This sparkling cherry mocktail is fun, fruity and perfect for summer parties and holiday celebrations! Made with just five ingredients, it's an easy to make non-alcoholic drink everyone will love.
With summer in full swing (at last!) and family BBQs being enjoyed each weekend, having some fun non-alcoholic drinks both kids and adults love is a necessity! Mocktails such as my popular peach mocktail and blueberry mocktail are regularly on the menu, and my youngest niece is especially partial to the elderflower fizz mocktail. Perhaps you would like to try them too!
This cherry juice mocktail has just joined the party (excuse the pun . . . ) and has the best sweet and fragrant flavour. Combined with thyme and vanilla, it feels equally perfect for summer and winter parties. Quick and easy to make, it's vegan and gluten free and really quite healthy!
Why this recipe is so good
Fruity and fun. The combination of cherries with vanilla extract and maple syrup is somehow both fruity for summer, but also cosy for fall!
Kid friendly. Much better than pop, this mocktail is actually fairly healthy with no refined sugar and with lots of fruit.
Super easy to make. We simply muddle the fruit with the herbs and syrup, so there is no cook time for this mocktail.
All the ingredients for this mocktail, as well as their quantities, are in the recipe card below.
- Cherries - I actually find that using thawed frozen cherries is a little better for this recipe as they are softer, have released their juices, and can be more easily muddled. Fresh is good too though!
- Thyme - you definitely need fresh thyme sprigs rather than dried thyme.
- Sparkling water - I suggest using a plain sparkling water rather than already flavoured or heavily mineralised.
Swaps and variations
Leave out the vanilla extract. If you prefer to focus on the fruit, then simply leave out the vanilla. My low histamine readers may also wish to omit unless they know it works well for them.
Add lime juice. To make this more of a cherry bomb mocktail you can add a squeeze of lime. Perhaps not for my low histamine readers.
Muddler or wooden spoon - to combine the fruit with the herbs and syrup to form the base of your mocktail.
Step by step instructions
Remove the leaves from your thyme sprigs, and halve a couple of cherries if you would like to add them to your glass as a garnish (image 1).
Muddle the cherries with the thyme, vanilla extract (if using) and maple syrup. Personally I like to do this in a bowl but you can do it straight into your glasses too (image 2). Use a muddler or wooden spoon to lightly 'mash' the ingredients together so the flavours combine.
Add the cherry mixture to your glass and top with sparkling water. Garnish with the cherries if you wish, and ice to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Recipe tips and notes
- Thaw frozen cherries. If using frozen cherries it is best to allow them to thaw for around an hour before use.
- Stir the mocktail before serving. This helps the cherries combine with the sparkling water.
- Swap thyme for mint. If you don't have fresh thyme to hand, then mint also works well in this mocktail.
Frequently asked questions
You can use either fresh or frozen fruit to make mocktails, but it is best to allow frozen fruit to thaw before use.
A sturdy wooden spoon is a good substitute for a muddler when making cocktails and mocktails.
Tart cherry juice and sweet cherries can both be used to make a mocktail.
More mocktails to enjoy
Whether it's for your summer parties or holiday celebrations, find lots of inspiration for non-alcoholic drinks on my mocktails page, including my cantaloupe mocktail and cranberry mocktail. Some recent recipes:
Sparkling cherry mocktail
- 1.5 cups cherries fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 3 thyme sprigs leaves picked
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- sparkling water
- Pick the leaves of your thyme sprigs, and halve a cherry for garnish.
- Add the cherries to your glasses, along with the maple syrup, vanilla extract (if using) and thyme leaves. Muddle with a muddler, or a wooden spoon. Top with ice and pour in the sparkling water. Stir well to mix. Garnish with a half cherry and thyme sprig.
- Personally I find that thawed frozen cherries work better for this mocktail as they are softer to muddle, and have released some of their juices.
- To thaw, transfer to a tupperware container or bowl and leave on the counter for about an hour.
- If you aren't a fan of thyme, you can always use mint leaves as an alternative.
- cherries score 0, but there is a note simply stating 'controversial'. As always, only use if you know you tolerate well.
- sparkling water isn't rated on the list. Soda scores 1, with a note, 'depending upon the ingredients'.
- vanilla extract scores 1 with a ? as a liberator. This is an optional ingredient.