By Junior Merino, The Liquid Chef

Satisfying your taste buds on a Friday night out with friends without alcohol can be quite the challenge. You may be the designated driver, avowed, or waiting on the new addition to the family. Either way, you’d sit and wonder about the perfect substitution for that delicious Mojito your friend is sipping on. You might think,  “Wow, if only that didn’t have alcohol” and if you do, you’d be thinking of a mocktail. That’s right, the party doesn’t stop at the drinks.

CLICK HERE to view last month's Monthly Mixology with Junior Merino: Agave - Beyond Tequila

Mocktails, as the name implies, is an abbreviation of a “mock cocktail”. These are your non-alcoholic party drinks and the good news is that they come in a ton of varieties! Whether you are prefer frozen, hot, fizzy, or creamy there’s a mocktail ready to be prepared especially for you! You may have already tried one if you’ve ever had a virgin piña colada, and we can all vouch for how wonderful those are! Among other popular mocktails, some of the other top contenders include the Classic Shirley Temple, Virgin Mary, Nojito, and a good ol’ Arnold Palmer. The finished product of any mocktail is garnished with anything from an orange, cherry, strawberry, or a standard lime.

Google searches for "mocktail" continue to grow over time.

However, the fun doesn’t end with a drink in your hand! Mocktails are fun and healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by anyone! Serve up your own mocktails with new and innovative ingredients in your kitchen! Feel free to experiment, after all, it is your drink! Have your common items ready, orange juice, chilled ginger ale, club soda, lemon/lime juice, coconut milk, and ice, are but a few that are commonly used! Integrate a blender, a Boston shaker, or even a good ol’ mix can do the trick! The fun part is that it’s up to you! Experimenting with different flavors and mixtures can become quite the art for many individuals.

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Since 2000, mocktails have been a popular and well-integrated item on my cocktail menus. Using only the freshest of fruits, vegetables and organic syrups, our award winning cocktails fulfill the high standard waiting in your mocktail cup. Let’s take for example, the fresh fizz cocktail! Sounds great already doesn’t it? Take 2 slices of English cucumber, basil leaves, and our agave nectar, and muddle  them together. Add grapefruit juice, lemon juice and club soda! The combination of the lemon juice and pink grapefruit with the sweetness of the agave nectar provides a taste that compliment one another! This is one of the many drinks we have crafted to match our expectations of a perfectly combined mocktail.

Rising mocktail searches include "margarita" and "mojito".

If you think things couldn’t get better consider this, NO ALCOHOL. Suddenly, sobriety doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, after all, does it?

For more mocktail ideas and inspiration, visit http://www.theliquidchefinc.com/

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