Light and Refreshing Mojito Mocktail

This mojito mocktail gives you all of the fresh flavors of a traditional mojito, with none of the buzz. It’s crisp, refreshing, and just a tiny bit sweet, which makes it the perfect drink for summertime parties and unwinding. Let’s stir one up!

two glasses filled with crushed ice, lime, and mint, with colorful straws

Why I Love This Recipe

Mojitos might look extravagant, but they’re actually very simple to make. All you need are a handful of simple ingredients and a few minutes.

This mojito mocktail recipe is wonderful because it looks pretty like a fancy cocktail does, but it’s alcohol-free! You can enjoy it at parties or even just when unwinding at home. You’ll feel like you’re having something special without getting buzzed.

As an added plus, making your mojito mocktail from scratch lets you be in charge of the amount of sugar, lime, and mint in the recipe. The final product is so refreshing.

highball glass with mojito and tray of mojitos in background

Nutrition Tidbits

Mocktails are lovely because they allow you to have some fun with your beverages without alcohol. Just because you’re not drinking alcohol, it doesn’t mean that you can’t feel special!

While alcohol absolutely can be enjoyed in moderation by some people, it’s not a great fit for everyone. Regardless of your stance on alcohol, your body and mind will thank you for incorporating the occasional light and fun non-alcoholic drink.

Cultural Notes

The mojito originated in the Caribbean (Cuba, specifically), but it’s such an old cocktail, that its origins are hard to trace precisely.

Some say the drink came about on a pirate ship off the coast of Havana, while others assert that the beverage originated on Cuba’s shores. It is likely that indigenous South Americans and/or enslaved people in the area played a key role in the history of this rejuvenating drink, as similar drinks were often enjoyed in both communities, sometimes for their medicinal properties.

I’m not a drink historian (is that a real job?) so I don’t know the true history of the mojito, but I do know a few things; mojitos are still a big deal in the Caribbean and all over the world, they’re simple to make, and they’re the freshest summer drink ever.

glass with crushed ice and mint, topped with lime and mint sprig and a silver straw

Frequently Asked Questions

Is rum extract non-alcoholic?

Technically, it is not. Most rum extracts are made from alcohol, but they are concentrated, so the amount you need to get rum flavor in your recipe is very small. If you’re okay with that, this recipe works great with a standard rum extract. If you’d prefer to go completely alcohol-free, try an alcohol-free rum extract.

What is in a mojito cocktail?

A mojito cocktail typically has 1 oz lime juice, 2 oz white rum, simple syrup or sugar, crushed ice, soda water, and fresh mint leaves.

Do you shake a mojito? Or should you stir it?

Mojitos are typically stirred, not shaken. Shaking this drink too vigorously will bruise the mint leaves and make the final drink too minty and bitter. If you’d like to shake the lime juice and sugar before adding the mint, go for it, but the two will mix just fine in the bottom of the glass.

three glasses of non-alcoholic mojitos on a bamboo tray

Preparation Tips

For the full recipe, including ingredient amounts and instructions, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card!

Make your own syrup

After pouring or squeezing the lime into the glass, add a couple of bar spoons (or 1 tsp) of sugar. If you stir consistently for about 30 seconds, the sugar will dissolve right in the glass!

No need for shaking or simple syrup.

Be a gentle-mint

Mint is a really tender herb. When it gets bruised, it releases lots of flavorful oil, which can be overpowering and bitter.

All you need to do to release the flavor is slap a sprig of mint in your palm. That’s really it!

For extra mint flavor, you can also rub the mint around the rim of the glass before dropping it in. (Plus, you’ll look like you’re a fancy mixologist.)

Crushed ice = key

Mojitos don’t have to be made with crushed ice, but they really should be. The crushed ice makes this drink refreshing and evenly cool instead of watery. Be sure to fill your glass to the top with crushed ice.

If you don’t have crushed ice readily available, you can make your own. Give some ice cubes a quick blitz in the blender or food processor and you’ll have DIY crushed ice!

Add rum flavor

To get a bit of rum flavor without booze, use rum extract.

As I mentioned in the FAQ section, most rum extracts are made with alcohol. Since extracts are so concentrated, the actual amount of alcohol in the final product is minuscule.

*Important* If you want to make this a true, alcohol-free drink, use non-alcoholic rum extract. You can also omit the extract altogether and it’ll still be a delicious drink.

Stir and garnish

After adding the ice and rum extract, fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water. (Lime-flavored works best.)

Finish it off by garnishing with another sprig of mint and a lime wedge. (It’s necessary.)

collage of mojito preparation steps

Recipe Modifications

  • Batch for a crowd – make in a pitcher and multiply the recipe by 6-8, depending on the size of your pitcher
  • Cocktail version – add in 2 oz rum after you dissolve the sugar
  • Make it sweeter – use a lemon/lime soda in place of the sparkling water or add an additional sprinkle of sugar
  • Sugar-free version – instead of sugar, use half of the amount of stevia or your sweetener of choice
  • Add more fruit – Fruit can be a lovely compliment to a mojito. You can muddle in strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, or watermelon during the first step, then add them as a garnish.
three glasses of non-alcoholic mojitos on a bamboo tray
two highball glasses filled with crushed ice, water, and mint, topped with colorful straws, lime, and mint
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Light and Refreshing Mojito Mocktail

This non-alcoholic cocktail has all of the fresh flavor you'd expect from a traditional mojito, with none of the buzz.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: non-alcoholic mojito, virgin mojito
Servings: 1
Calories: 22kcal
Author: Chelsea Jackle, RDN


  • highball glass (or other tall glass)


  • 1 oz fresh lime juice (or juice of 1/2 lime)
  • 1 tsp sugar (or 2 bar spoons full)
  • 2 medium fresh mint sprigs
  • 2 cups crushed ice (or enough to fill the glass)
  • tsp rum extract (non-alcoholic if needed)
  • 6 oz lime sparkling water (or enough to fill the glass)
  • 1 lime wedge


  • Add lime juice to a highball glass, then stir in sugar until it dissolves.
  • Give one sprig of mint a gentle slap in your palm (yep) to release its oils without bruising it too much. Gently rub the mint around the rim of the glass, then add it to the glass.
  • Fill the glass with crushed ice. (If you don't have crushed ice, run about 4 cups of ice through a blender until it is just crushed.) Add the rum extract and sparkling water, then gently stir with a spoon to mix.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge and another sprig of mint.


  • Please note that nutrition facts are an estimate and can vary widely based on amounts and specific types used. 


Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

Looking for more light drink recipes?

FYI: These have alcohol in them but could easily be made into mocktails.

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