So much thought and preparation goes into what wines to serve at Thanksgiving and other holiday parties, whether to offer cocktails (should I make that boozy punch?) that we often forget that there are people out there who don’t drink. ‘Tis true! The teetotalers, designated drivers and expecting moms at the party deserve something a little more festive than those juice boxes lined up on the kiddie table.
No need to fret over yet another to-do on your list. These are simple drinks. Just stock up on sparkling water, a few indie-gredients and spend a few minutes prepping the night before and these holly jolly drinks will be in the hands of your non-drinkers minutes upon arriving. In fact, they are likely to be the envy of the partakers too, so you could serve everyone soft versions and then set up a station with a jigger and some spirits for those who prefer the stiffer option. Now that sounds like a party.
The kids in us will always love grape juice. The night before, drop a few Concord grapes into the wells of several ice cube trays. Top with Sparkling White Grape Juice and freeze. Save any remaining juice for the party. To serve, plunk ice cubes into a tall glass and top with a combination of Sparkling Red Grape Juice and the leftovers of the white so that the color matches the season. Serve with a festive straw.
Shirley Temples are sweet – but maybe a little too sweet to drink all night long. Unearth the jewel-like seeds (also known as "arils") from a pomegranate and refrigerate until needed. To serve, spoon a few arils into stemless flutes. Add an ounce of chilled Cherry Grenadine and then top with sparkling water.
A taste of the tropics during the holidays helps warm frozen toes. Spread some washed cranberries out in the bottom of a pie plate and freeze overnight. To serve, add a few ice cubes to a lowball glass. Measure an ounce of Pok Pok Pineapple, 2 ounces of cranberry juice and then top with sparkling water. Float a few frozen cranberries on top.
The charms of apple cider and maple syrup are undeniable. Mingling with a hot beverage is asking for trouble, though, so keep the flavors cool by adding a small spoonful of maple sugar to the bottom of a lowball glass. Dissolve with a little water and three sprays of maple bitters. Add an ice cube or 2, a wide curl of lemon peel, 2 ounces of apple cider and top with sparkling water. Garnish with an apple slice or an apple chip.
There’s very little sugar (plus lots of spice!) in this sipper, so you can drink your gingerbread and eat it later too. Sugar some rosemary sprigs the night before by brushing them with the white of 1 egg thinned with a little water, coating them in superfine sugar and then letting them dry. To serve, put a few ice cubes in a highball glass, add 2 ounces of Ginger Spice Mixer, top with sparkling water and garnish with a sugared rosemary sprig.
See, who says we can’t have fun without the hard stuff?