1. In a small saucepan, heat sugar with 1/2 cup water and the star anise over high heat until sugar dissolves. Let steep 30 minutes, then strain.
2. Pour 1 tbsp. star anise syrup into a Champagne flute. Add Lemon-Lime Juice and sparkling apple-cranberry juice.
Make ahead: Chill syrup up to 2 weeks.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per mocktail.
Bar Essentials: Have these on hand for mixing great mocktails.
Simple Syrup: Equal parts sugar and water, heated until the sugar dissolves. (Your yield will be the same as the amount of water you use.)
Lemon-Lime Juice: Equal parts freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice, for adding acidity in a flash.
Fresh Lemons, Limes, and Oranges: To make juice, wedges for squeezing or moistening the rim of a glass, or twists of zest for extra citrus aroma.
Superfine Sugar: Dissolves easily and makes a nice garnish on the rim of a glass.
Fresh Herbs: Basil, mint, and tarragon add complexity, texture, and visual appeal.
Purchased Ice: For a big party, it's hard to make enough ice at home. Besides cooling, ice helps blend flavors in the shaker.