While I love the vibe of a holiday cocktail, I don’t always want the alcohol that goes with it. One too many drinks not only gets in the way of my sleep, but I rarely wake up feeling rested and re-charged for my day. That’s why this time of year is perfect for experimenting with tasty mocktails and fun, non-alcoholic elixirs!
When hosting a holiday party, consider your non-drinking guests. They deserve more than just club soda or water to celebrate. Enter: the mocktail! The best way to serve a booze-less drink is to create a fun mocktail station or bar. Decorate a side table for the season and set out a variety of mixers, juices, fresh herbs and flavorful tonics. Then, encourage your guests to make their own drinks.
Below are some creative ideas for items to have on hand for a build-your-own mocktail bar. Help your guests by posting recipe ideas for mocktails on the bar or make a signature mocktail punch or pitcher for those who don’t want to mix their own.
Have a batch of simple syrup ready by mixing equal parts sugar and water. Simmer on the stove until the sugar melts. Add some fun holiday flair by including ginger, cinnamon sticks, cardamom or star anise to the table.
One of the best parts about mocktails is many of the ingredients are nutrient-rich, so they’re boosting your health, while also being festive.
KEEP THESE INGREDIENTS ON HAND FOR HOLIDAY MOCKTAILS
Brewed tea (hibiscus leaf, chamomile, green tea, jasmine tea, chai, rooibos, etc.)
Spiced apple cider (warm or cold)
Ginger beer (non-alcoholic)
Soda water or flavored soda water (like San Pellegrino)
Simple syrup, maple syrup, agave syrup or flavored stevia drops
Lemon or lime wedges
HEALTHIER HOLIDAY MOCKTAIL RECIPES TO TRY
Here are a few recipes for mocktail-making inspiration:
DRIED HIBISCUS MOCKTAIL
The vibrant red color of this Dried Hibiscus Mocktail, along with the fragrant spices, leaves everyone at your party wanting “what she’s having.” The base of this mocktail is made with hibiscus leaves, which are rich in carotene, riboflavin, calcium, niacin, iron and vitamin C.
SPICED APPLE SHRUB MOCKTAIL
Looking for something a little cozier? Try this Spiced Apple Shrub Mocktail. It’s like fall in a glass. Not only that, but it may aid digestion following a big holiday meal.
APPLE CRANBERRY SPRITZER
Cranberry juice (unsweetened)
1-inch ginger root, sliced
Cook the apple cider, cranberry juice, ginger and cinnamon sticks (or substitute muddling spice) in a pan on the stove ahead of time. Allow it to cool. Strain to remove the cinnamon sticks and ginger. To serve, pour the apple-cranberry mixture in glasses, top with sparkling water and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
SIMPLE HEALTHY PALOMA MOCKTAIL
Add 2 parts grapefruit juice and 1 part lime juice to a glass and stir to combine with 1 teaspoon of maple or agave syrup. Fill the glass with ice, top with sparkling water, and garnish with slices of lime and grapefruit.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Creating a mocktail bar is a fun way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, without paying for it the next morning. You can even get a few extra health benefits!
Originally published December 2021, updated December 2022
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