Whether you’re hosting a book club or you’re looking for something to sip as you curl up and relax in front of the fire with your friends, the season hosts a bounty of drinking opportunities. Unfortunately, it also holds a host of hangovers and the danger of possible DUI’s from drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 27 people are killed in a drunk driving-related accident every day on average. According to Katz & Phillips DUI law firm, “a blood alcohol level (BAC) of as little as .01 to .29 can seriously affect your ability to drive safely.” Having a range of beautifully made, non-alcoholic “mocktails” on hand will not only make your gathering the talk of the town, but it will also help to keep your friends and loved ones safe.
National Highway Traffic Safety AdministrationHaving a range of non-alcoholic cocktails on hand adds a bit of sophisticated flair to your party while keeping your friends and loved ones safe and happy.
Tangy Apple Cider
While we all know that many party drinks are contain alcohol, but did you know that some cocktails can be laden with unwanted calories? Since the season offers an endless amount of possibilities with pumpkins, apples and cranberries, you’ll find a variety of tasty beverages for your next soiree. Apple cider makes the perfect beverage for the season, and the spices make it extra tangy and delicious.
1 gallon apple cider
9 cinnamon sticks
5 anise pods
3 teaspoons whole cloves
Orange and apple slices to garnish.
Place the cinnamon sticks, anise pods and whole cloves and wrap in a cheese cloth and tie it all together. Take the apple cider and spice mixture and simmer in a large pot for approximately 10 – 15 minutes. Remove the cheese cloth, and you’re ready to serve to your guests. Add a fresh cinnamon stick and orange or apple slice to garnish the beverage.
Asian Pear Spritzer
The is a great time of the year to integrate new flavors into your entertaining. The Asian pear spritzer mixes seasonal fruits with rich flavors. This non-alcoholic cocktail is ideal for your next party or family event, and would pair wonderfully with cheeses and other appetizers.
1 cup Asian pear juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
½ cup honey
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 small piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
Dash of nutmeg
To make Asian pear juice, you can extract the juice from the pear with a food processor. Place the pears in a food processor until smooth. Strain the mixture and discard any large pieces. Combine together in a medium saucepan the Asian pear juice, honey, sugar, lemon juice, ginger, nutmeg and rosemary. Bring to a boil and simmer on low until the sugars are dissolved. Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a strainer and let cool completely. When you’re ready to serve, fill a tall glass with ice and add three tablespoons of the cooled syrup. Fill the remainder of the glass with sparkling soda and stir. Garnish with a fresh Asian pear wedge.
Ginger Cider Spritzer
If you want to ensure your guests don’t drink and drive or wake up regretting the night before, the trick is to supply them with an assortment of refreshing “mocktails.” With this spicy beverage, party goers won’t even miss the alcohol. Be sure to tempt your guests by serving your non-alcoholic cocktails in beautiful barware and garnish like a pro.
½ pound of finely chopped ginger
32 ounces apple cider
1 bottle of ginger ale
Mix the finely chopped ginger and apple cider together in a serving pitcher. Chill until cool for about an hour. Pour into fluted glasses halfway full and top off with ginger ale. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and sliced ginger.
DUI’s and alcohol-related accidents are a huge problem, particularly around special times of the year. By limiting alcohol at your parties and events, you’re helping to keep your friends and loved ones safe. “Mocktail” parties don’t need to be boring though, and by serving up a selection of inspired, non-alcoholic drinks, your guests won’t even miss the booze.
Nadine Swayne is passionate about issues involving alcohol abuse and offers this article of alternatives. Videos and online resources, such as those found at Katz & Phillips and Alcoholics Anonymous, are great online resources for learning more about alcohol-related problems and issues.