Graduation Party Mocktails

Watermelon mocktails. (Photo: Daxaio Productions/Shutterstock)

I was at the gym earlier today and “The Chew” came on the TV. Since I had 45 minutes to go on the elliptical machine, I figured I’d change my headphones to the station and watch it for a while. Mario Batali and his friends were demonstrating graduation party recipes, and Clinton Kelly was making punch with an entire bottle of coconut rum in it. The punch looked really good, but obviously, it’s not appropriate for all graduation parties.

Some of these recipes call for maraschino cherries or maraschino cherry juice. Look for maraschino cherries colored with natural dye instead of artificial dye if you can find it.

  • Mango Cherry Smoothie – When I graduated from high school, my friends and I wouldn’t have known what a mango was, but today’s teens are more sophisticated. They’ll love these slushy drinks made with fresh mangoes and cherries.
  • Shirley Temples – This is not the Sprite and maraschino cherry Shirley Temple that restaurants serve. This drink uses fresh lemon and lime juices, simple syrup and club soda.
  • Cranberry Cutie – Cranberry juice, the juice from one clementine/cutie, fresh lime juice and natural soda are shaken together in a cocktail shaker and served in a martini glass rimmed with sugar.
  • Cosmo-Not – Peach nectar, cranberry juice, grenadine and lemon soda are shaken together to make an alcohol-free cosmopolitan.
  • Angel Punch – Fill the punch bowl with a non-alcoholic treat the graduates can dip into all night long. Lemon juice, green tea, grape juice, club soda and simple syrup go into this punch.