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Foodie Finds | AAA World


Who says you need alcohol to make a drink fun? These tasty mocktails from around the country demonstrate that all it takes is a little creativity to move beyond seltzer–iced tea–sugary soda monotony.

Blueberry Ginger Mocktail

Williamsburg Inn
Williamsburg, Virginia

During Colonial times, ginger imported from Asia was a popular seasoning in baking (ginger cakes) and beverages (ginger beer). The flavor of the spice improved the taste of the bland and sometimes spoiled food of the time. This mocktail marries ginger with blueberries, a prolific crop harvested throughout southeast Virginia in the summer and fall.


  • 1.5 ounces of blueberry ginger syrup
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime wheel and fresh blueberries for garnish

Make blueberry ginger syrup by steeping grated fresh ginger and a container of muddled blueberries in 25 ounces of simple syrup for 24 hours, and then strain through cheesecloth.

To prepare drink: Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour 1.5 ounces of blueberry ginger syrup over the ice so that it settles to the bottom, and then gently pour ginger beer to maintain the layered look. Push some blueberries down among the ice, and crown with a lime wheel.

Candy Corn Candy Corn Quencher

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Like Dolly Parton herself, this autumn-themed mocktail is bubbly, sweet and lots of fun. And, if you’re lucky enough to be visiting Dollywood, the Candy Corn Quencher is available at numerous locations in the theme park.


  • 4 ounces of pineapple juice with pineapple tidbits 
  • 5 ounces of orange soda
  • 2 ounces of whipped topping
  • 4 pieces of candy corn
  • Sprinkles for topping

Combine pineapple juice, tidbits and orange soda, and pour into a mug or glass. Garnish with whipped topping, candy corn and sprinkles.

Kitty Knight House Mocktail

Kitty Knight House
Georgetown, Maryland

The Kitty Knight House on Maryland’s Eastern Shore comprises an inn and restaurant that pay homage to Kitty Knight, who, according to legend, convinced the British army during the War of 1812 not to burn down a church and several homes in Georgetown. The fall-themed mocktail featuring local apple cider can be enjoyed in your own home or at Kitty Knight restaurant, which has an expansive deck with sunset views of the Sassafras River.


  • 7 ounces of apple cider
  • 7 ounces of ginger beer
  • Caramel syrup
  • Apple slice or rosemary spring for garnish

Drizzle caramel syrup in glass. Combine 7 ounces of apple cider and 7 ounces of ginger beer over ice. Garnish with apple slice or rosemary sprig.

Carroll Couture Couisne Nitty Gritty 

Carroll Couture Cuisine
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Four-time Top Chef alumna Jennifer Carroll and her co-executive chef at Spice Finch, Billy Riddle, pay homage to hometown hero Gritty, beloved mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey team with this eye-catching drink. 

“Like Gritty, this drink is fresh, bold and bright orange,” Carroll says. “We take advantage of winter citrus, carrots and star anise to craft a vitamin C-packed, immune boosting drink essential to combat the cold Philadelphia winters.”


  • 3 ounces of carrot juice
  • 1 ounce of orange juice
  • 1 ounce of lemon juice
  • 1 ounce of preserved orange simple syrup

Preserved Orange Simple enough for multiple drinks

  • ounces of water
  • ounces of granulated sugar
  • 1 petal (1½ ounces) of preserved orange or lemon
  • 1 star anise 


To make the preserved orange simple: Cut the preserved orange or lemon petal into pieces the size of peas. In a pot, add sugar and water, and bring to a boil. Add the preserved orange or lemon and the star anise. Steep the simple at least one hour (or overnight) to develop deep flavor. Strain before using.

To prepare the drink: Using a shaker, add in carrot, orange and lemon juices and the preserved orange simple. Add 16 ounces of ice, and shake well. Pour the drink into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and star anise for wonderful contrast.

Basil Cucumber

The Epicurean Connection
Sonoma, California

Yes, Sonoma is wine country, and about 80 percent of its agricultural fields dedicated to vineyards, but area farmers also grow produce and botanicals. Chef, cheesemaker and culinary educator Sheana Davis, owner of The Epicurean Connection, creates mocktails and cocktails that reflect the abundance of Sonoma County, like this refreshing combination of cucumber, mint and basil.


  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 fresh mint leaves washed and torn into pieces
  • fresh basil leaves washed and torn into pieces
  • strips fresh lemon zest
  • 4 ounces of sparkling water
  • Slice of lemon
  • Slice of cucumber, wrapped in basil leaves
  • Ice

In a shaker, add in simple syrup, mint leaves, basil leaves and lemon zest, and then muddle. Fill a tall glass with ice, pour the mixture over the ice, and top off with sparkling water. Garnish with a slice of lemon, a slice of cucumber and a basil blossom if you have one.
Blackberry Lavender Lemonade 

Hook & Vine Kitchen and Bar
North Beach, Maryland

Many restaurants and bars have creative cocktails, but Hook & Vine’s Monica Daley-Phillips believes it’s just as important to offer an appealing variety of mocktails to the restaurant’s guests.

“Just because you don’t or can’t drink alcohol, you should not be limited to soda and iced tea,” she says. The lemonade concoction here is just one of numerous fun alcohol-free drinks on the menu at the neighborhood restaurant on the Chesapeake Bay that Daley-Phillips owns with her husband, Kevin Phillips.


  • 3 fresh blackberries
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounces house-made lavender syrup. 

