By Sophia Pardo
It is no secret that the college lifestyle can be overwhelming with the stressful balance of social life and academics. This constant balancing act leaves us to question if a night out on the town is the most effective use of our time? This is an ongoing topic of conversation, especially at SMU, where the vibrant nightlife scene, thanks to its location in Dallas, sets it apart from more traditional college towns. Recently, I have discovered the perfect solution that allows you to feel like you’re indulging without the negative side-effects: the mocktail.
Scrolling through my TikTok feed, I have noticed a major trend of mocktails among Gen-Z influencers like Olivia Noceda and SMU alum Katie Butler, who you may know as @alcoholfreeindally. Watching these videos made me especially eager to try their recommendations out for myself, and I thought there was no better place to put these cocktails to the test than The Boulevard.
Boulevards are known for being hot, crowded, and hectic. For many, a day on the Boulevard consists of lots of drinking and eating, usually starting early in the day. On this particular Boulevard, I decided to opt for a beverage that would not only be equally refreshing, delicious, and fun but one that would allow me to maintain a clear mind and fully enjoy my time. I came prepared with two different mocktails to test out for the occasion: the first being a health-packed, probiotic mocktail, and the second being a light and floral canned mocktail that was the perfect mid-Boulevard pick-me-up. By incorporating mocktails into my Boulevard routine, I was able to stay hydrated, even in the scorching Texas heat.
The first mocktail I discovered from the lifestyle app Lemon8, where user Megan Ivory shared her recipe for the perfect Tart Cherry Ginger Lime mocktail. Ivory uses Tart Cherry juice, which has recently gained popularity among the wellness community on social media due to its abundance of health benefits, such as improved sleep, immune system benefits, and ingredients that promote brain health. The combination of Tart Cherry Juice with the viral probiotic soda Poppi, in the Ginger Lime flavor, created the perfect tangy drink. It was nice to know that while the mocktail felt like a treat, it was also benefiting my body internally.
Another beverage I tried was Ghia Le Spritz, which I was able to purchase at the SMU student favorite, Foxtrot Market. Ghia is a non-alcoholic aperitif that comes in a can, making it an easily transportable option to bring to an event filled with lots of mingling and sipping, like The Boulevard. Its citrusy, floral taste was a hit among many of my friends who also tried it and loved it. With hints of elderflower and fig, it reminded me so much of my favorite spritz that I sipped in a beautiful garden in the French Riviera.
Mocktails, I truly believe, are the next big thing. Mocktails provide the same feeling of luxury that comes with sipping a cocktail, without the negative health effects. Drinking mocktails allows the mind to think with more clarity and enables us to enjoy our time socially while being more present and feeling in control. With the rise in creative recipes flooding socials recently and alcohol-free living becoming more popular among Gen-Z audiences, mocktails are the perfect healthier alternative to cocktails and will likely be an up-and-coming staple to the college social scene. Happy sipping!