Cool sparkling water, tart cranberry and lime juices, and just a *kiss* of simple syrup make one refreshing drink. This sparkling cranberry mocktail with lime is an easy but elegant option for parties, poolside sipping, or simply making hydration more fun.
Reasons to love this drink recipe
Water is important, but sometimes it’s boring. (PS: If you’re reading this, take a sip of water. Ha- gotcha! I’m a dietitian, I had to.)
This drink is a great option when you need something hydrating but you want something a little *extra.* It’s mostly sparkling water by volume, but a bit of fruit juice and citrus elevates this drink to mocktail status.
I’d describe this drink as a non-alcoholic cousin of two popular alcoholic beverages – a Cape Cod (aka vodka cran) and a vodka soda. It’s easy to make with a few simple ingredients AND since it’s booze-free, you can drink it anytime!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Cranberry juice – I’d recommend cranberry juice cocktail, but you can use any fruit juice you enjoy!
- Simple syrup – You can dial this up or down, depending on how sweet you like your drinks. (See the recipe cards notes section for instructions.)
- Sparkling water – I prefer lime flavor in this recipe, but you can opt for whatever sparkling water you have on hand.
- Lime – You’ll use a bit of juice squeezed into the glass and some sliced thinly sliced lime for a garnish.
Tips for success
There is no wrong way to make this mocktail. Just mix your favorite fruit juice, a bit of citrus, sweetener to taste, and sparkling water. You can adjust the proportions and ingredients to your liking. Here are a few tips I use to make my ideal sparkling water mocktail.
- Use cranberry juice cocktail – I’ll admit, when I was testing this recipe, I bought the “fancy” pure cranberry juice. I like sour things, but it was too overpowering. Cranberry juice cocktail works much better with the lime juice and sparkling water.
- Make a DIY simple syrup – Making your own simple syrup is easy and affordable! See the recipe card notes section for directions.
- Build the drink right in the glass – There’s no need for a cocktail shaker here. Add the juice on the bottom to get a nice gradient in your glass, then add sparkling water and stir before sipping.
- Adjust proportions to taste – See the ‘recipe modifications’ section for tips on making this drink more or less sweet.
Pure cranberry juice is more tart and concentrated than cranberry juice cocktail. I’ve tested both in this recipe and prefer cranberry juice cocktail.
Crushed ice, all the way! It melts quickly but it makes your drink extra refreshing and fun to drink.
It’s simple! All you need are equal parts hot water and sugar. For a large batch, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. For a small batch, add ¼ cup water to a small microwave-safe bowl or jar. Heat until steaming (about 30 seconds). Add ¼ cup sugar to the steaming water and stir until dissolved.
- Different flavor ideas – Switch up your fruit juice, citrus, and sparkling water for endless new flavor combinations. Here are some good ones:
- sparkling lemonade (lemonade or lemon juice/simple syrup + lemon sparkling water)
- cherry limeade (tart cherry juice + lime juice + cherry sparkling water)
- tropical pineapple (pineapple juice + lime juice + coconut sparkling water)
- mango lime (mango juice + lime juice + lime sparkling water)
- blueberry lemon (blueberry juice + lemon juice + lemon sparkling water)
- pomegranate lime (pomegranate juice + lime juice + berry sparkling water)
- Add fruit – Berries, sliced pineapple, frozen fruit, sliced kiwi, and pomegranate arils are all great options. You can garnish with slices, whole fruit, or muddle fruit in the bottom of your glass.
- Add a non-alcoholic spirit – Add 2 oz of your favorite non-alcoholic spirit to make this drink feel more like a cocktail. I’d recommend non-alcoholic versions of gin or rum.
- Sweeter version – Add more simple syrup to taste, and be sure to use a cranberry juice cocktail (it’s sweeter than pure cranberry juice).
- Less sweet version – Omit the simple syrup and choose a tart cranberry juice.
Sparkling Cranberry Mocktail
- 1 cocktail jigger
- 1 collins glass (about 10 oz)
- 1 spoon
- 2 oz cranberry juice
- ¼ oz simple syrup see recipe notes for instructions
- squeeze of lime to taste
- crushed ice to fill glass
- 4 oz sparkling water lime flavor
- fresh lime thinly sliced for garnish
- Add cranberry juice, simple syrup, and lime juice to the bottom of a tall glass.
- Add crushed ice to fill the glass, then pour in your sparkling water. Garnish with lime slices and enjoy!
- Please note that nutrition facts are an estimate and can vary widely based on amounts and specific types used.
- To make speedy + small-batch simple syrup:
- Add ¼ cup water to a small microwave-safe bowl or jar. Heat until steaming (about 30 seconds). Add ¼ cup sugar to the steaming water and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool. This will make about 4 oz of syrup and can be kept covered and refrigerated for a week.
Looking for more mocktail recipes?
- Lychee Martini Mocktail
- Ginger Beer Mocktail
- Mojito Mocktail
- Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine
- Non-Alcoholic Hot Toddy