Easy mocktails are for anyone who wants delicious, non-alcoholic drinks, but making a mocktail for kids can be especially fun. A pretty glass, fancy straw, great garnish and a delicious drink - what’s not to love? It's perfect as a special treat at parties and holidays or to enjoy for a refreshing summer drink.
A fun drink is a fun drink, no matter your age. Even at 6 years old, my kiddo’s looking from her cup of apple juice over to my garnished cocktail glass and asking “why can’t I have a fancy drink?”
We tried famous mocktail recipes like a Shirley Temple drink, but they didn't get rave reviews from my kid. We tried mocktail drinks made with cranberry juice or white grape juice or grapefruit juice or a squeeze of lime juice - none of it was what she wanted.
I stayed away from cotton candy and other additions that would drive up the sugar intake, opting for sparkling water or club soda instead.
Cocktails for Kids
Creating fun cocktail for kids recipe made with simple ingredients, that could be found in most grocery stores, became a game for us.
The simple kid cocktail recipe below was a collaborative, mother-daughter effort. I often serve it alongside her after school snack when we’re celebrating a really great day, or the weekend, or a classroom accomplishment.
Festive mocktails are the perfect party drink for the whole family. They're great for special occasions (like toasting on new year’s eve), a birthday party, a baby shower, or any time you need an easy mocktail recipe. Who doesn't want special drinks on a special day?!
- Pineapple juice - Choose 100% pineapple juice, not a juice blend.
- An orange - Choose a fresh orange for this drink. You'll need about half an orange for the recipe and can use a slice from the remaining half for garnish.
- Grenadine syrup - This super sweet, red syrup is what gives this drink it's sweetness and layered effect. Look for it in the liquor/mixer section of your grocery store (even though it's non-alcoholic).
- Sparkling water or club soda - Plain flavored, fizzy water of your choice. Club soda has a bit more carbonation and hold its fizz for longer, but choose whatever you have readily available.
How to Make a Mocktail for Kids
Combine pineapple juice and the juice from half an orange 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 sparkling water.
Garnish with fresh fruit such as orange slices or pineapple slices, add a fun straw, and present with 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.
FAQs and Substitutions
1 oz of orange juice is about the same as the fresh juice from half an orange or one whole clementine/mandarin.
Look for grenadine in the mixer area of the liquor section in your grocery store. There’s zero alcohol in it, but since it’s an ingredient in lots of cocktails, many stores keep it in that section. If you can't find it, use the liquid from a jar of bright red maraschino cherries in this recipe.
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 a rocks glass or one of the small wine glasses we got from a tasting room stop years ago.