Christmas can be a difficult time of year for non-drinkers and especially for those who have just come out of rehab.
There are not only potentially difficult family reunions and the stress of preparing a meal and buying presents for for the big day, but also the fact that alcohol seems to play a huge part in how we celebrate Christmas, especially in the UK.
So we have come up with a few winter mocktails to help the non-drinker through the festive season – just one warning: make sure you make enough because you’ll probably find that everyone else wants some too!
A note to hosts: As with any food or drink, presentation makes all the difference. Prepare non-alcoholic drinks as you would alcoholic drinks – don’t offer a can of coke, instead make the non-drinker feel special by serving the drink in an attractive glass with ice and lemon.
Ginger, spices, vanilla… these flavours help create warm sensations to thaw us out from the chilly weather.
Vanilla Eggnog (Serves 6)
There are lots of different ways to make this winter warmer. We have taken one recipe and replaced the alcohol with vanilla and nutmeg/cinnamon for added flavour.
- 1 litre milk
- 260 grams sugar
- 12 large egg yolks
- 200ml chilled double cream
- Whole vanilla pod
- Grated nutmeg or cinnamon
In medium saucepan, whisk milk and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks. Whisking constantly, pour hot mixture into yolks in a slow and steady stream.
Add the vanilla pod.
Return mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 20 to 25 minutes; do not let simmer.
Quickly strain into a bowl. Stir in the cream. Cool completely; cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled.
Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Recipe.
Sparkling Pom Collins
- 30ml soda water
- 60ml pomegranate juice
- Fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
- 1 lime
Squeeze 1 slice of lime into a tall glass and fill with ice
Add the pomegranate juice
Next add the soda water and stir
Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds
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- 300ml tomato juice
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Pinch of salt
- Celery stick
- Ice cubes
Mix the tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt and ice cubes. Taste and add any additional seasonings.
Pour into a tall glass and garnish with celery stick.
Castle Craig’s Christmas Punch (Serves 6)
Christmas Eve at Castle Craig is traditionally celebrated with a community gathering, singing carols and traditional readings, a visit from Santa Claus and afterwards a glass of spicy non-alcoholic punch. The recipe for this warming drink was created by Castle Craig Founder Peter McCann many years ago and continues to bring Christmas spirit to our patients on Christmas eve.
- 1 litre apple juice
- 500ml orange juice
- 200ml water
- A good slug of ginger cordial (enough to make it firey)
- Slices of orange
- 16 whole cloves
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 desert spoon sugar
Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat the mixture and simmer gently over a low heat for about 10 minutes (do not boil).
Pour the warm punch into warm glasses, making sure everyone gets a slice of orange.
Quick and Easy Drinks
Mix elderflower cordial and soda water with ice and a lemon wedge.
Soda and Lime:
Mix the lime cordial and soda water with ice and a lime wedge.
Ginger ale and Lime:
Crush some fresh ginger and mix with ice, lime cordial and ginger ale.
Tonic and Lime:
Tonic water + ice + a wedge of lime = simple and delicious.