Muddle berries, and add juice and syrup; shake with ice, and pour into glass (do not strain). Add ice, top with club soda, and garnish with fresh lavender and a lemon slice.

Beet Punch
Hilton Lexington/Downtown
Lexington, Kentucky

The colorful Beet Me to the Punch quencher available at the Hilton Lexington/Downtown’s Bigg Blue Martini bar and its Triangle Grille is a nonalcoholic take on a Lexington classic: the whiskey sour (Kentucky bourbon, as you may know, is a type of whiskey). It’s au courant to add a red wine floater to whiskey sours; for this mocktail, beet juice does the visual trick while the flavor complements the sour.


  • 1 ½ ounces of sweet and sour mix
  • 2 ounces of apple juice 
  • ½ ounce of simple syrup 
  • Splash of club soda 
  • ¼ ounce of beet juice 

Pour the first three ingredients into a shaker over ice, shake, and then strain over ice in an old fashioned/rocks glass. Next, using a spoon turned upside down, place the handle on the rim of the glass with the spoon head evenly in the middle of the glass, and slowly pour the beet juice, layering it on top of the cocktail. Garnish with a rosemary sprig. 

Note: Use your favorite brand of store-bought sweet-and-sour mix. If you use a homemade mix, you need to dry-shake the mix with the apple juice and simple syrup because the egg whites in the homemade mix tend to separate.  Also, you don’t want to dilute with extra ice. 

Dollywood Wassail
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Served warm, this traditional English Christmas drink is a festive way to chase away the winter chill. This recipe provided by Dollywood makes enough wassail for a party because, after all, happy times are best when shared.


  • 8 cups of apple cider
  • 5 cups of orange juice
  • 46 ounces (5 ¾ cups) of pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (or to taste)
  • 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons of cloves

Cinnamon sticks, apple slices, mandarin orange slices and fresh cranberries for garnish

In a large pot (6 quarts or larger), whisk together apple cider, pineapple juice, orange juice and honey. Add cinnamon sticks and honey. Bring to a boil over medium–high heat, and then reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer 30 minutes. 

Strain and serve warm. Garnish with cinnamon stick, apple slices, mandarin orange slices or fresh cranberries. 

Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar Lodge
Ridgedale, Missouri

The inspiration for this mocktail originated, ironically, from a trip the Big Cedar Lodge’s mixologist took to Puerto Rico to tour Bacardi’s rum production site. “It’s now been made into a full-flavor nonalcoholic treat for those who are looking for more than just a Shirley Temple,” says Collin Thornton, director of food and beverage.


  • 3 cucumber slices 
  • 3 basil leaves 
  • 1 ounce of lime juice 
  • ½ ounce of honey syrup 
  • 1 tablespoon of honey shrubs 
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce 
  • Soda water

Muddle the cucumber and basil, and put it into a shaker. Add 1 ounce of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of honey shrubs and ½ ounce of honey syrup. Shake all the ingredients, and double strain into a Collins glass. Add ice, soda water and 2 dashes of Worcestershire. Garnish with a cucumber and a basil leaf. 



Jessop’s Tavern
New Castle, Delaware

The historic heart of New Castle, Delaware, founded in 1651, retains its Colonial charm. Visitors looking for a period-inspired meal head to Jessop’s Tavern. To go along with the restaurant’s Colonial America-inspired food, raise a toast with a shrub, a 17th-century drink that uses sweet-and-sour syrup made with fruit-infused vinegar sweetened with sugar and honey. This nonalcoholic version uses ready-made products for simple prep.


  • 1 ounce of The Twisted Shrub strawberry lime flavor
  • 8 ounces of Goslings Ginger Beer
  • Strawberry and lime for garnish

Pour 1 ounce of The Twisted Shrub strawberry lime mix over ice in a 16-ounce glass. Top off with 8 ounces of Goslings Ginger Beer. Stir Well. Garnish with strawberry and lime.

Lookin' Good in Lavendar
Fisher’s Upstairs
Orange Beach, Alabama

This mocktail from Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina highlights the colors of sunshine, and what’s better than sunshine when you’re boating or on the beach? Created by Fisher’s assistant manager Lee Jones, the fun combo of flavors is an appealing alternative to an alcoholic cocktail.


  • 3 ounces of ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce of lemon juice
  • 2 ounces of lavender simple syrup
  • Topo Chico sparkling mineral water 

Mix all ingredients together in a glass, stir, and add ice.

Rose Mocktail
The Epicurean Connection
Sonoma, California

When Chef Sheana Davis prepares food and drink, she uses the fresh produce of the Sonoma Valley and adds her own flavor twists. Davis envisions her Rose Water Spritzer as the perfect mocktail for a wedding or baby shower.


  • 4 ounces of sparkling water
  • 1 tablespoon of simple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon of rose water
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • Edible rose petals for garnish

Pour chilled sparkling water into a champagne glass. Add in simple syrup, rose water and lime juice. Garnish with rose petals.  

Almost a Christmas Mule 

Hook & Vine Kitchen and Bar
North Beach, Maryland

Enjoy this seasonal refresher from Hook & Vine’s Monica Daley-Phillips, who takes pride in concocting creative zero-proof cocktails for the restaurant’s guests.


  • 1 ounce of cranberry juice
  • ¼ ounce of fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce of rosemary syrup
  • 3 ounces of ginger beer (we like Fever Tree)

Build in ice-filled glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and lime squeeze.