Cool down with this Virgin Mojito Mocktail recipe, a refreshing, non-alcoholic spin on the classic cocktail made with zero-proof rum, fresh limes and mint. It’s the perfect summer sipper.
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Virgin Mojito recipe
Summer cocktails are simply the best thing in the world. I look forward to them all year.
But sometimes booze feels too heavy, and I’d rather have something a little lighter for a hot summer day.
The classic mojito cocktail is one of my absolute favorites but it’s just as delicious without the alcohol. Some people call it a “nojito.”
Why you’ll love this recipe
A mojito mocktail is a
- It tastes just like a regular mojito, only without the alcohol.
- You can easily use zero-proof spirits to make just about any cocktail non-alcoholic.
- It’s bright and minty and perfectly balanced between sweet and sour.
What is a mojito?
The mojito is a classic cocktail featuring rum, sugar, lime juice, fresh mint leaves and a splash of soda. The result is a refreshing drink that’s equal parts sweet, sour and herbal.
The mojito is an easy cocktail to make, and you only need a few ingredients. One trip to the store and you should be all set to make a big batch.
You shouldn’t skimp on the fresh mint. I grow mine in my herb garden (or rather, mint is taking over my herb garden) but you can find it in the produce section of most grocery stores.
Fresh mint often comes in clear, plastic clamshell boxes with just a few sprigs. If you want to make a lot of mojitos (and maybe some mint juleps too), see if your store carries it in a big bundle.
Make sure you have extra mint sprigs to use as minty mojito mocktail garnishes.
Next up is the sugary element. I recommend making your own simple syrup. My recipe is done in under 10 minutes and has just two ingredients.
You can make a mint simple syrup if you want a stronger flavor — just add 1-2 sprigs of mint after the boil and let it steep as it cools. Then remove the leaves before storing the syrup in a jar.
You can also use pure cane sugar, but it will take longer to dissolve and more elbow grease as you muddle.
Place a sprig of mint leaves into a glass with your simple syrup, then muddle them together with a muddler.
No muddler? No problem. You can hack your cocktail with the blunt end of a wooden spoon, or even a spoon. You just want to press hard enough to release the essential oils from the leaves.
Zero-proof rum for mojitos
The traditional mojito calls for rum. Thankfully these days there are lots of non-alcoholic alternatives to traditional spirits on the market to help you make a good mocktail. While I love a good Shirley Temple, zero-proof spirits add more complexity to a virgin cocktail.
Most often the mojito uses white rum, which keeps the cocktail light and crisp. It goes well with fruit flavors, which makes it perfect for the mojito and the daiquiri.
Two that are most similar to white rum are Seedlip Garden 108, which contains notes of peas, rosemary and thyme, and Lyre’s White Cane Spirit with flavors of citrus, oak and sugar cane. Both of these would be good choices for this non-alcoholic mojito recipe.
You can also make a mojito with spiced rum, and there are a couple of brands with a similar flavor.
The one I used in this recipe is Ritual rum alternative , which I love for its warm vanilla and toasted spice flavors. A similar one is Lyre’s Spiced Cane Spirit which has notes of caramel, molasses and toasted nuts.
While the store-bought lime juice is great in a pinch, it’s not the wisest to use in a mojito where lime is really the star. Fresh fruit will yield the strongest lime flavor. Instead, see if your grocery store sells pre-squeezed, fresh lime juice.
It will still taste good if you use the bottled concentrate, but if you have time to squeeze some limes, don’t skimp.
I usually use a citrus squeezer to juice my limes. If I am making a lot of cocktails, I use my electric citrus juicer.
You can also substitute limeade, lemonade or even lemon juice in a pinch! (If using one of the -ades, be sure to cut down on the sweetener.)
A few bubbles from soda water help the drink to have a lighter body and more volume. You don’t need a ton.
This part can be optional, but I find it gives this virgin mojito mocktail recipe a bit of brightness and the bubbles help it taste more refreshing.
Use sparkling water if you don’t have club soda on hand. Ginger ale or lemon-lime soda will also work, but you may want to tone down the amount of simple syrup you add.
How to make this Virgin Mojito Mocktail recipe
This minty mojito mocktail is a super easy recipe — I know you can do it. Here’s what to do to make this non-alcoholic beverage:
- In a collins glass or highball glass , add the mint leaves and simple syrup. Muddle together in the bottom of a glass to release the oils of the mint leaves.
- Top with ice cubes, filling the glass all the way to the top.
- Add the lime juice and rum alternative. Top with club soda.
- Garnish with a straw, a sprig of mint and lime slices or lime wedges.
Variations and substitutions
Mojitos are fun to play around with different flavors. Here are a few ideas to make this non-alcoholic drink all your own.
Simply replace the rum with the rum alternative 1:1 to make a mojito mocktail.
- This berry mojito features bright and colorful summer berries.
- Lemon mojito uses lemon juice instead of lime (or a combination) full of bright, zesty flavor.
- My kombucha mojito uses fresh, sour kombucha instead of club soda for the bubbles. It’s super flavorful and makes a delicious drink.
- For a tropical treat, try a mango mojito made with mango puree. This one’s good for a hot day by the pool.
- Another tropical spin is a pineapple mojito which has pineapple juice added. It’s the perfect drink for sipping on the beach.
- Make a honey mojito by using honey simple syrup as a natural sweetener.
More mocktail recipes
- 8-10 mint leaves
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice (approx. 1 lime)
- 2 ounces zero-proof rum
- club soda
- lime wedge, for garnish
- mint sprig, for garnish
- In a collins or highball glass, add the mint leaves and simple syrup. Muddle together to release the oils of the mint leaves.
- Top with ice, filling the glass all the way.
- Add the lime juice and rum alternative. Top with club soda.
- Garnish with a straw, lime wedge and a mint sprig.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 38mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 8gSugar: 13gProtein: 4g