojito Recipe
- 4 ounces white rum
- 6 mint leaves, muddled
- 1 ½ ounces lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- Splash of club soda, to finish
- Add the muddled mint, rum, lime juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Give it a brief shake.
- Strain into two highball glasses and top with a splash of club soda.
- Garnish with a lime wedge, a sprig of mint, and enjoy!
Kid-Friendly Mocktail Recipe: Lime-Min-Ade
Omit the rum from the classic mojito recipe and increase the amount of club soda to transform the mojito to a kid-friendly version, dubbed by my 6-year-old as a lime-min-ade. We also like to sub 7-Up for the club soda.
2. Rosé Sangria Recipe
- 1 bottle rosé wine
- 1 cup grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- ½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- Fresh fruit, to taste (I used a sliced lemon and a pint of raspberries)
- ¼ cup fruit-flavored liqueur, to taste (i.e. Cointreau, raspberry liqueur, fruit-flavored vodka)
- Club soda, for serving
- Sangria is a great fix-it and forget-it punch to serve a crowd, or nurse slowly throughout the weekend. Mix all ingredients, aside from the club soda, in a pitcher and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving; the longer it sits, the more intense the flavors become. When ready to serve, pour over ice and top with a splash of club soda.
Served in a special glass, Shirley Temples make any kids' gathering a fancy party.
Kid-Friendly Mocktail Recipe: Classic Shirley Temple
- 4 ounces clear soda, like 7-Up, Sprite, or Ginger Ale
- ½ ounce grenadine syrup
- Maraschino cherries
- Fill a glass with ice, top with soda and grenadine, and add a cherry (or three! four! more!) on top.
This year's "it" coffee drink is even more amazing with a splash of Kahlua.
3. Boozy Dalgona Coffee Recipe
- 4 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons boiling water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 4 ounces Kahlua (or liqueur of choice; Irish Cream would also be a good fit!)
- 8 ounces milk or milk alternative (we used almond milk)
- Fill two glasses ⅔ of the way full with ice; add liqueur and almond milk, leaving top ⅓ of cup empty for coffee.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the instant coffee, sugar, vanilla (if using), and boiling water. Using a hand mixer, whip the mixture until frothy, medium peaks form. Note: You can do this by hand using a wire whisk, but it will take 8-10 minutes to reach the right consistency.
- Spoon coffee mixture atop the glasses of ice and milk and enjoy.
Kid-Friendly Mocktail Recipe: Frozen Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups milk
- 3 packages instant hot chocolate mix
- 3 cups ice
- Not so optional toppings: whipped cream, chocolate shavings, or chocolate chips
- Combine the milk, hot chocolate, and ice in a blender and process until it reaches the consistency of a smoothie.
- Pour into two glasses.
- Add a swirl of whipped cream, if using, and sprinkle with chocolate shavings or chocolate chips.
A citrusy paloma hits the spot on a hot day.
4. Paloma Recipe
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- ½ cup tequila
- ½ cup club soda
- Spread salt on a plate. Rub the rim of two highball glasses with a wedge of grapefruit and turn upside down in the salt to create a salt rim.
- Combine the grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and tequila in a shaker with ice. Shake to combine.
- Strain into the prepared glasses and top with a splash of club soda.
Kid-Friendly Mocktail Recipe: Virgin Paloma
Omit the tequila from the paloma recipe above, and increase the club soda to transform this into a kid-friendly beverage.
A juicy fruit garnish is the perfect topper for watermelon lemonade.
5. Watermelon Lemonade Coolers
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water, plus 3 cups water for mixing lemonade
- 4 cups watermelon, cubed
- ½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 ounces vodka, per serving
- Make a simple syrup: Combine ½ water and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat, bring to a slight boil to ensure sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- In a large pitcher, combine simple syrup, lemon juice, and 3 cups cold water to make lemonade. Stir to combine and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, add the watermelon to a blender and process until pureed.
- To assemble, place ice in a tall glass, add 3 tablespoons watermelon puree, 2 ounces of vodka, and fill the remainder of the glass with lemonade. Stir to combine.
Kid-Friendly Mocktail Recipe: Watermelon Lemonade
Follow the recipe above, omitting vodka in the final step, and adding an extra splash of lemonade instead. Garnish with a slice of watermelon for a fruity, fun twist.