Who says you need alcohol to be merry this holiday season? Whether you’re entertaining younger family members who want a beverage more sophisticated than a can of pop, or friends who are avoiding alcohol for health or religious reasons, it’s smart and thoughtful to have a couple of mocktail options on hand for your guests.
Even if you or your friends aren’t actively avoiding alcohol, mocktails are particularly great in the month of December when you find yourself with a never-ending list of parties and events to attend and can’t possibly be drinking that frequently! With flavors like cranberry, cider, ginger and rosemary, you’ll satisfy those holiday cravings with these drinks, sans the empty calories (and sometimes headaches) that come along with their alcoholic counterparts.
“It’s important to note that the cocktail experience is about more than the booze – it’s as much the presentation of the drink, the atmosphere, and the people you’re with that give you that warm and fuzzy feeling.”
So go the extra mile with your garnishes, put on some festive tunes, and gather the right crowd and you won’t even miss the alcohol in these classic holiday mocktails!
Cranberry is a classic holiday mixer and works like a charm in a Cranberry-Raspberry Fizz. In a lowball glass, muddle a handful of raspberries. Squeeze in the juice from one lime, add seltzer and top with cranberry-raspberry juice. Add ice and float some cranberries on top. Or, if you’re really crafty, freeze cranberries in ice cubes prior to your soiree for an even better garnish!
Borrowing again from the idea that ginger gives a drink extra interest and kick, try this Hot Ginger Cider. The best part? It’s super easy. Simply steep a ginger tea bag in some steaming cider for a few minutes and serve. It’s warm, it’s festive and it’s sure to spread holiday cheer!
The Moscow Mule is another great cocktail to convert to a mocktail because the kick of the ginger keeps it interesting. Make a holiday version of the classic mule by incorporating pomegranate. To make one, grab a copper mug (if you have one) and add a generous amount of ice. Squeeze out the juice of one lime and add about a half of a cup of nonalcoholic ginger beer (most are non-alcoholic, but double check!). Add a splash of pomegranate juice and then top with seltzer. Garnish with a lime wedge and some pomegranate seeds.
Finally, a Rosemary Orange “Mimosa” is a great option to have on hand for brunch gatherings. You’ll want to make the rosemary simple syrup ahead of time so that it has time to steep and cool. To do so, simply mix one cup of sugar with one cup of water in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar is fully dissolved, and then add in 2-3 sprigs of rosemary and remove from heat. Allow the syrup to steep for an hour, then strain out sprigs and cool. When it’s time to assemble your cocktail, pour 1 tbsp of the syrup into the bottom of a champagne flute, add about 1/3 cup of orange juice and then top with seltzer. Garnish with an orange peel and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Happy Holidays! A votre santé!