Alcohol-free cocktail recipes to help you keep off the booze during lockdown

alcohol free cocktail options
If you want to stop reaching for the wine at 5pm, here's some options that might help. Photo credit: East Imperial.

If you've found the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown has seen you reaching for the liquor cabinet as soon as it hits 5pm, you're not alone. 

As Aotearoa reaches its halfway point, many Kiwis have been killing their boredom by drinking.

But psychotherapist and mental health advocate Kyle MacDonald says New Zealanders need to keep an eye on how much alcohol they're drinking over the lockdown period.

He told The Project that the best way to avoid going silly while in isolation is to maintain your normal level of alcohol consumption - whether that's having something to drink or nothing at all.

"If you're someone who normally abstains, it's a very good idea to stick to that theme," he said.

"But for the rest of us, I think it's very important to try and maintain whatever level of alcohol use, and however we drink alcohol, as normal as possible."

For many of us, that means having a few alcohol-free days during the week - a habit which may have gone out the window during lockdown. 

With that in mind, the upcoming long weekend (did you know there even was one?!) is a perfect time to start perfecting some recipes for delicious, alcohol-free options - a treat you can still look forward to at the end of the workday. 

Tonic brand East Imperial has put together some recipes for some options which aren't too sweet or sickly - in fact, they might even be better than the real deal.

Masala Soda

Masala Soda.
Masala Soda. Photo credit: East Imperial.


  • 5ml Lime juice
  • 10ml Chai syrup
  • East Imperial Grapefruit Soda
  • Red & green pepper slices


Add lime juice and chai syrup to a chilled highball glass, pack with quality ice and top with East Imperial Grapefruit Soda. Garnish with thin red & green pepper slices.

Wiyu Highball 

Wiyu Highball.
Wiyu Highball. Photo credit: East Imperial.


  • 40ml Oolong tea (15 percent)
  • 2 Barspoons of apricot jam
  • 1 Barspoon of agave syrup
  • East Imperial Yuzu Tonic
  • Ruby Red grapefruit slice


Add tea, jam and agave syrup to a chilled highball glass and gently stir, pack with quality ice and top with East Imperial Yuzu Tonic. Garnish with 1 or 2 large slices of Ruby Red grapefruit.

Turbo Tonic

Turbo Tonic.
Turbo Tonic. Photo credit: East Imperial.


  • 20ml Seedlip Spice 94
  • 10ml Cold drip coffee
  • 5ml Maple syrup
  • East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic
  • Orange zest, pith removed


Add Seedlip Spice 94, Maple syrup and coffee to a chilled highball glass, pack with quality ice and top with East Imperial Grapefruit Tonic. Gently stir and then garnish with a large orange zest.