This ginger beer mocktail may only have three main ingredients, but it’s anything but boring. Homemade honey syrup, fresh lemon juice, and ginger beer come together to deliver sweet, sour, and spicy notes with every sip. Plus, it’s alcohol-free, making it a fun drink option to enjoy anytime.
Reasons to love this lemony ginger beer mocktail
Lemon, honey, and ginger are a classic and soothing combination. Ginger tea with honey and lemon? Lovely. Same ingredients (minus the tea) in salad dressing? Great. What about cocktails and mocktails? Oh yes. Even better.
Cocktails like ‘gold rushes’ (honey + lemon + whiskey), ‘bucks’ (citrus + ginger beer + varied spirits), and ‘bee’s knees’ (gin + honey syrup + lemon) are all refreshing and punchy. If you like any of those drinks, I think you’ll like this too.
This drink tastes like a mix between a gold rush and a buck. It’s packed with sweet honey flavor, a spicy ginger bite, and crisp citrus notes. These ingredients give a bit of the invigorating burn you’d expect from an alcohol-based cocktail, but without any booze!
Simple recipes = amazing recipes. This one is no exception. All you need are a few simple ingredients to make this mocktail. I’ll give you the details on how to pick the best ones.
- Honey – You’ll use this to make a honey syrup. I usually opt for a basic brand from my local grocery store, but you can switch this up. Try a smaller batch local honey or different types of syrup like maple syrup, flavored syrups, or agave nectar.
- Lemon – Fresh is best here. (It tastes way better than the bottled stuff.) You’ll need a lemon for juice and a little garnish.
- Ginger beer – The one pictured here is from a local soda company. Some of my favorite bars in the city use it and it’s super spicy! You can switch up the flavor of this drink by using different ginger beer brands or strengths. (Reed’s makes a variety of ginger beers from Zero Sugar to Strong.)
- Oh yeah… Do ice and water count as ingredients? You’ll need them too.
Tips for success
This recipe is hard to mess up. Simply mix the ingredients right in your glass and you’re good to go! Here are a few tricks I use to make this drink sing.
- Make a DIY honey syrup – This is so easy and way more interesting tasting than simple syrup. Just mix equal parts hot water and honey until dissolved, cool, and use in your cocktails or mocktails! I like making a larger batch and keeping it in the fridge for about a week.
- Use crushed ice – I don’t know why this makes drinks better… it just does.
- Adjust the proportions to taste – This drink is easy to customize. Taste it before garnishing and feel free to add a splash more of the honey syrup, lemon juice, or ginger beer, depending on how sweet, tart, or spicy you like your drinks.
Not usually. Most brands of ginger beer are sold as soft drinks and contain no alcohol.
Some brands of ginger beer are brewed and fermented, then heated to kill bacteria and remove any alcohol, but this means the final product may have trace amounts of alcohol (low enough to be sold as a soft drink). When in doubt, check the FAQ section of your ginger beer producer for alcohol-related information, or opt for ginger ale!
Although they’re made using similar (if not nearly identical) methods, ginger beer has a more potent ginger flavor, higher spice level, and a more cloudy appearance than ginger ale.
Honey syrup is easy to make at home. Mix equal parts steaming hot water and honey in a heat-proof container until fully dissolved, cool it, then store it in the fridge for up to a week.
- Different flavors – Switch up the type of citrus (orange, lime) or syrup (maple, flavored syrup, agave).
- Make it vegan – Use simple syrup or maple syrup instead of honey syrup.
- Sweeter version – Add more honey syrup and use a mild ginger beer.
- Less sweet version – Add less honey syrup or opt for sugar-free ginger beer.
- Change the spice level – Try different brands of ginger beer until you find a spice level you enjoy. The spiciest one I’ve found is the Jamacian Ginger Beer from BRIX Soda Co. My second favorite is Reed’s ginger beer. They make a variety of ginger beers, including sugar-free regular strength, extra, and strong.
- Other garnishes – A cocktail pick with some candied ginger is also an awesome garnish for this drink.
- Add a non-alcoholic spirit – Pour in 2 oz of your favorite NA tequila, gin, vodka, or whiskey for a more cocktail-like feel. (Sans alcohol, of course.)
- Make it a cocktail – Add 2 oz of your favorite spirit with the citrus and honey syrup. (Bourbon for a ginger gold rush cocktail, vodka for a lemony Moscow mule, or a citrusy gin for a ginger bee’s knees.
Ginger Beer Mocktail with Honey + Lemon
- 1 rocks glass
- 1 small heat-safe bowl
- ¼ cup hot water
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz honey syrup
- 1 oz cold water
- 4 oz ginger beer
- lemon slices optional garnish
- Prepare the honey syrup – Add water to a small heat-safe bowl and microwave until steaming (30-60 seconds). Add honey to the hot water and stir until fully dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Build the mocktail – Add lemon juice, honey syrup, and cold water to a rocks glass and stir to combine. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Top with ginger beer and stir again. Adjust proportions to taste and garnish with lemon slices.
- Please note that nutrition facts are an estimate and can vary widely based on amounts and specific types used.
- The honey syrup recipe listed here will make enough for about 4 mocktails.