Non-Alcoholic Alternatives for Holiday Cheer

Health Professional

The prescription bottle reads: Do Not Mix With Alcohol.

For those who do not drink alcohol, the holidays can be a little tough because of all the parties, gatherings, and festivities. Rather than cave into the cravings triggered by the surrounding sights, sounds, tastes and smells; be prepared with some non-alcoholic alternatives that are just as satisfying and won't leave you tipsy.

A party just is not a party without punch. And with a tasty punch, no one will miss the alcohol. Instead of a champagne punch, try a sparkling punch made with cider and juice. Another twist on a party punch uses black tea as the base with ginger ale as the sweetener. Now that will keep everyone lively. By serving a non-alcoholic party punch, a host is able to politely include everyone in the festivities without making anyone feel ostracized.

Since it is the holidays, you and/or your guests might be craving some eggnog. Some eggnog recipes do include alcohol, though it can be omitted. Some eggnog recipes are easy and alcohol-free. If hosting guests, you can always leave some bottles or rum, whiskey and/or brandy on the side as a way to say that alcohol is not included and optional. Again, a good batch of eggnog is like a great party punch, you and/or your guest will not miss the alcohol.

If you miss walking around mingling with friends with a glass of something in your hands, you might want to grab a glass and fill it with something festive yet alcohol-free. Sparkling mineral water mixed with any juice - especially pomegranate juice - can be just as satisfying as wine (and healthy too). Remember to use a real wine glass in order to fully partake in the experience and satisfy your craving with a sobering, suitable substitute. For the "cosmo" lovers, a martini glass can be filled with a non-alcoholic version, just ask the bartender. After you raise your glass and ring in the New Year, everyone will be looking to you for a ride home.

And the Holiday season would not be complete without a glass of good, old-fashion mulled cider. Just the smell alone will bring you comfort and joy. Try to find the best, natural cider or apple juice that you can buy and then garnish it with all your favorite citrus and spice, no alcohol required. Nothing tastes better on a cold winter's day.

Avoiding alcohol is hard to do especially during the holiday season. With some simple substitutions and omissions, there is no reason to feel left out in the cold. So grab a glass, join the party and have Happy Holidays.