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What is a virgin mocktail?

Although there has been a recent media frenzy over the "sober curious" movement along with dozens of new low alc and zero proof products (think non-alcoholic gins, amaro's, wines, beers),  people have been making and ordering alcohol-free drinks for nearly 100 years.

For health reasons, societal reasons or because alcohol simply wasn't legal, global drinkers have been sipping on "virgin" drinks throughout history. 

If you've been wondering "what is a virgin drink?" or "what is a mocktail?" keep reading as we've provided a quick history.

What is a Virgin Drink?

In simplest terms, a virgin drink is a drink that does not contain any alcohol. It's also known as a mocktail. 

Often, when making mocktails and virgin drinks, one will replace the alcohol with a flavored mixer like ginger ale, ginger beer, or tonic water. This creates a similar flavor to the original, without having to add any alcohol.

There is also a movement to promote the concept of a "low-alcohol" drink which still incorporates alcoholic products, but the emphasis is on spirts that typically have half the alcohol content of say a whiskey or vodka. These includes aperitifs like vermouths. 

The History of Mocktails

Ever wondered why mocktails are sometimes referred to as virgin drinks? According to many sources, the name dates back to the prohibition era.

Around this time, the Bloody Mary, which combines vodka with tomato juice, became a popular cocktail. During Prohibition, though, folks could no longer go out and order a Bloody Mary to drink. Instead, they would ask for a Virgin Mary, which was just plain old tomato juice. 

Referring to the drink as a Virgin Mary was a tongue-in-cheek way of clarifying that the customer wasn't ordering alcohol. It also had obvious goody two shoes, church-related overtones that made folks smile (especially when they would go on to add their own vodka later from a personal pocket or hip flask).

The term "Virgin" now applies to just about any mocktail, so you'll hear it ordered with dozens of other drinks to signal "non-alcoholic". 

Most Popular Mocktails

These days, most people aren't adding their own vodka or other alcoholic drinks to their mocktails. They are still ordering virgin drinks at bars and making them for parties, though. 

The following are some of the most popular mocktails that people like to enjoy when they're out and about (or want to have a fun drink at home without the alcohol):

  • Virgin Mary: This Bloody Mary alternative still reigns supreme, and it's an especially popular mocktail option and breakfasts and brunches.

  • Virgin Daiquiri: The virgin daiquiri is made by combining sugar, ice, fruit (usually strawberries), and lime juice.

  • Virgin Bellini: This mocktail combines peach nectar or extracts with sparkling apple cider for a fresh and fruity beverage.

  • Virgin Sangria: Sangria typically combines wine with a variety of fresh fruits, lemon juice, and cinnamon. You can also hold the wine and use fruit juice for a virgin alternative.

  • Non-Alcoholic Fizz: This virgin drink is an alternative to the popular Madras cocktail. It's made with orange juice, cranberry juice, and club soda.

These are some popular options, but you can make just about any cocktail a virgin drink or mocktail by omitting the liquor and adding an alternative, such as fruit juice or Fever-Tree flavored tonic water.

Enjoy Your Own Mocktails Today

Whether you want to create your own signature mocktail from scratch or try one of these popular options listed above, you have tons of options to choose from.

Try ordering one of these drinks a try during your next party or trip to the bar or check out our mocktail recipes if you want to make your own for yourself or a guest.