Drinks & Beverages

Difference Between Cocktail and Mocktail


Main Difference

The main difference between a cocktail and mocktail is that cocktail is a beverage that requires mixing either one type of alcohol with juices, soft drink, and other fruits or mixing multiple alcoholic drinks with juices or ice tea and mocktail is any mixed drink that does not have alcohol.

Cocktail vs. Mocktail

The cocktail has significant alcohol content because it is prepared by combining several beverages with one of the drinks being alcoholic. Mocktail does not have alcohol contents because it is prepared by mixing several drinks while exempting both spirits and alcoholic beverages. There is a conventional method required to make cocktails. The preparation of cocktail requires mixing of fruit juices with spirits and alcoholic drinks at the right proportion. But mocktail can be prepared by any person as it involves a simple procedure of mixing different fruit juices with sugar syrups, which can easily be done at home. People who consume Alcohol prefer to take cocktail so that they can quench their strong thirst. The people who do not take alcohol prefer to take mocktail. The name mocktail derives from the word ‘mock’ meaning to “imitate or mimic.” It refers to mocktails imitating a cocktail as it seems very similar to a cocktail but does not have alcohol or any other spirits. So cocktails are mock cocktails. Cocktails have a bitter or sour taste because they contain alcohol content a significant proportion. Mocktails have a sweet taste because they are prepared by mixing fruit juices and sugar syrup. Some mocktails may display sour or bitter taste (different from the sour taste of cocktails) after undergoing fermentation. Cocktails are costly as they contain both alcohol and spirits which are known to be costly. Mocktails sell at moderate prices as it is easier to prepare them, and the fruits are readily available in most parts of the world.


Comparison Chart

a beverage prepared by mixing multiple alcoholic drinks with juices or ice teaa beverage prepared by mixing fruit juices and sugar that does not have alcohol
Bitter or sourSweet
Preparation Method
StandardNot standard

What is a Cocktail?

Cocktails are the alcoholic drinks made by mixing alcoholic drink with soft drinks, or fruit juices. A cocktail is the concoction of two or more kinds of drinks with at least any one of them being alcoholic. It is referred to as a mixture of spirits and alcohol with other ingredients like bitters, sugars, and water. The mixing of different types of alcoholic drinks is an old concept traditionally starting from the 17th and 18th century. However, the creator of the cocktail is not particularly known. There are many different theories of the origin of the word “cocktail” with the accepted one being the colors of mixed drinks inspiring people to think of mixing them. The cocktail is made of two or more ingredients, e.g., a flavoring ingredient, spirit base, coloring ingredient or a modifier. It is likely to serve before or after dinner. The preparation of cocktail is not an easy task and cannot be done by everyone as its preparation involves a standard procedure in which the fruit juices are mixed with spirits and alcoholic drinks in the right proportions. There is a conventional method of preparing a cocktail that is always implemented so that alcoholic content may not exceed fruit beverages, which might be harmful for consumption among human beings. Cocktails are bitter or sour as they contain a significant portion of alcohol. Cocktails are costly. There are over 100 cocktails around the world. Some famous cocktails are:

  • Long island ice tea
  • Mojito
  • Pinacolada
  • Tequila Sunrise
  • Margaritas
  • Strawberry Daiquiri
  • whiskey sour
  • Manhattan
  • Martini
  • Alexanders

What is Mocktail?

Mocktail is a mixed, non-alcoholic drink. It does not contain alcohol or any spirit. Mocktail is made by mixing different fruit juices, soft drinks, iced tea, etc. The word mocktail itself holds a meaning that it mocks the cocktail. But mocktail is different from cocktails as it does not contain any content or pigment of alcohol or spirit. It is alcohol-free. Also, mocktails are termed with a Virgin added to the front of their name. For example, a coconut/pineapple drink Piña Colada has white rum in the cocktail, but when a Virgin Piña Colada is a mocktail as it has the same ingredients with the only exception of rum in the drink. Mocktails are made using cream, sugar, honey, juices, fruits, herbs, or soda. Mocktail is a heady mixture of all nonalcoholic drinks. Mocktail is easy to prepare, and anyone can prepare it at home by mixing fruit juices and syrups. Mocktail is inexpensive than cocktails. It is an excellent option for people who do not like or want to take alcohol. Mocktails are typically sweet as they are prepared by mixing fruit juices and sugar syrup. However, some mocktails may be sour or bitter if they have undergone fermentation if they are left unconsumed for a longer period. While there is no age limit or any governmental law for mocktail to be consumed by the people. Some of the popular mocktails are:

  • Shirley Temple
  • Lime Rickey
  • Roy Rogers
  • Deep Blue
  • Mojito
  • Queens Punch
  • Virgin Mojito
  • Virgin Colada
  • Virgin Daiquiri

Key Difference

  1. The cocktail is a mixed, alcoholic drink with alcohol as one of its major components, whereas mocktail is a mixed, non-alcoholic drink that does not contain alcohol.
  2. Cocktail contains fruit juices mixed with spirits and alcoholic drinks in the right proportions on the flip side mocktail involves different fruit juices with sugar syrups.
  3. The cocktail has a bitter or sour taste in taste conversely mocktail is sweet.
  4. Cocktails are expensive while mocktails are inexpensive.
  5. The preparation of cocktails is a standard one that requires a standard proportion of the things, on the other hand, the preparation of mocktail is easy, and it is also prepared at home.


Cocktail and mocktails are two famous drinks with a difference that cocktails are alcoholic and mocktails are not.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson