Alcoholic drinks rule the scene when it comes to the holidays. Mulled wine, Christmas punch, spiked eggnog, hard cider, and many others all make the list time and time again. But, you don’t need to have alcohol to enjoy the holiday spirit. There are many delicious non-alcoholic holiday drinks too.
These drinks have some advantages too. You’re not going to get a hangover from them and you’re less likely to do something that you’ll regret later.
Many of the drinks taste amazing too. After all, you don’t have the strong flavor of any spirit to contend with, making it much easier to get the flavors you’re looking for.
Non-Alcoholic Holiday Drinks
- Sparkling Grape Juice
- Spiced Ginger Beer
- Non-Alcoholic Sangria
- Hot Chocolate
- Juice Spritzers
- White Chocolate Mocktini
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Eggnog Hot Chocolate
- Christmas Cranberry Mocktail
- Tea and Cider Warmer
- Non-Alcoholic Hot Toddy
- Infused Water
- Mulled ‘Wine’
- Virgin Cocktails
Sparkling Grape Juice
Sparkling grape juice is an easy alternative to sparkling wine. You’re still getting delicious bubbles and even some of the same flavors. But, there is no alcohol to worry about.
The fun thing is that the grape juice looks almost the same as sparkling wine. This is perfect if only some of your guests don’t drink alcohol, as they won’t feel left out.
Sparkling grape juice is also great for kids. If you serve it in fancy glasses, they’ll feel like they are having the same experience as the adults.
Spiced Ginger Beer
While you can enjoy any type of soda during the holidays, spiced ginger beer is especially suitable. Bundaberg is known for their version of this product, which includes cinnamon and cloves, along with the ginger beer.
Bundaberg has been releasing this ginger beer seasonally for a few years now, although it took longer to hit the American markets.
You could also make your own version of spiced ginger beer. This could be done by adding flavor ingredients during the secondary fermentation phase.
Eggnog is a fantastic choice, as you can make an alcoholic or a non-alcoholic version. Either way, the drink ends up being delicious, rich, and creamy.
You can also choose whether you want to make the eggnog yourself or rely on a store-bought option. Buying eggnog from the store is the easiest choice and there are plenty of products to choose from.
But honestly, making eggnog yourself isn’t that difficult. You just need to find a recipe online. Homemade eggnog could be the best choice for many families, as you have complete control over the ingredients, along with the final taste and texture of the drink.
There are even dairy-free and vegan eggnog recipes out there. These mean that almost everyone can enjoy eggnog, regardless of the diet they’re following.
Sangria is a classic red wine cocktail, so making a non-alcoholic version might sound a little odd. Still, you can do so if you’re willing to get a bit creative.
The site Inspired by Charm lists one such version. This cocktail combines cranberry juice with brewed black tea and sparkling red grape juice. You can use some fresh fruit and cinnamon sticks to make the flavor even closer to a traditional sangria.
Who can go past a hot chocolate? The drink is rich, creamy, and warming – everything you need for a holiday season.
Plus, you can make it however you like. You might focus on a rich version, one that uses cocoa, cream, and chocolate. Or, you might go much simpler and rely on a hot chocolate mix and low fat milk.
There are even plenty of recipes that use plant-based milk. These are perfect for vegans and anyone who is lactose intolerant. Besides, sometimes you just might not want milk in the evening.
Punch is such an easy holiday choice, as there are endless variations to the drink. You don’t need to get too precise either. Most of the time you can just toss your ingredients without worrying too much about quantities.
While alcohol is often used in punch, you can easily leave it out too.
If you do so, your main ingredients will be fruit juices and some type of soda. Sprite or Sierra Mist work well here, as they provide bubbles and sweetness without adding too much flavor. Soda water is a perfect alternative if your punch is getting sweet.
Or, if you’re looking for some flavor from the soda, try ginger beer or ginger ale instead.
Cranberry juice, orange juice, and apple juice are all common punch additions. Pomegranate can be used too, along with less common types of juice. You could add some lime juice for a little tartness.
Juice is an easy alternative to alcohol. Still, it can get a little boring. Why not jazz it up a little and make a juice spritzer instead?
The idea is simple. You’re adding some type of soda to your juice, which lightens your drink up and adds delightful bubbles.
Any type of carbonated water can work well here, like club soda, sparkling mineral water, or seltzer. These products don’t use sweetener, so you’re toning your drink down, rather than making it sweeter.
Ginger ale can work too. While this is often sweetened, it also provides a spicy flavor contrast that is perfect with some fruit juices.
A juice spritzer isn’t limited to one type of juice and one type of soda either. You can combine multiple juices into the same drink, like a cranberry, blood orange, and pomegranate juice spritzer.
White Chocolate Mocktini
White chocolate martinis are a great seasonal treat. You don’t need to miss out simply because you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option. The trick is to simply change the recipe.
For example, one version involves making a white hot chocolate and allowing it to cool. Mix this with white chocolate syrup and a peppermint coffee creamer. This will give you a perfect flavor and texture combination.
You could play around with other ingredients too, like cream or coconut cream, white chocolate, or peppermint essence. You might stumble on some amazing drinks with a little experimenting.
Cider, particularly hot cider, works well for the holidays too. It’s just what you need if you’re serving an apple pie or anything with winter spices like cinnamon.
