Mojitos, sangrias, punches––the most popular summer mocktails in Dubai. I tried each of these at SOL Sky Bar, a fun summer-themed rooftop bar with one of the friendliest bartending staff in Dubai. Wait, but it’s January, the depth of winter!
Dubai can provide a summer experience in the middle of winter. That’s why you’ll find SOL Sky Bar selling summer mocktails during this “cold” season.
Summers are real hot. And winters are pleasantly warm but not cold. The weather is seriously uncanny––you feel like you should be below the equator.
The perfectly toasty winter weather is perfect for other activities in the city too. Hanging off the high rises, dune buggying, and if you’re really in the winter spirits, indoor skiing. To top it all off, traveling from place to place is an absolute show with Dubai’s beautiful skyline.
But after a long day of exploring this crazy city, a mocktail really hits the spot.
SOL Sky Bar’s Summer Mocktails
Remember the most popular summer mocktails I mentioned? SOL Sky Bar specializes in each of them. From their mocktail menu, it’s all they serve. And the decor of the bar reflects this dedication.
Everything screams hot weather and swimwear––a plethora of flowers, bright colors and faux grass. They even have a pink swing with green vine rope outside that overlooks Dubai.
But specialty doesn’t have to come at the cost of variety. SOL Sky Bar has a lot of variations for each signature summer mocktail. Their sangria and mojito can be made with raspberry, pineapple, cranberry, orange, blackberry or strawberry flavor. Lots to choose from!
Edwin, the most enthusiastic bartender I’ve ever met and sort of the pack leader behind the bar at SOL, had a lot to say about each drink. I asked him which mocktails he thought were the best. Here are my favorites:
I had to start with the Virgin Sangria because this was Edwin’s favorite. He paid particular attention to decorating this mocktail. I remember asking him to “make it Instagram ready!”
It turned out looking gorgeous. The only difference between this and other Instagram summer mocktails is that it actually tasted good!
Blackberry, orange, lemon––the Virgin Sangria has the classic fruity sourness of a sangria. It’s a unique type of sour that you can’t get without fresh fruit. There’s also a slight bitter undertone. It compensates while still not being too sweet. It achieves what many non-virgin sangrias can’t while still leaving out the alcohol. Very unique, not like any sangria I’ve had.
Edwin gives a macaroon with the drink. The richness pairs nicely with how refreshing the beverage is. It feels like washing down something heavy––quite satisfying.
Summer Pink Punch
Usually, you’d find punch served in plastic cups, though really anything works. I’ve even seen Boss Baby and Cocomelon themed plastic cups used for this mocktail. That’s how punch has gotten its disdained wine mom infamy.
But the Summer Pink Punch doesn’t have any wine, or alcohol for that matter. SOL has given this overlooked summer mocktail the princess treatment and prettied her up to what you see here.
SOL’s presentation reminds me of the expert workmanship of the mocktails I photographed in Abu Dhabi. Both look incredible!
But again, looks don’t sacrifice taste here. The Summer Pink Punch isn’t over-sweetened and has a refreshing sourness, just like the Virgin Sangria. It has a light raspberry flavor. Raspberries have a far more delicate, pleasant flavor than their artificial “Blue Raz” counterpart.
The Summer Pink Punch is well-balanced and stays more true to its original drink than the Virgin Sangria, in my opinion. But in a good way––not a cocktail of bottom-shelf liquor a snotty teen made to get drunk over the weekend on his parent’s getaway.
Sip It with Passion
The Sip It with Passion is a spritz mocktail. And an expertly sweetened one at that. Anyone with even a slightly refined palate will enjoy this bittery concoction.
Pineapple juice, coconut seltzer and a bitter syrup with a slightly smoky flavor––The Sip It with Passion is like a pina colada went spritz, and someone added a little Laphroaig to the mix. And all with no alcohol. I think that rhymed.
Anyway, it’s seriously mind-bending what SOL Sky Bar has been able to do with all these summer mocktails. They taste real without anything real.
Speaking of which, I talked with Edwin about the market for SOL’s mocktails. He said that all of their summer mocktails are popular with regular drinkers. But this one was particularly favored due to its perfect replication of the flavors you’d get with using actual alcohol. Their mocktails are a great alternative for business meetings and busy people in general. How great must it be to have business meetings in a lounge!
I came back the following day for more drinks. The Blackberry Mojito wasn’t recommended but rather ordered out of curiosity. Edwin and his coworkers told me about their wide selection of flavored summer mocktails but only gave me their “classic” versions. Could it be that they weren’t that good?
The Blackberry Mojito had a strong sweet n’ sour blackberry flavor––like a blackberry soda. I think it’s more directed towards younger customers as SOL had quite a few families in the mix at their lounge.
Even so, it still has a punchy mint freshness, just like any proper mojito. That’s what drove it home for me. I’ve seen so many mojitos go light on the mint and lose every sense of their mojito-ness. But the Blackberry Mojito was a mojito even with the extra flavoring. Very nice!
SOL Sky Bar is Made for Dubai’s Summer-Winter
It’s a cool experience drinking mocktails and tanning by the beach during winter. Edwin will be excited to greet you when you come over to SOL. No matter what you’re looking for, he’ll have recommendations. Expert mixology and top-tier garnish are his game.
You know, I find it far too common for westerners (myself included) to overlook the middle east. But I now know that, from the insane sensory experiences to the relaxing mocktail bars, Dubai is a destination to put on your bucket list.
Bottom line, for the best summer mocktails in Dubai, visit SOL Sky Bar.