The Best Holiday Mocktails

Holiday Mocktails

It’s that time of year, full of gatherings of friends and family, and a lot of celebration. Those celebrations often include a cocktail or two, or champagne to ring in the new year. Or maybe a mocktail? For myself personally, I have been cutting back on my alcohol consumption the past couple of years, so it is nice to have a few easy alcohol-free drink recipes on hand to make.

Why I chose to cut back on alcohol…

For the past 4 or 5 years, I have been experiencing extreme anxiety on and off. Now mix that in with the depression I’ve struggled with my entire life, and needless to say, getting through my days and weeks can be quite challenging at times. I know I am not alone in feeling this way, and there seems to be a serious epidemic right now around anxiety and depression.

I have found through trial and error, certain things that make my anxiety worse… alcohol is a major one.

My first major anxiety attack that lasted 3 days and forced me to stay home from work, came about after a very heavy night of drinking alcohol. I woke up, didn’t know what was going on, my whole body was shaking from the inside out, my mind was racing, I sat, then stood, then sat again, and I couldn’t figure out how to get myself straight.

I felt like I was losing my mind. I didn’t know what to do, and I had never experienced this before. 

I did everything I could to just get through the next couple of days and manage these extreme feelings of panic and unease. At the time I had been working in the nightclub industry and drinking regularly, so I didn’t make the connection right away that this was triggered (or aggravated) by the alcohol. It wasn’t until the next big event that included lots of alcohol, and I woke up in a state of panic AGAIN, that I started to see a connection.

I do know now, after years of experiencing these feelings, that alcohol isn’t the only component in this puzzle that I am still putting together. I think it’s a combination of different factors and major stressors that occurred at a certain time in my life. But alcohol is just one element that I have some control over.

Now this isn’t to say that I won’t ever have a drink, I do love a nice glass of wine. That is my choice to still indulge once in awhile. There are times when I might have a few drinks, and wake up fine… and other times I might have one drink and wake up feeling the anxiety. However, if I can find great alternative alcohol-free drinks to have during these festive occasions, then why not make one of these?

You’ve got to try one of these four delicious mocktail recipes I’ve created here. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

 

Christmas Mocktail Mule Cranberry

Ginger-Cranberry Mule Mocktail  (recipe for 1)

  • 1/2 lime, juiced + slices for garnish
  • 5 mint leaves, broken up or muddled in the bottom of the glass + sprig for garnish
  • 1/4 cup pure cranberry juice + whole cranberries for garnish
  • ginger beer
  • 2 Tbsp. honey simple syrup (recipe below)
  • optional: sparkling water
  • ice
  1. Add mint to the bottom of your glass, either in pieces or muddle.
  2. Add lime juice, simple syrup, and cranberry juice.
  3. Fill the rest of the glass with ginger beer (optional: if you don’t like the strong taste of ginger beer, fill the glass half with ginger beer and half with sparkling water)
  4. Add an ice cube, stir and taste (add more syrup if you prefer it sweeter)
  5. Garnish with cranberries, mint and lime slices.
  6. Enjoy!

Honey Simple Syrup

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Add equal parts honey and water to a small saucepan on low heat. I used 1/4 cup each, but you can make more if you are planning to make quite a few drinks. This will last in the fridge for 2 weeks.
  2. Let this heat until the honey has melted into the water, and they have become one (about 5-10 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat, and let cool.

Christmas Mocktail Mule Cranberry Lime Mint

Christmas Mocktail Mule

If you don’t like the traditional egg-nog, not to worry… this dairy-free, egg-free, alcohol-free version will not disappoint! It’s rich and creamy, and full of delicious cinnamon & spice flavours. 

nug nog christmas mocktail

Cinnamon Spice Nut-Nog (recipe for 4)

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter, softened (I soften mine by putting the glass jar in a small pot with a bit of water on boil)
  • 6 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom, ground
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves, ground
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender, and blend on high until very smooth.
  2. Garnish with sprinkled cinnamon, and a cinnamon stick
  3. Enjoy!

 

Cinnamon Spice Nut Nog Christmas

Sweet, sparkling, and a little bit tart from the pure pomegranate juice, this mocktail can be enjoyed all night long, without any regret.

Pomegranate Spritzer Mocktail

Pomegranate Spritzer Mocktail (recipe for 1)

  • pure pomegranate juice + optional: pomegranate seeds for garnish
  • sparkling water
  • 1 lemon
  • honey simple syrup (recipe found in the Christmas Cranberry Mule post above)
  1. Juice half of the lemon, and add to the bottom of the glass.
  2. Add 2 tbsp. simple syrup
  3. Fill half of the glass with pomegranate juice, and the rest of the glass with sparkling water
  4. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and slices of lemon
  5. Enjoy!

 

Pomegranate Lemon Sparkling Water

When contemplating how to ring in the New Year on December 31st, how about trying this version of a “champagne”. With sweet notes of pineapple and white grape, paired with the spritz of a ginger kombucha, this drink is delicious, and won’t leave you with a pesky champagne headache!

Mocktail Champagne Strawberry

Kombucha “Champagne” (recipe for 2)

  • 1 cup ginger kombucha (alternatively you could use ginger ale)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice, chilled
  • 1/2 cup white grape juice
  • strawberries or frozen green grapes for garnish
  1. In a 2 cup mixing glass (or bowl), add the kombucha, pineapple juice, and white grape juice.
  2. Add strawberries cut up, or frozen grapes to the bottom of 2 champagne glasses.
  3. Fill the glasses equally with the kombucha “champagne”
  4. Enjoy!

Champagne Strawberry Mocktail New Years

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