You can take cider a step further too, by heating it in a slow cooker along with orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and other spices. You end up with a warm apple drink that follows the same principles as mulled wine.
However, we do need to make a distinction here. In the United States, the term cider is normally used for the non-alcoholic drink. Here, cider is basically raw apple juice that hasn’t gone through filtration or pasteurization. Spices are often added too.
Hard cider, on the other hand, tends to be sparkling and alcoholic.
The words are used differently elsewhere. For example, in the UK and New Zealand, cider is a fermented alcoholic drink.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
This drink has become a seasonal classic and it is naturally alcohol-free. Don’t bother with buying a pumpkin spice latte from somewhere like Starbucks. You’ll get a much more delicious drink if you make it yourself.
The basic recipe relies on pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, and some type of milk or plant-based milk. But, of course, there are plenty of variations out there. You can easily tweak the recipe to make your own version.
For example, some people add a shot of espresso to create a pumpkin spice latte that actually contains caffeine, while others skip the coffee entirely.
And, for that matter, why focus on pumpkin spice at all? There are other lattes out there that are just as delicious and warming. A gingerbread latte is another fantastic seasonal choice. Or, how about a matcha latte? These can be delicious and soothing.
Eggnog Hot Chocolate
Eggnog and hot chocolate are both easy non-alcoholic choices for the holidays. So, why not combine them and get the best of both worlds?
This approach works better than you might expect. The eggnog helps to make the hot chocolate richer, but the drink isn’t nearly as rich as a full mug of eggnog. Plus, you’re getting a hot drink that’s perfect for the cold winter nights.
Christmas Cranberry Mocktail
Mocktails are delightful ways to enjoy the flavors of a cocktail without any alcohol at all. Many are variations on classic cocktails, but you can make completely new creations too.
This one uses cranberry juice, which gives it the red coloring and a seasonal flavor. Other ingredients include apple juice (or apple cider), orange juice, and ginger ale. The ginger ale helps to make the drink refreshing, while stopping it from being too sweet.
If possible, focus on freshly squeezed orange juice rather than anything from the store. Fresh juice tends to be tarter and doesn’t have the overwhelming sweetness that you find with the processed stuff.
Tea and Cider Warmer
This drink is made by steeping your tea bags in hot cider rather than in water. This creates a richer flavor than a regular mug of tea and is just what you need in the winter months.
You could add some other ingredients too, like cinnamon or perhaps honey. This would give you a drink that’s a bit similar to a hot toddy – minus the alcohol.
Non-Alcoholic Hot Toddy
While the classic hot toddy relies on alcohol, you can normally just leave the booze out of most hot toddy recipes. The hot drink will still taste just as good. You might even find that you enjoy this approach more.
This is another holiday drink where there are plenty of variations.
Classic recipes tend to rely on hot water, lemon juice, honey, ginger, and cinnamon. Some versions add tea as well, which creates a more potent drink. There are even recipes that rely on green tea.
Apple cider can be added as well or used instead of the water. This makes the drink much sweeter, so you’ll need to be careful with the amount that you put in.
Have you tried infused water? The idea is simple. You’re soaking various pieces of fruit and veggies in water, along with herbs. The water takes on some of the flavors from those ingredients, making it delicious and refreshing.
Infused water has some serious advantages too.
For one thing, it is a low calorie drink. After all, you’re basically just drinking water with a little flavoring. There aren’t any sweeteners or artificial ingredients to worry about either.
Infused water is also versatile. You can pick and choose the ingredients that you include in it. You could easily make a Christmas version, like cranberry and mint infused water.
Making non-alcoholic mulled wine is surprisingly simple. Pomegranate juice is the ideal base for the drink, as it has a rich flavor and the deep red color you’re looking for.
Try adding some fresh blackberries too. These will give your drink even more richness.
You can prepare the drink in a pot on the stovetop, just like you would with mulled wine. Heating the drink this way is important, as you need to infuse the flavors of the spices into the liquid.
You could also play around with other ingredients, like sweetener, apple juice, or orange juice. Each addition would change the drink's flavor, so take the time to find the version that you enjoy the most.
Many cocktails have a virgin version. This means that you’re getting the gist of the cocktail, without the alcohol. How well this works will depend on the cocktail. For example, a virgin martini just doesn’t make sense (as a martini just uses two ingredients and they both contain alcohol).
On the other hand, a virgin bloody Mary is a popular drink that tastes just as good as the alcoholic version.
Kombucha was almost unheard of not that long ago. These days it’s a trending drink, partly because it provides you with probiotics that can help improve your health.
You can now buy kombucha at many local stores or you can make your own. The fermented drink starts off with sweetened tea and is then fermented. It ends up with a distinctive flavor and slight fizziness. Kombucha doesn’t appeal to everyone, but if you enjoy the drink, then it’s an easy choice for the holidays.
If kombucha feels too strong on its own, you can add soda water to it. This gives you a lighter fizzy drink.
Smoothies mightn’t be a standard holiday choice, but why not? After all, smoothies can be packed with nutrients. They’re also open to interpretation, as you get to choose the ingredients that you use. Doing so lets you change the flavor, texture, and nutrients of your smoothie. So, if you’re wanting something seasonal, why not include cranberries as an ingredient?