Sam Howzit/Wikimedia Commons
Sprigs of fresh mint are great garnishes for party drinks, especially fruity ones.
Hopefully, non-alcoholic beverages do not sound really boring to anyone planning to host or attend a party on New Year’s Day or soon thereafter, since holidays often get extended for many reasons.
As for myself, I honestly just do not like the taste of alcohol, even though I can enjoy half a glass of Pinot Grigio or Merlot with family dinner gatherings, just to be festive. And I do add real rum to my fruitcakes when I make them every year. (Yes, I’m one of those fruitcake people.)
If for any reason, you plan to serve or drink a non-alcoholic party beverage, here are a few ideas you might like to try.
Have fun as we head into the New Year and by all means stay safe, warm and well-fed.
Cranberry apple ginger punch
4 cups cranberry juice
3 cups sparkling apple cider
4 cups ginger ale
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Orange slices and fresh cranberries, optional
1. Chill all ingredients overnight. Add ice to a large punch bowl or pitcher.
2. Stir cranberry juice, sparkling apple cider, ginger ale and lemon juice into the ice.
3. Garnish with orange slices and cranberries, if desired.
Pineapple orange sorbet punch
48 ounces orange sorbet, softened
46 ounces pineapple juice
7 cups Hawaiian punch, chilled
1 liter ginger ale
1. In a large punch bowl, thoroughly mix the orange sorbet and pineapple juice.
2. Add the Hawaiian punch and ginger ale. Add ice, stir and serve.
Pineapple mint mojito
10 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
2 packets Splenda (or the equivalent of any favorite sweetener)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup club soda
1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves with your sweetener of choice.
2. Add pineapple juice, lime juice and ice and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.
3. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice and top off with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Strawberry citrus mocktail
For strawberry syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup strawberries, pulsed and chopped in a blender
1 tablespoon strawberry syrup
1 cup lemon-lime soda (or club soda if you like the drink less sweet)
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon mashed strawberries, optional
1. To prepare strawberry syrup: Mix sugar, water, and strawberries together in a pot. Heat over medium heat until mixture boils. Stir while boiling until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer to strain liquid syrup from the strawberries. If you like, you can add a little of the mashed berries right into the syrup mixture.
2. To prepare mocktail: Mix strawberry syrup, lemon-lime soda and mashed berries together. Pour into drink glasses and add ice if desired.
Sparkling blue mocktail
2 ounces blue fruit punch
Sparkling white grape juice or sparkling cider
Blue sprinkles, optional as garnish
1. Place some of the blue sprinkles on a plate (If using). Dip the top of a champagne glass or other glass in water and then dip it in the blue sprinkles.
2. Place the 2 ounces of blue fruit punch in the champagne glass or other cup. Then add in the sparkling white grape juice or cider until glass is full. Makes one serving.
1 orange, sliced
1 cup cranberries
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 cups cranberry juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup pomegranate juice
2 cups Sierra Mist or Sprite soda
1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring
1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher or punch bowl over ice. Recipe can be easily doubled if needed.