Mocktails are for anyone who wants a delicious, alcohol-free drink, but mocktails for kids can be especially fun. Pretty glasses, fancy straws, and drinks that look like what the grown ups have - what’s not to love?
As a mom who runs a cocktail and recipe blog, it was inevitable that my daughter would ask for a fancy drink of her own.
After all, she watched me make and shoot 18 drinks during quarantine for my Homemade Happy Hour cocktail book - which led to her spontaneously creating the chalk drawings that became my book’s cover art.
A fun drink is a fun drink, no matter your age. At 5 years old, kiddo’s (gratefully) a very long time away from that first cocktail “cheers” on her 21st birthday. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t looking from her cup of apple juice over to my garnished cocktail glass and asking “why can’t I have a fancy drink?”
The recipe below was a collaborative, mother-daughter effort that I serve alongside her after school snack when we’re celebrating a really great day, or the weekend, or a classroom accomplishment.
Makes 1 drink.
3 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 teaspoon grenadine syrup
1-2 oz sparkling water
Combine pineapple juice and orange juice in a glass.
Fill the glass with ice.
Slowly pour grenadine down the inside of the glass so it settles at the bottom.
Top with 1-2 oz sparkling water.
Present with a fun straw and instructions to stir the drink well before sipping.
The cocktail will change from yellow to orange as the grenadine is mixed in, something my kiddo thinks is SO cool.
Tips on Kiddo’s Mocktail
1 oz of orange juice is about the same as the fresh juice from half an orange or one clementine.
Look for grenadine in the liquor section of your grocery store. There’s zero alcohol in it, but since it’s an ingredient in lots of cocktails, many stores house it in that section. If you can't find it, use the liquid from a jar of bright red maraschino cherries.
Grenadine sinks to the bottom of the glass because it contains a LOT of sugar and is therefore a heavier liquid than the juices. If your kiddo doesn’t mix up their mocktail before sipping with a straw, a mouthful of super sweet cherry syrup will come their way. Make sure they stir!!
Dress it up! To really take this mocktail for kids over the top, dress it up with some garnish. Maraschino cherries, slices of orange, a wedge of fresh pineapple, or a spring of fresh mint are all great options.
Grab the fun glasses and straws for this drink. My kiddo loves hers in one of the small wine glasses we got from a tasting room stop years ago.