When you throw a party, you should always have some non-alcoholic beverages available for people who don't want to drink for one reason or another. Normally, soda or juice is what's set out for the DDs, but these drinks aren't very fun. Compared to your colorful punch and cocktails, a can of pop is boring.
To keep your parties exciting for everyone attending, here are six wintry boozy drink ideas and their virgin alternatives:
1. Moscow Mule
Mixing up some Moscow Mules is always fun, especially if you have copper mugs to serve them in. The best part is that they're easy to make. All you need is lime juice, ginger beer, soda water, and lemongrass.
For those indulging at your party, switch out the soda water for your choice of vodka. Mix in as much lime juice as you like, and then stir the whole drink with your stick of lemongrass to give it a little extra flavor.
Your guests will love this wintry drink, and those who are abstaining from alcohol will appreciate the fact that you also made a virgin alternative. To make it clear which drinks are non-alcoholic, either label the pitchers or serve them in different glasses.
2. Dirty Shirley
If you want something that's quick and easy, the Dirty Shirley is a lifesaver during any party. Not only is this a super simple drink to make, but it looks fancy, too.
To prepare your Dirty Shirley, all you need is a lemon-lime flavored soda (7-Up or Mountain Dew are popular choices), cherry-flavored vodka, grenadine syrup, maraschino cherries, and lime wedges for garnish.
Add some ice to a glass and pour the soda and vodka over the top. Mix these two together and then slowly pour the grenadine into the drink near the side so it can sink to the bottom of the glass. Drop in a couple of cherries, stick a lime wedge on the side, and serve. For a non-alcoholic version, simply leave out the vodka.
3. Hot Buttered Rum
Stay warm during your party with hot buttered rum. You'll love this creamy drink and its spicy flavor. Simple recipes for this drink only call for five ingredients: hot milk, dark spiced rum, butter, brown sugar, and nutmeg.
Mix the hot milk and one tablespoon of brown sugar together in a mug. When the sugar has dissolved, mix in some dark rum (to taste), and then float a tablespoon of butter on top of the beverage. Sprinkle nutmeg over the top to complete your drink and enjoy!
Skip the rum for your virgin alternative. This recipe is great for a laid-back party setting if people just want to sit and sip on a good drink.
4. Gin and Tonic
You can easily transform a gin and tonic into a festive wintry drink by adding a few extra ingredients. Regular gin and tonic recipes call for gin, tonic water, lime juice, and a lime wedge. To make this drink more fun for your party, add some cranberries and orange rind to the mix. You'll love the extra flavor you get from these small seasonal additions.
For the non-alcoholic version of this drink, you're not just going to serve tonic water. Switch out the gin for lightly crushed juniper berries and fine-grained sugar. These berries are used to give gin its flavor, so mixing them into the tonic water will mimic the original beverage.
5. Hot Cranberry Punch
Every party needs some punch, and one that's hot is even better for winter soirees. Break out two slow cookers to make the drink in. One will be for the alcoholic version and the other will hold the non-alcoholic punch. At the bottom of your slow cooker, add:
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/4 cup of light brown sugar
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
On top of this you're going to pour 4 cups of cranberry juice, 2 cups of apple juice, and 1/2 cup of orange juice. Stir everything together, and then turn the slow cooker on high and cook the punch for two to three hours. When your guests arrive, turn the cooker to warm and set a ladle in the mix so guests can serve themselves.
For an alcoholic version, mix some vodka into the punch. The amount is up to you, so add what tastes right.
6. Apple Cider Punch
Another delicious punch recipe you should try uses apple-cider. This is the perfect wintry drink for any occasion, so make some for your event. You'll need:
- 1/2 gallon of apple cider
- 1 bottle of sparkling apple cider
- 1 quart of white grape juice
- 8 teaspoons of star anise
- 8 ounces of orange juice
- Dark rum to taste
Mix all of these ingredients together in a punch bowl, and set it on your table for guests. Leave the bottle of rum to the side so your guests can add what they'd like to their own glasses. This way, you don't have to make two separate bowls of punch to satisfy those who aren't drinking.
To add a little flair to this beverage, leave a plate of apple slices on the side that people can use as garnish. Now, they have a tasty drink and a treat to finish it off.