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Science-major senior spring means less time at the bars and more trips to my personal bar cart. Here are 5 college student-certified drinks and their mocktail substitutions to celebrate your hard work!

DISCLAIMER: Please drink responsibly and utilize the sober substitutions if not of or over the legal drinking age of 21yrs. All alcohol amounts are adjustable, so listen to your body and feel out what’s right for you!

Pretty in Pink Paloma


  • 2 oz Tequila (My fav is Espolon Blanco)
  • Fever Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit
  • Lime

Simple and sweet! Combine your tequila and sparkling pink grapefruit in a glass over ice, top with lime juice and give it a stir! An option I always go for is a sugar rim to cut the bitterness of the grapefruit. Enjoy!

Sober substitution: skip the tequila and opt for some extra lime and a little simple syrup for a sober situation!

Not Your Mother’s Margarita

Warning!: One of these does the trick, milk this marg over lots of ice and looooong conversation or the Netflix show you’re binging (whatever your prerogative is, I fully support you).


  • 1 part Tequila 
  • 1 part Triple Sec (I prefer Cointreau)
  • 1 part Simple Syrup
  • 1 part Lime Juice

You should know, this is my personal (and world-famous) recipe. I don’t just share this with anybody, so I’m trusting you’ll give it a try and have fun with it. Spice it up with jalapenos and a Tajin rim, or keep it simple. Whatever you do with it, a solid marg is a staple. Mix all ingredients in equal parts and pour over ice. That’s all she wrote!

Sober substitution: hold the tequila and triple sec, some orange juice and your fav citrus-flavored soda (mine is Fresca) will give you a yummy citrusy marg-like fizz!

Classic Rum and Coke


  • 2 oz Rum (light or dark whatever you prefer)
  • Coke (I’m pepsi partial so if you prefer that as well, go for it)
  • Lime!

Pretty self-explanatory I suppose – but the lime, ugh THE LIME!! You have not lived until you’ve had lime in your cola of choice. Pour your rum over ice, squeeze that lime, and top with the bubbles. 

Sober substitution: who needs rum? Pepsi and lime are a go-to for me no matter my goal in whatever beverage I’m making!

Malibu Bae Breeze


  • 2 oz Malibu rum
  • 1 can pineapple juice
  • Cranberry Juice

Cute cute cute, but your bae would be seriously impressed if you made these for them (it’s me, I’m your bae). If you’re a sweet drink gal (or guy, gay, or they for that matter), this is the one for you. This is the kind of drink you wanted all alcohol to taste like once you could drink; so whether you’re in that stage now or feeling nostalgic for it, I got you covered. Stir in a glass with some ice, close your eyes and feel the ocean breeze wash over you. 

Sober substitution: you could go for it and use coconut cream, but hear me out: pineapple juice, cranberry juice, grenadine, lime? Sounds (and can confirm it tastes) pretty solid. 

Gin & Tonic


  • 2oz gin
  • Tonic water 
  • Lime

If you’ve made it this far, you are my people, and my people are people I want to discover and fall in love with the world of gin & tonics the way I have the past year (thanks to my gin connoisseur of an aunt, hi Mimi!). A good gin & tonic is..indescribable. It’s like drinking water for the first time all day, it’s like finishing your repeat comfort TV show and starting it again. I guess it is describable – anyway, welcome to your final destination, I beg you to make and be patient with but eventually fall into a deep entanglement with this gin & tonic. It’s quite simple, every once in a while I spruce it up with some grapefruit juice but in its most basic form, you’ll need to mix your favorite gin (my go-to is Tanqueray, I can also recommend Monkey 47 if you’re bougie like that) and tonic water – not club soda, tonic water. Top with a hefty double squeeze of lime and you’re golden, THAT’S what this drink tastes like, golden.

Sober substitution: tonic will take you pretty far in transforming this cocktail into a mocktail. Gin has some hidden notes of grapefruit, so a splash of grapefruit (ooh maybe the leftover grapefruit soda you have from your Paloma!) and the same hefty dose of lime will do the trick!

These drinks are a sure way to bring the party on, whether with a group of friends or by yourself! Have a fun with it and remember to drink responsibly!

Brynne Briegs

Rutgers '22

Hi I’m Brynne! I’m a senior at Rutgers studying Cognitive Science and Developmental Psychology. To that point, I'm most passionate about mental health and supporting others through leadership. Over the summer, I am an age group division head at a day camp and love working with children. Most fun for last: If I could only take 3 things on a desert island I'd take nail polish, my cats, and an endless amount of Trader Joes roasted seaweed.
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