At a recent trek to the Specialty Food Show at the Javits in NYC, I had the task—and pleasure—of tasting all sort of goodies. On hand were a bevy of cocktail mixers, and I made a point to try them all.

All of these brands use superior ingredients, minimal sugar, and supply a grown-up sophisticated taste. These picks are expecially nice to offer those who aren’t drinking alcohol.

I’ve done a separate post for those who like to experiment a bit more. See my unusual mixers MIXOLOGY PALS post which features the sodas, syrups, and waters that can work alone, or in tandem with other ingredients.

hobnobmag Better Cocktail Mixers

hobnobmag Better Cocktail Mixers


Crisp, dry and delicious, Mingle had the most sophisticated taste of all the Instant Cocktail blends I sampled. They use a blend of real fruit juices, organic cane sugar and botanicals to achieve this goal. Owner Laura Taylor designed these specifically for sophisticated mocktail sipping pleasure, insuring whether you drink or not, you feel part of the occasion. Of course, they also make great cocktails. And at only 40 calories per 8 oz serving, you really appreciate the subtlety of the flavors.

Available in four delicious varieties, you might have trouble choosing just one to have at your gathering. Cranberry Cosmo layers tangy cranberry, lime and orange juices and has a pleasingly crisp, effervescent finish. Melon Mojito mixes juicy melon and lime with just a hint of mint. Moscow Mule gives you a ginger fix. Blackberry Hibiscus Bellini blends blackberry juices and delicate hibiscus. (See four Mingle cocktail recipes in the post: At Home Mixology. ) 750 ml bottle, $8.99

hobnobmag Better Cocktail Mixers


At your next celebration, in addition to a sparkling wine, offering a bottles of Töst will make teetotalers feel like they can be part of the toast in style. This mixer has a sophisticated, refreshingly dry taste, with just a touch of sweetness. It is designed to pair well with food, and also make a nice, light cocktail mixed with vodka, bourbon, gin, or rum. (See a Töst cocktail recipe in the post: At Home Mixology.  Only 45 calories per 8 oz serving, allows you to indulge without guilt.

hobnobmag Better Cocktail Mixers


A single bottle makes a perfect Moscow Mule. GUS, which stands for Grown Up Soda, makes its Moscow Mule with spicy ginger root and key lime juice. It has a nice kick to it, and a lovely complexity. 7 fl oz contains 60 calories.

Also on GUS’ product lineup: 9 flavored sodas (Star Ruby Grapefruit, Dry Pomegranate, Dry Valencia Orange, Dry Cranberry Lime, Dry Meyer Lemon, Dry Blackberry, Extra Dry Ginger Ale, Dry Cola, Dry Root Beer), and 3 other drinks designed as mixers (Mojito, Sparkling Cosmo, Tonic & Lime). Pack of 12 bottles, 12 fl oz, about $24.50

hobnobmag Better Cocktail Mixers

Be Mixed

Now here’s a mixer for those looking for a zero-calorie, sugar-free treat. Be Mixed offers three ways to cocktail, simply and directly. The fave, Margarita, only requires a shot of tequila and a squeeze of lime to create a refreshing low-cal version of the classic. Cucumber Mint works for those who love the lightness of a vodka ‘n’ soda. Ginger Lime mixes nicely with a little bourbon and fresh mint leaves. Any of these varieties can go mocktail, with the addition of sparkling water. (See four Be Mixed cocktail recipes in the post: At Home Mixology. )

Available in single-serving glass bottles or in six-serving 25 oz bottles. $33 for 12 single serving or three 25 oz. bottles, includes shipping.

hobnobmag Better Cocktail Mixers

Crafted Cocktails

This line of mixers gets right to the point. Crafted Cocktails mimic your favorite cocktail recipes. They have added two new flavors to its line of mixologist-styled mixers. Now you can have a perfect Mai Tai or Strawberry Daquiri with just a pour. The mixers use all-natural ingredients, sweetened with 100% agave nectar resulting in a 60 calories or less per serving. Other flavors in the line: Spicy Watermelon, Jalapeño Pineapple, Gimlet, Mule, Bloody Mary, Margarita, and Piña Colada.