Bright and refreshing, this sparkling citrus apple mocktail is delicious for fall entertaining and the perfect drink for the entire family!
Mocktail recipes are a fun way to offer your guests a great option to alcoholic drinks. Those choosing not to drink alcohol deserve more than a soft drink or soda water option.
This apple cider mocktail is more reminiscent of a crisp hard cider, but without the alcohol. Instead it’s crafted with simple ingredients like fresh citrus and sparkling fruit juice.
A cinnamon stick, a nutmeg sprinkle, caramel and other flavors traditionally paired with apple cider have been left out of this drink to create something unexpected and light.
Made from sparkling cider (or sparkling apple juice, depending on the brand), this refreshing drink is easy to make year-round, even if it’s not apple cider season.
Ginger syrup is used instead of ginger beer or ginger ale for a more subtle ginger flavor that doesn’t compete with the citrus and cider.
- Sparkling apple cider - Pick your favorite brand! Trader Joes and Welch's both make great options.
- Ginger simple syrup - Easy to make with sugar, water, and fresh ginger, check out my ginger syrup page for the quick recipe. Ginger syrup keeps for up to 2 weeks, so you can make it well ahead of time and be ready to shake up a drink.
- An orange - We're using both orange peel and orange juice in this drink, so grab a fresh orange for this recipe.
- A lemon - Fresh citrus makes for a better drink! Squeeze a fresh lemon for this recipe.
- Raw sugar - Also known as turbinado sugar, raw sugar is less processed and has larger granules than white sugar making it perfect for rimming a glass. Can't find any? Use white sugar or brown sugar for the rim instead.
How to Make a Citrus Apple Mocktail
Pour raw sugar into a shallow dish. Run a slice of lemon or orange around the rim of the glass, then dip the rim of the glass into the raw sugar.
Add ice cubes to the glass and set it aside.
Combine ginger syrup, orange juice, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well and strain into your prepared glass.
Top with sparkling apple cider.
Using a vegetable peeler, cut a long strip of orange peel from the orange.
Squeeze the orange peel over the glass to express the oil from the orange peel into your drink.
Garnish with a curl of orange peel or apple slices.
Stir, sip and enjoy!
Making Homemade Ginger Simple Syrup
It’s super easy to make your own ginger syrup from fresh ginger! It only takes 10 minutes and 3 ingredients. Check out my ginger simple syrup recipe for all the details and instructions.
Can’t find sparkling apple cider? Prefer to use regular apple cider in this recipe? Swap out the sparkling juice for 2.5 oz apple cider + 0.5 oz sparkling water or club soda.
Add flair with your garnish! Want to make this more of a Christmas mocktail? Add a few fresh cranberries and/or a sprig of rosemary or fresh thyme. Want to make it more citrus feeling? Garnish with lemon slices and orange wheels. The choice is entirely up to you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Mocktails - or mock cocktails - are non-alcoholic cocktails, perfect for when you want to have a festive drink without the booze. Whether you’re celebrating at a baby shower, the designated driver for ringing in the new year, or simply don’t feel like having any alcohol, an alcohol free cocktail is a delicious and easy drink for anyone to enjoy.
Yes. Fresh citrus juice is half of the ingredients in this recipe. You need the orange peel anyway, so squeeze the orange juice too. It only takes a few minutes to juice an orange and a lemon and it will have a huge impact on the taste of your drink.
You make it! Buy a piece of ginger root at the grocery store and follow my recipe for ginger syrup. It’s quick and easy to make and will keep for a couple weeks in your refrigerator, so it’s ready for your next round of drinks.
While this recipe is designed to be delicious with zero alcohol in it, you can add 1 oz of your favorite gin or vodka to the cocktail shaker when you shake up the syrup and citrus juices.
Looking for Other Non-Alcoholic Recipes?
I always make apple cider syrup in the fall. It's so easy to make, packed with fall flavor, and perfect for adding to sparkling water for a quick mocktail or even to coffee for an apple latte. My other favorite cool-weather sip is this Fizzy Cranberry Orange mocktail made with my cranberry orange syrup.