It’s that time of year again, when thoughts are turning to seasonal and holiday celebrations. Whether your office party is large or small, you have to decide whether or not to serve alcohol. Many employers are choosing not to, as both happiness and safety can be compromised when people are drinking.
Besides juice, soda and coffee alcohol-free punches and mocktails can be a great alternative.
White Christmas Hot Chocolate
12 ounces of milk; 1 1/4 ounces of finely chopped white chocolate; 1 ounce of crushed peppermint or spearmint candy canes; pinch of salt; whipped cream
Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the chocolate, half of the crushed candy canes, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until smooth and creamy, then pour into a coffee mug. Top with whipped cream and remaining crushed candy canes.
8 cups of cranberry juice; 3 cups of apple juice; 5 small cinnamon sticks; 1/3 cup of sugar; 3/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg; 1 teaspoon of whole cloves; 5 orange slices; 3 lemon slices
In a saucepan bring the first six ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for ten minutes. Strain into a heat-resistant punch bowl. Add the fruit slices.
Cold But Sweet Drinks:
Quick Party Eggnog
1 cup of cold eggnog; 1/3 tablespoon of ground cinnamon; 1/3 banana; 2/3 tablespoon maple syrup; 1/3 tablespoon of ground nutmeg
Blend ingredients at medium speed. Pour into a glass and top with more nutmeg.
Cold Chocolate Peppermint
2 scoops of chocolate ice cream; 1 cup of cold milk; dash of peppermint extract; chocolate shavings; peppermint candy cane
Blend the first three ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass and top with chocolate shavings and the candy cane.
Mocktails that mimic the look and “mouth feel” of real cocktails are also popular choices.
Washington Tea Party
Fresh mint leaves and raspberries, divided; 4 cups unsweetened iced tea; 1 cup fresh lime juice; 2 cups club soda; 3/4 cup simple syrup
With a mortar and pestle, muddle, or gently mash together about 10 raspberries and 10 mint leaves. Set aside. In a large pitcher, pour iced tea, lime juice, and club soda. Add ice, muddled raspberries and mint, and the simple syrup. Stir and pour into glasses, and garnish with about 3 raspberries per drink.
3 bunches of mint leaves; 1-1/2 cups fresh lime juice; 3/4 cup simple syrup; 48 ounces chilled ginger ale
With a mortar and pestle, gently mash mint leaves. Set aside. In a large pitcher, stir together the lime juice and simple syrup. Add mint, ice, and ginger ale. Stir and pour into festive glasses. Garnish with whole mint leaves and lime slices.
Simple Citrus Cooler
8 cups fresh red grapefruit juice; 1/2 cup fresh lime juice; 4 cups sparkling water or club soda
Stir together juices and sparkling water or club soda in a pitcher, add plenty of ice, pour into glasses, and garnish with fresh mint sprigs and lime slices.
And of course, let’s not forget that festive standby: party punch!
Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
1 quart pomegranate juice; 2 cups fresh orange juice, strained; 2 cups chilled limeade; 1 (25-ounce) bottle sparkling water; seeds from 3 fresh pomegranates
In a punch bowl, combine the pomegranate juice, orange juice, and limeade. Pour in the sparkling water and float lime and orange slices on top. Fill 12 glasses with ice, sprinkle in the pomegranate seeds, and ladle punch into glasses.
32-ounce bottle cranberry juice cocktail; 46-ounce can unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled; 2 cups orange juice; 2/3 cup lemon juice; 1/2 cup sugar; large bottle 7-Up or other lemon-lime soda
Combine first 5 ingredients. Add soda and stir. Serve in decorative punch bowl.
Frosty Sherbet Punch
3 46-oz cans orange juice; 3 46-oz cans pineapple juice; 3 12-oz cans of apricot nectar; 3 quarts of pineapple sherbet 3 quarts of lemon-lime soda.
Have juice and soda thoroughly chilled. Empty 1 can of each juice, and 1 quart of soda in a punch bowl. Add a quart of sherbet and spoon the liquid over sherbet until partially melted; serve. When supply runs low, repeat.