Delicious Alcohol Alternatives to Try Around the Holidays

By Jennifer Hanway • Published 12/15/2023

Jennifer Hanway, board-certified holistic nutrition professional, enjoys a delicious alcohol alternative during the holidays

Tis the season to be jolly! But with all the work parties, social gatherings, and family events, even the most resilient of us can find ourselves feeling less than fantastic during the festive season. Eating lots of heavy food and staying up late can play a large part in this. Drinking lots of alcohol around the holidays can also dampen our holiday spirit.

For those going through menopause, drinking less alcohol may help reduce hot flashes and night sweats. It can also help you get a better night's sleep and reduce your risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Those in menopause may want to consider lowering their alcohol intake as part of working towards a healthier lifestyle.

In this article we’ll share some delicious, alcohol-free holiday drink options that can help you stay in the holiday spirit without sacrificing your health.

Here are some simple ideas for refreshing, alcohol-free alternatives to holiday drinks:

  • Fruit punches made with sparkling water and fruit juice, like a mix of pomegranate juice, lime juice, and sparkling water.
  • You can also use ingredients such as cranberry juice, ginger, or fresh herbs to add a festive touch.

Alternatively, try adding one of the recipes below to your holiday drinks rotation to help you stay feeling light, bright, and energized throughout the festive season.

Sparkling Holiday Fruit Punch

Ingredients:
(makes 4-6 servings)

  • 2 cups mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 2 cups 100% cranberry juice
  • 2 cups sparkling water or club soda
  • Ice cubes
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a large pitcher, combine the mixed berries, pomegranate seeds, and sliced citrus fruits.
  2. Pour in the cranberry juice and give it a gentle stir.
  3. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  4. Just before serving, add the sparkling water or club soda to the fruit mixture. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Fill glasses with ice cubes, pour the sparkling holiday fruit punch over the ice, and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
two glasses of alcohol alternative virgin egg nog to celebrate holiday cheer

Healthier Virgin Eggnog

Eggnog is a popular holiday treat, but the traditional version can be high in calories, sugar, and saturated fat. It’s also often mixed with hard liquor such as whisky, rum, or brandy. Choosing a healthier virgin option means you can still enjoy the warming spices and comforting creaminess of eggnog and still feel fabulous afterwards.

Ingredients:
(makes 4-6 servings)

  • 2 cups milk of your choice
  • 1 cup coconut milk (full fat)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Ice cubes (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, combine the two types of milk. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it's about to simmer. Do not let it boil.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, honey or maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla extract.
  3. Slowly pour a small amount of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This will help temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling.
  4. Gradually pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the warm milk, whisking constantly.
  5. Continue to heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until it thickens slightly (around 5-7 minutes).
  6. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the eggnog cool to room temperature. You can place it in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  7. Chill the eggnog in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  8. Stir well before serving.
Jennifer Hanway, board-certified nutrition professional, enjoying alcohol alternatives for some holiday cheer

Non-Alcoholic Mulled Cider Recipe

Mulled wines and ciders are a warming festive favorite. But their ‘drinkability’ can also make it easy to consume too much alcohol without realizing it. This non-alcoholic mulled cider recipe is family-friendly and contains some health-boosting antioxidants from the fruits and spices.

Ingredients:
(makes 6-8 servings)

  • 1/2 gallon (about 2 liters) of apple cider
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 orange, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 apple, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (optional, for sweetness)
  • A pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
  • Optional garnish: cinnamon sticks, orange slices, or apple slices

Instructions:

  1. Pour the apple cider into a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, nutmeg, orange slices, lemon slices, and apple slices to the cider. Stir to combine, and add a little honey or maple syrup if you like a sweeter taste.
  3. Heat the cider mixture over medium heat until it just starts to simmer (do not boil).
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15-20 minutes.
  5. Pour into mugs or heatproof glasses and garnish with cinnamon sticks and fruit slices.


Well-Balanced White Russian

Give the classic after-dinner holiday cocktail a healthier twist! Swap out the heavy cream for creamy coconut milk, add magnesium rich cacao powder, and sweeten it with honey or maple syrup. You could even consider using decaffeinated coffee to keep the classic taste without affecting your sleep.

Ingredients:
(makes 1-2 servings)

  • Ice cubes
  • 1 cup cold brew coffee or strong-brewed coffee, chilled
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (adjust to taste)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 drops vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Fill a glass with ice and pour the chilled coffee over it.
  2. In a separate container, whisk together the coconut milk, almond milk, cacao powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and honey or maple syrup until well combined.
  3. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the coffee.

Learn more about Jennifer Hanway and our other Versalie advisors.

Last Updated 2/15/2024

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