An Alcohol-Free Cocktail Recipe from Good Drinks Author Julia Bainbridge

September 13th, 2021

There are plenty of good reasons to abstain from alcohol—the pursuit of higher-quality sleep, a clearer mind, or better health, to name a few. Or, maybe you’re embarking on a Whole30®, the month-long “food experiment” that challenges you to trade sugar, grains, and alcohol in return for a renewed relationship with food.

Whatever your reasons for passing on booze, at some point you might find yourself getting a little bored with seltzer and lime. When that happens, we turn to Julia Bainbridge, award-winning journalist and author of the celebrated book Good Drinks: Alcohol-Free Recipes for When You’re Not Drinking for Whatever Reason, which has been nominated for a 2021 Tales of the Cocktail Foundation award.

“I removed alcohol from my life at a time when, serendipitously, alcohol-free mixed drinks were starting to be taken more seriously,” she writes in her book. “Bartenders were (and still are) pushing against the boundaries that had previously limited ‘mocktails’ to glorified Shirley Temples. It was exciting!” Having covered the food-and-drinks beat for publications like Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appétit, Bainbridge was inspired to turn her focus to a collection of alcohol-free sips.

Alcohol-Free Cocktail Recipe: The Summer Staycation

We tasked Bainbridge with creating a drink recipe that was not only alcohol-free, but also compatible with the Whole30® program. The result is a sugar-free play on the Staycation, a recipe by Vedge restaurant’s Daniel Miller from her book that features pandan-coconut syrup. “After playing around with the proportions of the rest of the ingredients, I landed on a ratio that still gets you that creamy, sweet, I’m-on-a-beach vibe while coloring within the lines of your diet,” Bainbridge explains.

“The ingredient that takes the Summer Staycation to the next level [is] yuzu kosho, a Japanese fermented paste made with fresh chiles, salt, and yuzu citrus fruit,” she goes on. “I love the heat that it brings.” Bainbridge reports that you can find yuzu kosho at a Japanese market, and possibly at your local grocery store, but if you can’t, a tiny pinch of Thrive Market fine Mediterranean Sea Salt will help the other flavors pop.

Serves: 1
Total time: 15 minutes


2 ounces fresh pineapple juice*
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
2 ounces Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk
1⁄2 teaspoon yuzu kosho
3–4 ounces soda water (or try it with Aura Bora Lemongrass Coconut Sparkling Water)
1 cocktail umbrella, for garnish (optional)


Combine the juices, syrup, and yuzu kosho in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, seal the shaker, and shake for 10 to 15 seconds, until well chilled. Double-strain into a Collins glass filled with ice and top with soda water. Garnish with a cocktail umbrella, if using, and serve.

*Bainbridge recommends juicing your pineapple using a juicer. If you don’t have one, you can use a blender: core and cut the pineapple into chunks, add to a blender with a splash of water, and blend until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh strainer before using. If you opt to use bottled pineapple juice, make sure it contains no added sugar, which would make it incompatible with Whole30®.

Recipe credit: Julia Bainbridge
Photo credit: Matthew Schulert

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This article is related to: Cocktail Ingredients, Drink Recipes, Whole30 Recipes

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Kirby StirlandKirby Stirland is a writer, editor, and New York transplant living in Los Angeles.

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