hand rolling glass onto plate with caption 'I would order a mocktail' (l) hand using tongs in cup with caption ''you don't drink?'' (l) hands peeling cherry in half with caption 'and 10 minutes later was presented with literal fruit juice in a Mai Tai glass' (r)

@olivianoceda/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘I’m not paying that much for juice’: Viewers divided over if mocktails are too expensive and worth it as they appear in more restaurants

‘They’ve had Mocktails, it’s called Diet Coke.’


Grace Fowler


Posted on Jul 26, 2023

A woman on TikTok who shared her experience finding mocktails she enjoys at bars and restaurants sparked a debate over whether places charge too much for non-alcoholic drinks. 

Earlier this month, Olivia (@olivianoceda) posted a video where she shared her experiences after she first stopped drinking alcohol. The first mocktails she ordered at restaurants, she said, were “literally fruit juice in a Mai Tai glass.” 

She also said that she felt singled-out for not drinking alcohol. “Oh you don’t drink? Let me make it 10 times more obvious to everyone around you,” she said.

@olivianoceda cherry & thyme ranch water mocktail 🍒🤠 what are some of your fave spots in your city for an NA drink?! i love Buddy Wine Bar, Arcana, and Che Fico — all in SF. ingredients// 6-8 cherries, pitted a few sprigs of thyme (remove from stem) .5 oz maple syrup 1-2oz cherry juice 1/2 lime, juiced topo chico i’ve sugar & thyme rim (optional) #ranchwater #mocktailrecipe #mocktailgirlie #sobercuriousjourney #sobertok #soberlifestyle #nonalcoholicdrink #mocktails #mocktailrecipe #cherry #cherrycocktail ♬ It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over – Lenny Kravitz

That experience, in part, prompted Olivia to share a Cherry and Thyme Ranch Water recipe with viewers. As of Wednesday morning, her video had more than 5.6 million views. 

“My contribution to a growing list of delicious NA beverages,” she said, adding that “mocktails are on the rise.”

Not all viewers agreed. 

“They’ve had Mocktails, it’s called Diet Coke,” one person said dryly. 

“I’m not paying that much for juice,” another said. 

“I don’t see what’s wrong with everyone around you knowing you don’t think,” a third person wrote.

Others, however, pointed out that mocktails are often expensive—or the same price as alcoholic drinks.

“the fact that non alcoholic spirits are like $30 a bottle rn, why!” one person asked. 

“bought my colleague a mocktail as she’s pregnant and the bar charged the same price as an alcoholic version,” another shared.

In fairness, several viewers defended Olivia. “Bars should have more mocktail options, it makes being the designated driver less annoying and encourages people to stay at the bar longer,” one person said.

“I’m 100 times more likely to return to a restaurant that had a well thought out cocktail menu, in a glass, that made me feel as part of the group,” another wrote.

So, are mocktails overpriced? Or are they worth it?

Crafty Bartending says that mocktails normally cost more because restaurants have to use greater quantities of high-quality ingredients and rely on complex formulas to match the aroma and flavor of a traditional alcoholic beverage.

And Olivia isn’t the first content creator to share her experience ordering mocktails. Another video from TikTok user @brownsugaricedchailatte went viral after she claimed to have spent $200 on a mocktail that her waitress recommended. 

The Daily Dot has reached out to Olivia via TikTok direct message.

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*First Published: Jul 26, 2023, 11:36 am CDT