This is the time of year when people start to get together to raise a glass of cheer and toast the holiday season… but what about those of us who want to celebrate without imbibing in alcohol? Whether you’re the designated driver, underage, pregnant, feeling under the weather or just don’t drink, it’s easy to feel excluded when everyone is toasting with expertly created cocktails and you’re left standing with a glass of club soda.
Even if you do choose to indulge in alcohol, it’s important to have some good mocktails in your repertoire to serve to guests who don’t want to drink. Mocktails are fun and also family-friendly — they’re a great way for kids to feel more “grown-up” and part of the party. Here are a few of my favourites if you’re looking for ideas to spritz up your mocktail game:
Mulled wine is a classic holiday party favourite, but you can get all of those deliciously Christmas-y spices without the wine. This recipe uses store-bought apple cider, cooked up with butter and cinnamon. Skip the optional brandy to keep it non-alcoholic.
The best part of a mojito isn’t the flavour of the rum — it’s the combination of muddled mint and fresh lime. Use this recipe to make a basic alcohol-free mojito. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding a bit of freshly squeezed orange juice for an orange mojito, or a few fresh or frozen blueberries or blackberries (muddle a few with the mint and then also add some as garnish).
Cool Cucumber Mocktails
Cucumber water isn’t just for the spa. During these dehydrating winter months the taste of cucumber is a nice refreshing change from the heavier flavours that the holidays often bring. Try this delicious Cucumber Lemonade, which is also flavoured with dill.
Sweet and Savoury Spritzes
This time of year we sometimes crave a bit of a savoury taste with our drinks, which is why a mocktail that combines fresh herbs with fruit is a good bet. These Blueberry Rosemary Spritzers are sparkly and refreshing, but that hint of rosemary gives them a nice savoury edge.
Is there anything better at a brunch party than a fully dressed Caesar? This recipe for a classic booze-free Caesar is vegan, but you can also make it with Clamato juice if you want a more standard version.
What’s says Christmas more than cranberries? This Cranberry Apple Sparkler is easy to whip up and brings together some of the best flavours of the season.
Alcohol-free Moscow Mule
Moscow mules seem to be all the rage these days — but you can still drink out of those iconic copper cups without adding any alcohol. Simple but delicious, use this recipe to make a ginger beer sparkler without any vodka.