Sweet-tart and flavorful, this Virgin Cosmopolitan is as tasty and fun as the original Cosmo Cocktail! Perfect all year round!
Mocktails are all the rage. And truly I get it. Every time you turn on the news there’s another announcement of a new health risk from alcohol.
Then there’s the fact that drinking an inebriating beverage can make it tough to sit for hours with old friends. While tossing back a drink or six.
And don’t even get me started on the calories.
So I decided that this is the year I’m working hard to branch out. No, I’m not giving up my Grasshopper Ice Cream Drink or my Refreshing Limoncello Martini, but I am planning to make a point of looking at other options too.
Yes, I figure that dry January can actually mean discovering more new ways to have fun!
What is a Cosmopolitan Mocktail?
A Virgin Cosmopolitan (aka Cosmopolitan Mocktail) is an alcohol free version of the trendy Cosmo Cocktail. Made with the same cranberry, orange and lime juice, but without the alcohol, it’s a healthier alternative that’s still tasty and fun!
Why You’ll Love This!
Flavorful. Fruity and refreshing, with flavors of cranberry and orange, this is a delicious cocktail, with or without the booze!
Almost a hint of sophistication. My version has a couple options (bitters and tonic water) that make this a little less like drinking fruit juice.
Budget Conscious. Some of the new alcohol-free drink products can set you back more than the alcohol. But other than the bitters (which is optional and has a substitution) my Virgin Cosmopolitan contains ordinary supermarket items.
Healthier. Leaving out the alcohol makes this a healthier drink. And it’s not even that high in sugar and calories if you use unsweetened cranberry juice and stevia or sweetener. You’ll even get a little vitamin C!
What You’ll Need
- Cranberry Juice. I like Ocean Spray unsweetened cranberry juice so I can control my sugar intake. But any good cranberry juice should work.
- Orange Juice. This provides a compliment to the cranberry flavor.
- Lime or lemon juice. This adds an additional citrus note that is a bit more tart.
- Simple syrup or other sweetener (especially if you used unsweetened cranberry juice). This helps to bring up the sweetness of the drink. With the standard sweetened cranberry juice, you might not need this, depending on how sweet your tastes are.
- Orange Bitters (optional but recommended). This amps up the orange notes and provides more of a real drink flavor. You can also use about 1/8 teaspoon orange extract. Be aware that the orange bitters and possibly the extract will have very small amounts of alcohol.
- Ice. Helps to chill and (slightly) dilute the drink.
- Sparkling water, club soda or tonic water. This tones down the intense fruitiness, much like the vodka in the original, but without the alcohol. See healthline for a discussion of the differences.
- A shaker is nice, especially to keep the real cocktail spirit. But really, given the fact this is topped with some type of sparkling water, I’ve started just stirring mine and saving come cleanup.
Step by Step Directions
Place ingredients except sparkling water in a shaker.
Shake, pour into a martini glass, then top with club soda or fizzy water.
Alternatively, you can stir the drink.
How to Serve
It’s always fun to serve a (regular or) Virgin Cosmopolitan in a martini glass. And since this version is around 7 fluid ounces it shouldn’t look dwarfed in a larger decorative glass.
Now I especially like how versatile this drink is. It’s equally at home as a Virgin Christmas Cosmoploitan or on the deck in the summer! And the color makes it a perfect Valentine’s drink as well!
Variations and Special Diets
One of my objectives in creating this mocktail was to develop a drink that wouldn’t break the calorie bank. So, for my version I use an Ocean Spray cranberry juice that is just cranberry juice—no grape juice, no corn syrup, no sweetener. This lets me adjust the sweetness myself, using my (usually zero calorie) sweetener of choice.
But I know that this can be hard to find (or maybe you’re 26 years old and not worried about the sugar yet). So feel free to use regular Cranberry Juice Cocktail. It will be yummy either way!
Now if you’re looking for the straight up normal Cosmopolitan—with alcohol—I can also help you out. It’s a favorite all year–though I call it a Cranberry Martini when it’s Christmas!
You can store any leftovers if the refrigerator where they should keep at least a week if your juice was fresh. The sparkling water will go flat but since it’s main purpose is to reduce the intensity of the juice, the leftovers will still taste good.
Tips & FAQs
If you happen to have made my Candied Orange Slices, and saved the syrup, go ahead and use that instead of the orange juice (I’d test before adding the simple syrup then). It will actually more closely resemble the Contreau in the alcoholic version. In fact I might even consider making some candied oranges just to have the syrup for this!
I bought a single serving bottle of orange juice so I wouldn’t have a lot of juice left over.
Simply Delicious Mocktail Recipes
- Alcohol Free Sidecar from That Recipe
- Amaretto Sour Mocktail from Palatable Pastime
- Moon Mocktail Recipe from In Our Spare Time
- Frozen Strawberry Margarita Mocktail from Blogghetti
- Jack Frost Mocktail from Jen Around the World
- Rhubarb Mint Mojito Mocktail from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Valentine’s Day Mocktail from Hezzi-D’s Recipe Box
- Virgin Cosmopolitan from Art of Natural Living
- 2 ounces unsweetened cranberry juice
- ½ ounce zero calorie simple syrup omit if using sweetened cranberry juice, or to taste, or may use a sugared simple syrup
- 1 ounce orange juice
- 1 dash orange bitters about 8 drops, or 1/8 teaspoon orange extract, optional
- ½ ounce lime juice or lemon juice
- 3 ounces sparkling water or club soda or tonic
- Place ingredients except sparkling water in a shaker.
- Shake, pour into a martini glass, then top with club soda or fizzy water (see note 1).
- Homemade Italian Bread Crumbs
- Cajun 15 Bean Soup