Refreshing Vegan Coffee Drinks and Cocktails


The perfect dairy-free iced mocha may be hard to come by, but we have has some cool at-home recipes for coffee lovers and summer entertaining, sans milk and cream. The creative cocktail inspiration comes from Starbuck’s VIA Ready Brew line of instant coffees.

Their little VIA packets each contain a little over a tablespoon of instant coffee, and come in a variety of tastes and flavors. But for the recipes below, we recommend keeping it simple with their French Roast, Italian Roast, or Columbia Coffee selections (available in decaf also). These are their “pure” VIAs, which are made with 100% coffee beans and no added ingredients.

The following recipes, all courtesy of Starbucks, are naturally fat-free, and the are dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and vegan – but be sure to check your ingredients wisely wherever a food allergy may be of concern …

Breakfast Sangria - Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia

Breakfast Sangria

  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Cups Cranberry Juice
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Blueberries
  • 1-1/2 Cups Strawberries, quartered
  • 1 Orange, with zest removed and sliced into 1/4-inch wheels
  • 2 Packets Starbucks VIA(R) Ready Brew (regular or decaf – approximately 2 full Tablespoons of instant coffee)
  • 1 Cup Soda Water

Combine sugar, juices and fruit in a pitcher. Stir to dissolve sugar. Let chill for several hours.

Before serving, dissolve coffee with a tablespoon of hot water in a large glass. Add a cup of the juice mixture and stir to fully combine. Add this coffee mixture back into the sangria pitcher and stir to combine.

Right before serving, mix in the soda water. Combine the zest with an equal amount of sugar. Dip moistened rims of tall glasses into the orange-sugar mixture for a sparkling visual and flavor. Fill the glasses with sangria mixture.

Serves six to eight

Cucumber Mint Gin Lemonade

  • 1 Packet Starbucks VIA(R) Ready Brew (regular or decaf – approximately 1 full Tablespoon of instant coffee)
  • 4 Cups Lemonade
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
  • 1 Cup Gin
  • 1 Cup Loosely Packed Mint
  • Ice

Dissolve coffee with a tablespoon of hot water in a pitcher. Add lemonade, sugar, cucumber, gin and mint. Chill for several hours. Serve over ice.

Serves about eight

High Octane Apple-tini

  • 1 Packet Starbucks VIA(R) Ready Brew (regular or decaf – approximately 1 full Tablespoon of instant coffee)
  • 1 Cup Apple Juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Vanilla Vodka
  • 1/2 Cup Ice
  • 1/2 Lime Chopped
  • 1 Apple, sliced into thin wheels for garnish (core is in the center of the wheel)

Dissolve coffee with a tablespoon of hot water in a shaker. Add apple juice, vodka, limes and ice. Place lid on top of the shaker and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain liquid into martini glasses. Place a thin apple wheel on top.

Makes two martinis

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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