Difference Between Cocktail and Mocktail

Different cultures from different countries influence the taste of cocktails and mocktails. This allows the masses to devour a variety of drinks with flavors rendering the customs and conventions of different societies.

Cocktail vs Mocktail

The main difference between Cocktail and Mocktail is that cocktails have a certain amount of alcohol in them, while mocktails are completely non-alcoholic. Both drinks are enjoyed by people across the world.

Cocktail vs Mocktail

Cocktails and mocktails are generally served at bars and restaurants. They can be told apart easily as cocktails tend to taste bitter due to the addition of alcohol and bitters (flavoring agents).

On the contrary, mocktails are generally sweet in taste as they do not contain alcohol or any kind of spirit.

Cocktails are generally costlier than mocktails as standard procedures and strict methods are followed while making them. Mocktails are sold at a relatively lesser price than cocktails, as they are easy to prepare.


Comparison Table Between Cocktail and Mocktail

Parameters of ComparisonCocktailMocktail
IngredientsSpirit and/or alcohol as the base with water, sugar, bitters, fruit juice, spices, cream, etc. as additive componentsFruit juice, syrup, herbs, cream, spices, soft drinks, ice tea, etc. blended to create one drink
TasteBitter or sour due to the addition of alcohol, spirits, and bitters.Mostly sweet in taste.
PreparationProper methods and standard techniques of preparationNo standard method of preparation.
Effects post-consumptionMay cause a hangover, headache, nausea, vomiting, and confusion.No effects after consumption
CostExpensive, costlier in comparison to mocktailsModerate price, relatively cheaper than cocktails


What is Cocktail?

Cocktails are beverages that comprise a spirit/spirits or alcohol as the base ingredient. One or more additive components are then mixed with the base to form a flavored drink.

Water, sugar, bitters, fruit juice, spices, cream, herbs, etc. are used as additions and garnishes to create different varieties of cocktails.

Cocktails are mostly bitter or sour in taste because of a significant amount of alcohol or spirits added to them. Standard procedures and proper methods are used while mixing the right proportions of ingredients to make a good cocktail.

Due to this, such drinks tend to be expensive and comparatively pricier than mocktails.

It has been evident throughout history, how people have mixed different drinks together to either make the ingredients more pleasant-tasting or to make medicinal elixirs.

However, cocktails became popular enough to be mentioned in writing only in the 17th and 18th centuries.

In its early days, a cocktail was simply a spirit-based short drink. It is comprised of stimulating liquors or spirits (as the base), water, sugar, and bitters of different kinds.

Later on, new drinks evolved out of traditional cocktails, as people started adding wine aperitifs and liqueurs to make their drinks fancier.

Some examples of cocktails that are popular in today’s time are Long Island Ice Tea, Pinacolada, Whiskey Sour, Martini, Margaritas, Tequila Sunrise, Manhattan, Mojito, etc.

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What is Mocktail?

A mocktail is a non-alcoholic beverage that is made by blending fruit juices and other soft drinks. Cream, herbs, and spices can also be added to create different variations.

Mocktails are generally sweet in taste, but some drinks may taste sour or bitter if they are fermented.

Interestingly, the word mocktail is derived from the word cocktail itself. ‘Mocktail’ denotes a drink that mocks an original cocktail by being alcohol-free. The word ‘Virgin’ is added before the name of a drink to indicate that it is a mocktail.

For example, a Pinacolada is a cocktail, while a ‘Virgin’ colada is a mocktail. The ingredients of both the drinks are similar, except that Virgin colada does not contain any kind of alcohol or spirit.

Mocktails are generally less costly than cocktails as the ingredients are not very expensive. There is no standard method of preparation required to make a mocktail.

This means that anyone can make it. Also, there are no regulations against consumption. Which means that anyone can drink it as well.

Some examples of mocktails are virgin mojito, virgin colada, virgin daiquiri, Shirley Temple, deep blue, etc.

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Main Differences Between Cocktail and Mocktail

  1. Cocktails are alcoholic in nature while mocktails are non-alcoholic.
  2. Cocktails taste bitter or sour because of alcohol and bitters in them. On the contrary, mocktails taste sweet and pleasant except when fermented.
  3. There are standard methods to prepare cocktails with the right proportions of ingredients while the preparation of mocktails is not standard.
  4. Cocktails are expensive and costlier than most mocktails while mocktails have a moderate price. They tend to be sold at cheaper rates than cocktails.
  5. Consumption of cocktails may cause a hangover, headache, vomiting, or nausea while mocktails have no such post-consumption effect.
  6. The minimum age required to consume a cocktail is either 18, 21, or 25 depending on the country it is consumed in. On the other hand, there are no government regulations against the consumption of mocktails
Difference Between Cocktail and Mocktail



Cocktails and mocktails have quite a similar appearance, but can be told apart easily by their taste. While cocktails tend to be bitter or sour, mocktails generally taste sweet (except fermented mocktails which may taste sour or bitter as well).

The right proportions of ingredients need to be mixed together to make a pleasantly flavored cocktail. This requires knowledge of the proper methodology and techniques.

On the contrary, mocktails have no such standard procedure for preparation. This means that they can be created and enjoyed by everyone.

By dint of the aforementioned trait, mocktails tend to be moderately priced. Meanwhile, cocktails are generally expensive when compared to the latter.

The government imposes a minimum age restriction for the consumption of cocktails. They are sold at bars and restaurants to people who above the age of 18 or 21 (depending on the country).

Mocktails have no such regulation against them because they are non-alcoholic.


  1. https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/full/10.12968/nrec.2016.18.11.585
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S1037291100004568
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Last update on 2022-10-03 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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