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Beat the Heat: Delicious Mocktails and Refreshing Treats for Summer Parties

summer cocktails

Who says you need alcohol to have fun? While holidays often involve celebratory drinking, even short periods of excessive alcohol consumption can harm your health, causing conditions like holiday heart syndrome. Symptoms include elevated heart rates, impaired thought making process, irregular palpitations, and dehydration due to impaired vitamin and electrolyte absorption. If you'd like to dig deeper about the effects of alcohol and how to make easy swaps, visit this article

Stay heart-healthy and hydrated with these tasty mocktail recipes and hydrating fruit treats that are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and electrolytes, allowing you to engage in the fun while energizing your body and your mind!

Delicious Mocktails and Refreshing Treats for Summer Fun


Vojito (virgin mojito)

Mix together soda water, lime juice, and mint, and voila! You have yourself a hydrating beverage rich in vitamin C. Or, try this festive Blackberry Mojito Mocktail.

Floral Hibiscus Cooler

Hibiscus tea with grated ginger, cinnamon, and a splash of maple syrup can be ultra refreshing! Hibiscus has been shown to help lower blood pressure and manage blood sugar with its high antioxidant status.

hibiscus tea

Coconut Water + Fruit Blend

Coconut water blended with watermelon, citrus fruits, and berries can be refreshing and nourishing given the abundance of electrolytes in coconut water and antioxidants in fresh fruit. Blend the fruit with coconut water and sip on it like a fruit shake or strain the blended mixture through a fine mesh sieve and enjoy it as a fresh juice over ice.

Tip: Add fresh herbs, like rosemary sprigs, mint leaves, or aromatic basil, to your mocktails for a pop of color and hint of flavor!

fruit shake

Chilled Horchata

A classic beverage I always enjoy on hot summer days is “Horchata.” Originating from Egypt, and brought to Mexico, this drink was originally made with tiger nuts, but now uses rice as the base. The stars of this recipe are the cinnamon and coconut milk. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, while coconut milk is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which may promote brain health. If you rather avoid the saturated fat in coconut milk, try swapping it out with your favorite plant milk of choice, like organic soy or oat milk.

Horchata Recipe (4 servings)

  • ½ cup long grain rice, rinsed well

  • 4 cups water

  • ⅔ cup light coconut milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (or more to taste)

  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks

  1. Soak rice in 1 cup hot water for 2 hours. Drain and add to a blender.

  2. Add 3 cups water, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks. Blend until smooth.

  3. Strain the mixture using a strainer or cheesecloth.

  4. Stir in coconut milk, whisk, and transfer to a large pitcher. Chill and serve over ice.

iced chia tea

Once you've quenched your thirst with these vibrant mocktails, it's time to treat yourself to some delightful, hydrating, and refreshing summer desserts. 

Cookout? How about “Chill-Out” with these delicious and refreshing summer treats!

kiwi popsicles

Who doesn't love to end their meal on a sweet note? Make your summertime sweet treats healthy, budget-friendly, and customizable since you can adjust the amounts of added sugar and use plant-based ingredients in place of animal-based ingredients.

DIY sorbet

Make your own fiber-packed and antioxidant-rich popsicles or sorbet at home with just four simple ingredients: frozen bananas, frozen strawberries (or any frozen berry or fruit), a splash of vanilla extract, and a hint of lime juice (no added sugar needed!). Add your sorbet ingredients to a food processor and blend (you'll need to scrape down the sides after blending and blend again until it's creamy). Enjoy immediately (this works well when you use frozen fruit) or freeze until mostly frozen, allowing it to thaw a bit before enjoying.

blackberry sorbet

Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles

Blend frozen or fresh fruit with unsweetened plant-based yogurt for the ultimate delight. Once the yogurt and fruit are blended, pour the smoothie-like mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for 1–2 hours for a creamy sweet treat. No popsicle molds, no problem! Pour the smoothie into a freezer-safe jar or container (filling only 3/4 of the way full to allow space for expansion) and freeze for an hour before enjoying.

fruit popsicles

Fruit Skewers

Cube your fresh fruit, line it up on grill-friendly wooden or stainless steel sticks, and grill it for a minute or two on each side. It's a fun way to be festive while bringing out the fruit's natural sweetness. Try these naturally sweet Watermelon and Pineapple Skewers or opt for savory tomatoes, squash, or eggplant.

tomato skewers


I hope you received inspiration from these delicious mocktails and refreshing treats for summer festivities. The beautiful aspect of nutrition is that it's not perfection — it's progress, moderation, and balance. The goal is for fulfillment in what you enjoy and what gives you vibrancy and life. Find what works best for you. Eating healthy should not feel overwhelming or restrictive. Focus on what you can ADD to your plate rather than what you need to REMOVE from your plate. This could mean swapping out one alcoholic beverage with a hydrating non-alcoholic beverage or staying nourished and hydrated through tasty seasonal and frozen produce.

Cheers to a healthy, fun, and hydrated summer!

dietetic intern

Hi! I'm Erika, a Graduate Nutrition Student at Georgia State University. When I'm not enjoying delicious food or training for a marathon, I love spending time with my family and friends. As a future Latina dietitian, I am passionate about using media to share the values of community and heritage. My goal is to debunk prevalent nutrition myths and promote cultural awareness, particularly by highlighting the rich traditions and health practices of Latino communities. I hope that one day I am able to inspire others to embrace a holistic and informed approach to nutrition.


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