Christmas and new year can lead to some heavy celebrations. Whilst I’m sure we all have no regrets, sometimes it’s true that you can have too much of a good thing. So whether you’re doing Dry January, or whether you’re simply trying to restore balance after an indulgent December, you might be looking for some delicious alcohol alternatives.
You can buy a variety of different alcohol-free wines and beers, but in my experience during pregnancies, with one or two exceptions, they vary from average to downright gross. I’m yet to try the alcohol-free gin, which is a great option for the health-conscious, but it does come at a price.
So I’ve put together some fabulous cocktail recipes that are all killer, no-booze filler. From a girly brunch to a birthday night out, there’s something here for any occasion – they’ll taste great and won’t break the bank.
Replace the Cointreau or triple sec (orange liqueur) in a typical Cosmo with fresh orange to keep that sweet but citrusy taste, use extra cranberry juice for the base instead of vodka and achieve the zing with fresh lime juice.
Garnish with orange peel or lime wedge, serve in a martini glass just like the classic and voila – a Cosmo that the Sex and the City girls would be proud of (if they were tee total).
A margarita is one of my absolute favourites but as we all know, it’s mostly tequila which can be tricky to swap out. So it’s all about capturing that zingy party feel without the alcohol.
Blend up some good quality cloudy lemonade, freshly squeezed lime juice, sugar and ice, and freeze. Bring out of the freezer about 30 minutes before you want to drink them, so they have that lovely slushy texture. Use salt rimmed glasses and no one will be able to tell the difference.
When I was pregnant on my 30th birthday (foolish mistake!), I had a fabulous non-alcoholic mojito made with fresh herbs and I can safely say it’s a great cocktail that lends itself to being alcohol-free.
You can make all sorts of fruity variations, but I prefer a take on the classic, mixing soda water with splashes of apple juice and elderflower cordial, muddled together with plenty of lime, fresh mint and crushed ice. A refreshing delight!
If you’re looking to recreate those chilled summer vibes, a woo woo is so easy to make alcohol-free. Just equal parts orange and pineapple juice, mixed with drops of grenadine, bitters and lemon juice. Then you can really go to down on the decorations – fruit garnishes, umbrellas and streamers are a must!
This is my Mum’s favourite cocktail, but she has been known to not be able to handle the pace of the party, so an alcohol-free version comes in handy – just blend pineapple juice and cream of coconut with ice, and garnish with fresh pineapple and maraschino cherries.
You can also use coconut milk or fresh pineapple for the mix, it just depends on your preferred consistency.
If all of these alcohol-free cocktails have left you with a simulated hangover, then you need the ultimate alcohol-free hangover cure – the bloody Mary!
The base is just tomato juice and you add as much or as little of the extras as you like, the beauty being that you can mix up your perfect drink. Typical additions are Tabasco sauce, lime juice, celery salt, black pepper, or even horse radish or HP sauce! Served with ice and all swirled up with a celery stick.
Let me know below if any of these ideas are getting you salivating for a booze-free January!