Non-Alcoholic Christmas Cheer
Christmas is full of wine and warm tipples, but what if you’re not drinking? Pregnant, driving home, underage or just cutting back on the booze – don’t despair, there are plenty of non-alcoholic festive options still available. Here are a couple of my favourites which you can serve with or without the booze, making ideal to make a pitcher that all the family can enjoy, with the drinkers adding their tipple to their own serving if they want!
Cranberry “Cider” Punch
The sweetness of the apple works well with the tart taste of cranberry and is complemented by the fizzy ginger ale. This is a healthy juice drink that can be drunk by anyone and will appeal to kids too. Drop a few cranberries and a thin slice of apple into the glass for a festive garnish! Of course you can booze this up and make it a real cider punch by replacing the 200ml Apple Juice with actual cider! This is what my husband does over Christmas.
This cocktail is incredibly easy to make that absolutely no one can go wrong with it! It tastes lovely too, a mix of sweet and sour that will appeal to anyone. You can also use ginger ale instead of sprite which is more traditional – but I prefer the Sprite (or other similar lemon/lime soda mix) version and I think it goes down a little better with kids. If you’re a little lost in the supermarket you’ll usually find grenadine syrup in the mixers section of the spirits aisle but occasionally it ends up with the fruit juice.
To give this a bit of a kick, adults can add one to two shots of Vodka to the glass and sip on a “Dirty Shirley”.
Pretty much every cocktail can be enjoyed “virgin”, aka no booze! Just make it very similar and it still tastes yummy but without the alcoholic kick. You could make up a jug of the non-alcoholic version and then the drinkers can add their shots whilst the non-drinkers and underage folks can still enjoy the flavour.
Leyla from Motherhood Diaries suggests a Virgin Mojito for a yummy non-alcoholic cocktail that you can enjoy anytime, “Add some brown sugar, springs of fresh mint, a little apple juice, some lemonade, some lime and finish with a nice helping of crushed ice! Yum!”
Naomi from Trips with a Tot suggests switching out wine for Ribena, and adding a festive twist, “Virgin ‘mulled wine!’ It’s basically replacing the wine with Ribena, it still tastes delicious! Cinnamon stick and star anise add the finishing touches.”
Tea & Coffee
Mulled wine tea or tea with Christmas spices makes a lovely hot non-alcoholic after dinner drink but can be drunk any time of day. There are a variety of different brands, so check out your local tea supplier or supermarket. Some do contain black tea so has some caffeine in it, so might not be suitable if you’re currently caffeine free. Whittard make a loose leaf mulled wine tea blend that’s entirely fruit and spices – so ideal for those avoiding caffeine right now. Goes down an absolute treat with a mince pie!
Whittard have some amazing deals on over the Christmas period and in my opinion, offer the very best in quality as well as awesome gift sets. I’ve bought quite a few stocking fillers from them already and a couple of main gifts too!
There are a lot of different teas out there, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding one for you. “Russian Tea was my mulled wine alternative when I was pregnant and my kids love it now. It’s a tea/orange juice/pineapple juice and spices blend and it’s fantastic!” says Luschka from Diary of A First Child. Sounds very unique!
Alcoholic coffee is very popular especially in the winter months after dinner, but Jodie from Maidenhead Mum gives a great alternative, “Instead of a liquor coffee you can get flavoured syrup from Amazon and Supermarkets. When I was pregnant I liked having a decaf black coffee with amoretto syrup! Lush, actually felt like a treat which isn’t bad for no caffeine and no alcohol!” I personally recommend this Monin Syrup gift set for a Christmas treat – whether it’s for yourself, or as a lovely gift for others. It comes in 5 different flavours, Caramel, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Gingerbread and Chocolate Cookies. Sounds lovely!
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- 200g plain chocolate
- 600ml milk
- 100ml double cream
- 6 peppermint candy canes
This recipe will serve a family of 6, so half it if there’s only three of you – or save the rest for another night. Just melt the chocolate in a pan on the stove or in a bowl in the microwave, stirring in the milk and double cream. Crush the candy canes and add the bits! This is a luxurious and decadent hot chocolate drink with a minty taste that really reminds you of Christmas. The only downside is it comes in at approximately 320calories per cup which is quite a lot for an evening treat.
If you’re watching the calories over Christmas, you can make your regular hot chocolate powder with water or milk and then add the peppermint candy canes. Using a brand like Options can get this down to around 70calories and the candy cane will make it sweet enough to not need to add any extra sugar or sweetener.
This non-alcoholic bedtime drink will become a fast family favourite. If you want to give it a little bit of a kick and decide to booze it up, add a shot of Baileys to the mix!
Bottoms up! What’s your favourite non alcoholic drink to have on a special occasion?
Updated November 2018