Ditch Alcohol, Try Mocktails

íTis the season of holiday parties, which means an†onslaught of sugary sweets and belly-warming holiday cocktails. But for those who choose to abstain from alcohol, it can be a trying season.

I know everyone says you donít have to drink alcohol at parties, but, letís face it, watching your friends and family enjoying their beverage as you hold a tepid can†of tonic water†isnít very fun or festive. But†alcohol is absolutely not for everyone. This season, if you choose to avoid alcohol, treat yourself to something even more delicious than your favorite cocktailótry a holiday mocktail.

Yes, a mocktail is exactly what it sounds like; a non-alcoholic cocktail. But mocktails are more than just leaving the alcohol out of your alcoholic favorites. They are a flavorful art unto themselves. When creating a mocktail, you want to make sure your beverage has a lot of dimension and pop. To do this, use bitters and acidity to prevent your drinks from becoming cloyingly sweet and unhealthy. In fact, if done properly, mocktails can even be health-promoting! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Holiday Elderberry Shrub (adapted from The Kitchn)

1 c. elderberries (dried)

2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger

1 c. apple cider vinegar

1-1/2 cups organic, unbleached cane sugar

seltzer & orange slice

Rinse off the elderberries in a colander and dry them off. (If you cannot find elderberries, pomegranate or cranberry could work well, too.) Pour into a glass or ceramic container and mash lightly. Pour in vinegar and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or more, stirring occasionally. Once steeping is complete, strain the mixture and discard the solids. For every cup of liquid, use 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar. Combine sugar and liquid in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium low heat. Boil for 5 minutes until thickened and remove from heat. Let cool. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for 2 weeks.

To make the drink, mix 1 oz. elderberry shrub with 6 oz. seltzer. Top with an orange wedge and enjoy! You can bet those elderberries will help you fight off any colds brewing in your system, too!

Fire Cider Toddy (adapted from the LA Times)

1 shot Fire Cider (purchased or make your own)

6 oz. hot apple cider

maple syrup (to taste)

cinnamon stick

orange peel

Combine all ingredients in a mug and stir gently. Enjoy on a chilly evening, preferably fireside.

Maple Grapefruit Mocktail (adapted from The Kitchn)

3 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

3 oz. high-quality ginger beer

Shake or stir the juice and syrup. Pour into a glass and top with ginger beer. Stir. Sip liberally.

Wintery Switchel (adapted from Whole Foods Market)

1 c. apple cider vinegar

3/4 c. molasses or quality maple syrup

2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger

seltzer & lime slices

Combine vinegar, sweetener and ginger in a jar. Shake and refrigerate for anywhere between 6 hours and 2 days. Strain out ginger, rebottle and store in fridge for up to 1 month. Serve in a glass with ice, 1 part switchel and 3 parts seltzer water, topped with a lime slice. Feel your thirst get quenched.

The flavorful possibilities for mocktails can be endlessly creative. With some experimentation, you may begin to love mocktails more than their alcoholic counterparts. Give these recipes a try and share any non-alcoholic beverage favorites of your own in the comments section below!

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W. C
W. C1 months ago


William C
William C1 months ago

Thank you.

Marigold A
Past Member 3 months ago

Ditched alcohol 8 years ago and I don't miss it at all. Always nice to have a handy designated driver around especially during the holidays.

Janine F
Janine F5 months ago


Sonia M
Sonia M5 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Chan W
Chan W9 months ago

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Chan W
Chan W9 months ago

thanks for sharing upsize

Chan W
Chan W9 months ago

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