Lose the Booze: Tips for Making Easy
Alcohol-Free Cocktails

Whether you’re taking a pass on the boozy beverages, looking to be an inclusive host, exploring a sober-curious lifestyle, or simply not in the mood to nurse a killer hangover, you’re in luck. Non-alcoholic drinks of all kinds are gaining popularity in a big way. We no longer have to compromise on the quality of a cocktail experience by saying no to the sauce.

To help kickstart some booze-free brainstorming, we’re spilling our secrets for making delicious cocktails that don’t need alcohol to taste great.

When creating a zero-proof cocktail, compose your drink with the same amount of care and detail as you would an alcoholic one. When creating a new ‘refresher’ for an O&B restaurant menu, our beverage specialists give careful consideration to flavour development, highlighting what’s in season, sourcing local ingredients, thinking through presentation and — last but not least — picking the perfect garnish.

When it comes to spirit swaps, non-alcoholic distilled spirits can add more depth of flavour, but they aren’t vital to a tasty beverage. Companies like Clearsips are making it easier than ever to source great-tasting non-alcoholic versions of almost every beverage out there. Try spirit substitutes like Seedlip Garden 108, as well as HP Juniper’s line of gins, which can be spotted on several O&B menus across Toronto. Made in Québec, the alcohol-free, sugar-free spirit is distilled in a copper still like traditional gins and is made with a blend of aromatics for the most authentic experience.

Have fun with your glassware. Just because you’re going booze-free, your drinking vessel doesn’t have to be boring. Whether you’re shaking up a zero-proof cocktail, sipping on kombucha or elevating sparkling water with fun garnishes, you’d be surprised by the effect a fun and fancy glass can make. Depending on what you’re sipping, try a coupe, a nick and nora or a balloon glass and make it an event, just like you would any other beverage!

To offer up some inspiration, we’re sharing two zero-proof cocktail recipes to make at home. Both delicious, they’ll have sippers so satisfied that they won’t even miss the booze!

Maison Selby’s Raspberry Pepper Mojito

5 mint leaves
1oz lime juice
1oz raspberry black pepper syrup (see recipe below)
0.5oz raspberry juice
2oz soda

In a shaker, muddle mint leaves with lime juice.
Add raspberry black pepper syrup, raspberry juice and ice.
Strain into a Collins glass with ice.
Top with soda and garnish with additional mint sprig.

Raspberry Black Pepper Syrup

1 pint fresh raspberries*
500g sugar
Pinch of sea salt
10 cracks of black pepper from peppermill
300g water

Blitz all ingredients in a blender. Strain and store in a bottle for up to two weeks.

*If fresh berries are not available, use 300g of frozen raspberries. Boil all ingredients over medium heat. Turn off stove once liquid reaches a rolling boil. Let cool. Strain and store in a bottle for up to two weeks.



Posh & Spiced

1oz Seedlip Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirit Spice 94
0.75oz lime juice
0.75oz cranberry juice
0.25oz ginger syrup (see recipe below)
soda water or ginger beer


Shake first four ingredients together in a shaker. Strain into a Collins glass with ice. Top with soda water or ginger beer for an extra gingery kick. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or a slice of candied ginger.

Ginger Syrup

4oz ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips
250ml water
250g sugar


Add ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Turn off heat and let cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Bottle and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.