two glasses of eggnog on festive serving tray | non alcoholic holiday drinks

Whether it’s a holiday celebration or a small gathering with friends, wintertime is the perfect occasion to experiment with festive drinks. Making fun drinks for parties doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. In fact, making flavored syrups from scratch for “mocktails” (non-alcoholic drinks) can be cost-effective, easy, and quick. You can even repurpose any extra syrup as a dessert topping—try drizzling on ice cream or cake. 

Most of the following drink recipes have a special component that diversifies them from common holiday-themed drinks. The addition of herbs like rosemary helps add a slight aromatic flavor. You can use any fall herb, like fresh mint, lavender, or thyme. Although fresh fruit and herbs are the best ingredients for a flavorful drink, they’re not always easy to find at local markets (especially in the winter). In a pinch, you can use frozen fruit or dried herbs. Chai tea concentrate is another unique ingredient that incorporates many cold-weather flavors, including cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. If you’re not a fan of chai tea or can’t find the concentrate, you can swap it with apple cider or brew a strong batch of Earl Grey or spiced cinnamon tea. 

If you don’t have a bartender-style shaker, don’t worry. You can easily shake and strain using a mason jar and a mesh strainer.

Each of the following syrup recipes makes enough for multiple drinks. However, each drink recipe yields one drink. If you would like to make additional drinks, simply repeat the steps.

Very berry rosemary spritz

rosemary spritz | non alcoholic holiday drinks

Berry syrup 

  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • ¾ cup strawberries  
  • ¼ cup blackberries
  • ¼ cup raspberries  
  1. Make simple syrup by adding water and sugar to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 3–5 minutes or until the mixture becomes homogeneous (i.e., the same texture throughout) and there are no visible sugar granules. Set syrup aside to cool down.
  2. Using a blender, add berries and ⅓ cup simple syrup. Blend until smooth. 
  3. Using a mesh strainer, strain the berry syrup to remove seeds.
  4. Place berry syrup in a large cup and set aside. 

Spritz

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup berry syrup
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary (dried or fresh)
  • ½ cup ice (plus more for serving)
  • ½ cup club soda  

Garnish 

  • Sprig of rosemary  
  • Slice of lemon  
  1. In a shaker or mason jar, add ice, lemon juice, berry syrup, and rosemary. 
  2. Shake well and use a strainer to strain the liquid into your serving cup of choice. 
  3. Top with club soda and serve with enough ice to fill the remainder of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a slice of lemon. 

Mocha espresso mock-tini

espresso mocktini | non alcoholic holiday drinks

Chocolate syrup 

  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 cup cane sugar 
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder  
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add sugar and salt, and sift in cocoa powder. 
  2. Whisk the mixture for 3–5 minutes, or until sugar granules have dissolved, using a wire whisk. Stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Transfer syrup to a large cup and allow it to cool down.   

Mocha espresso mock-tini

  • ½ cup ice
  • ¼ cup brewed espresso (or strong coffee)
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1½ tablespoons chocolate syrup 

Garnish 

  • Coffee beans  
  • Salt
  1. In a shaker, add ice, espresso, coconut milk, and chocolate syrup. 
  2. Mix well and strain the liquid into your serving cup of choice. Serve with a garnish of coffee beans and a sprinkle of salt. 

Chai tea eggnog

chai tea eggnog | non alcoholic holiday drinks

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup ice 
  • ⅓ cup chai tea concentrate 
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk (plus more for serving)  
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg 
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional: Maple syrup, to taste  

Garnish 

  • Dash cinnamon  
  • Salt
  1. Place all ingredients into a shaker. Shake well and strain the liquid into your serving cup of choice. 
  2. Stir in additional cinnamon and add enough milk to fill the remainder of the cup. 
  3. Garnish with cinnamon and salt.
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