Comfort and Joy Mocktail

This cider-based mocktail is perfect for the holidays.

Comfort and Joy Mocktail
Photo: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke
Total Time:
5 mins

Unlike most mixologists, Austin bar owner Chris Marshall doesn't drink alcohol. But that doesn't mean he can't enjoy a great drink. "I always found that if you had something interesting in your glass, it took a lot of the pressure off at social events," he says. Everyone at the holiday party will love Marshall's zero-proof cocktails, like this Comfort and Joy Mocktail.

Forget the spiked cider—this year, we're opting for something a touch more elegant. This mocktail mimics the warmth of a classic whiskey drink—hold the booze. With apple cider and non-alcoholic whiskey (like Ritual Zero Proof), this festive drink really channels the spirit of the season. Lightly sweetened with honey or maple syrup and brightened up with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, this non-alcoholic drink simply brims with comfort and joy—hence the name. Since it does not contain any alcohol, this drink is extra-versatile: You can serve this fun mocktail warm or cold.


  • 1 cup unfiltered mulled apple cider

  • 3 tablespoons (1½ oz.) nonalcoholic whiskey alternative (such as Ritual Zero Proof) 

  • 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • Ice (optional)

  • Cinnamon stick or lemon wheel 


  1. To serve chilled: Combine cider, nonalcoholic whiskey, honey, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously until chilled, 30 seconds. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice; garnish with cinnamon stick or lemon wheel.

  2. To serve warm: Heat cider and honey in a small sauce-pan over medium-high until gently simmering, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and nonalcoholic whiskey. Transfer to a mug. Garnish with cinnamon stick or lemon wheel.

Related Articles