Let’s face it – we’ve waited a long time to get together with friends and family. And there’s no denying there is plenty to celebrate. While we all deserve a little indulgence, we may not want to feel the after-effects of boozy celebrations.

There’s nothing wrong with having a cocktail or two (check out our recipes for sugar-free mojitos, margaritas, orange creamsicles, and lemonade mimosas), but why not mix it up with a few mocktails this summer?

They are more than just delicious, they can help you stay hydrated, increase your fruit consumption and help to cut back on the calories that you find in those sweet, pre-made coolers.

There are many great options out there, and during the summer months you can really take advantage of all the fresh fruit available.

When life gives you lemons

Lemonade and summertime go together like strawberries and chocolate. It’s easy to make your own homemade lemonade without sugar – all you need are lemons, sparkling water, ice and stevia. For those who want a little kick, try these alcoholic spirits by adding vodka, rum, gin or bourbon.

Leave lemons out at room temperature for a few hours, then roll them back and forth before juicing.  It will help to get the most out of your lemons.

Especially refreshing is watermelon lemonade, which is a sure crowd-pleaser. Here’s one simple recipe that can be whipped up in no time:


1/2 medium-size watermelon or enough to make 4 cups watermelon juice

4-5 large lemons or enough to make 1 cup lemon juice

1 - 1 ½ cups granulated sugar*

4-6 cups water or sparkling water

fresh mint – even better if you planted some in your herb garden! 

*Because watermelons are so naturally sweet, you can even omit the sugar here or substitute another sweetener such as honey, adjusting the amount to your desired taste.


  1. Scoop watermelon into a blender or food processor and process until liquid.
  2. Strain watermelon through a mesh strainer, reserving 4 cups of watermelon juice, and discard the watermelon flesh.
  3. Pour the watermelon juice into a pitcher.
  4. Juice the lemons and add the juice to the pitcher.
  5. Add in your choice of water.
  6. Serve immediately over ice and garnish with fresh mint leaves and lemon slices.

Quench your thirst with iced tea

Store-bought iced tea is packed full of sugar, so why not make your own tasty tea? Strong brew your favourite tea and let cool to room temperature. Pour the tea over ice and sweeten with honey. Although, honey may have more calories than sugar, it comes packed full of awesome health benefits in addition to being delicious!

You can also use maple syrup as a vegan option, or infuse with fruit for natural sweetness.

Chill out with a fruit ring

A fun way to add some natural colour and taste to your favourite drink is to make a fruit ice ring. If you’re making a summer punch and want to keep it cold, just add some fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and lemon slices to a Bundt pan, fill halfway with water and freeze overnight.

When you’re ready to serve your punch, run a little warm water on the outside of the pan so that your fruit ring can slide out. Add this to your punch bowl to make it extra tasty and decorative.

Stay hydrated with water that packs a nutritious punch

One thing to remember when out in the heat is to stay hydrated. Why not encourage your guests to get their H20 by putting out an oversized pitcher filled with ice, fruit and water as an alternative?

The great thing is you can keep topping it up with more fruit and water as the day goes on. Here’s a simple vitamin water recipe that’s packed with flavour.


2 cups watermelon, sliced into cubes (rich in Vitamins A and C)

1 lemon, sliced (high in Vitamin C)

1 lime, sliced (high in Vitamin C)

½ red grapefruit, sliced and quartered (high in Vitamins A and C)

1 medium cucumber, sliced (source of Vitamins B5, C and K)

12 mint leaves (can help with digestion)

8 cups water



  1. Put the fruit, cucumber and mint in a pitcher.
  2. Add water and refrigerate for 4 hours to let flavours infuse.
  3. Serve over ice.

If you’re looking for more refreshing mocktails that really pack a nutritional punch, try these recipes for strawberry ginger-ade and kombucha lime and lemon Perrier. With ingredients that aid digestion and promote hydration, these drinks are full of probiotics, vitamins and antioxidants.

There are thousands of mocktail recipes available on the Internet. The hardest part might be deciding which ones to try first!