Zero Proof Cocktails – Nautical Nonsense

A spirit free taste of the tropics? That’s Nautical Nonsense!

zero proof cocktail with pineapple


Nautical Nonsense

Made by Jena Ellenwood

Craving a zero proof cocktail that’s a vacation in a glass? Here’s a recipe that works just as well without spirits as it does with rum! I created this mocktail version of a  tropical tipple for my cousin’s wedding, inspired by her love of Mai Tai’s and desire to have a zero proof option (I added the coconut water for extra hydration). Shrubs are a great way of preserving fruit and also adding a little bite to spirit free cocktails!

If you love this cocktail, check out our full cocktail library or our YouTube Craft Cocktail Making playlist for home mixology lessons as you make your drink. Explore our favorite spirit free cocktail books in our bookshop!

Good Drinks Book for zero proof cocktails

Let’s Get Shakin’

Serves: 1

Special Tools: Jigger, Shakers, Measuring Spoons, Knife, Sauce Pan, Strainer, Measuring Cup

Difficulty: Easy


1 oz Pineapple Shrub

1 oz Pineapple Juice

2 oz Coconut Water

Pineapple Leaf


Make Pineapple Shrub ahead of time:

  • 1 large pineapple, cubed (roughly 4 cups, may substitute frozen)
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4-1⁄4 inch pieces peeled ginger root
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • Cook pineapple, sugar, and spices on medium heat until sugar bubbles and pineapple is caramelized.
  • Add water and bring to a boil, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in vinegar and remove from heat. Allow to marinate overnight in fridge. Strain and store in fridge up to a month. Side note: the pineapple pieces are delicious!

*Divide the recipe in half if you would like to make a smaller batch/ or scale up to make more!

For Cocktail:

  1. Combine shrub, pineapple juice, and coconut water in a shaker
  2. Add ice and shake!
  3. Strain over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a pineapple leaf. Enjoy your zero proof taste of the tropics!
Suzanne making a sour face wondering if she'll like this cocktail
But will I like it?

Cocktail flavor profile

Getting to know your palate, what you like, and what you don’t like is a critical part of being a great craft tippler AND key to becoming a great home bartender as well! So before you break out that barware and buy the key ingredients, here’s a little guidance on what to expect from this cocktail so you can start to hone in on exactly what elements of cocktails you enjoy and which you’d prefer to minimize.  This helps you order new cocktails you love when you’re out on the town better as well!
  • Sweet
  • Refreshing
  • Complex/Funky/Unique
  • Tropical

Let me know what you discover, or if you would have rated it differently in the comments below…

Let us know what you think!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bottles of craft beer, wine, and spirits

Drink Our Favorite Craft Booze!

Want to drink along with Suzanne, Evan, and the rest of our tippling team? Here's where we're shopping and some of our favorites.

Learn more

Cocktail Categories

Grab Our Home Bar Must Haves

Our home bars get put to gooood use. So, we know what bar accessories, glassware, and books are worth it to help you stock yours.

Shop now

Explore related craft cocktails

Mojito cocktail with mint leaves and lime


It is impossible not to smile while drinking a Mojito! One sip of this rum cocktail and you find yourself in the Carribean.

Keep Exploring The Craft

Attend an Event

Explore the Craft

Shop the Goods

Get notified about in-person events

Thanks, we'll let you know when we have upcoming in-person events!