Lighter whisky cocktails for those semi abstaining

Staying on the wagon

Whether that’s by cutting out alcohol completely or just taking it easier. And cocktails can be a great way to do that. 

Cocktails by their nature dilute alcohol (unless you’re mixing alcohols, then the opposite is usually true. Think Long Island iced tea). There are so many wonderful things that can go into cocktails to really enhance the flavour of the alcohol that it make sense why you wouldn’t need a lot of it. 

We’ve rounded up some great cocktails with low ABVs to give you some choice when you go out. If you want other options, just look out for cocktails on the menu that have similar ingredients to the ones featured here.


A light and fruity cocktail, the Vermouth Cassis is a classic and perfect for enjoying when you’re not going overboard. It is finished with Club Soda to give it a crisp, refreshing edge, perfectly paired with mint to garnish.

60ml Vermouth

20ml Crème de Cassis

90ml Club Soda

Mint to garnish

2. Goldfinch

Created by Lauren Schell of the Seaworthy in New Orleans, the Goldfinch is known for being low ABV and great at the same time. The combination of Cocchi Americano and sherry makes for a wonderfully complex but easy to enjoy drink.

30ml Cocchi Americano

30ml fino sherry

17ml fresh lemon juice

15ml simple syrup

2 dashes orange bitters

Orange to garnish

3. Bocce Ball

Similar to a Screwdriver, the Bocce Ball is an easy to make cocktail. The added Amaretto gives it a lovely sweetness that perks up the orange juice. In some recipes the vodka is omitted, so it’s up to you how to enjoy!

30ml Vodka

15ml amaretto

240ml orange juice

60ml club soda

Orange to garnish

4. Rosé Negroni

Swap out the Gin in a Negroni for Rosé and you have your new favourite low ABV cocktail.

45ml Rosé

17mlCocchi Rosa

17ml Campari

60ml Sparkling Rosé

2 dashes grapefruit bitters

Strawberries and mint to garnish

5. Roman Holiday 

Probably called after the film of the same name, this is another classic cocktail that you will want to order time and time again. It’s sweet and lemony and more importantly, low ABV!

30ml Amaro

7.5ml sweet Vermouth

22ml lemon juice

7.5ml simple syrup

Lemon to garnish

Tags: bocce ballCocktailsgoldfinchroman holidayrose negronivermouth cassis
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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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