Admittedly, I am an avid drinker, which came to an immediate and abrupt halt the moment I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. And right before the Holiday season, too, when imbibing in varieties of libations is at its peak! I love experimenting and trying cocktails of all sorts, and even have a steady repertoire of classics and seasonal combos up my sleeve. So, I will have to get even more creative this year to keep myself satisfied while I make amazing alcoholic drinks for my guests but am unable to enjoy them myself. This is just the kind of challenge I needed!

So, whether you are the designated driver, pregnant, or making some early New Year’s resolutions, these 6 mocktail recipes will get you through the Holidays and its many parties feeling satisfied.

Wine

I do love a fantastic glass of wine – we went to wine country for our honeymoon, for Pete’s sake! If that doesn’t confirm my love for wine, then maybe this will: I have found a safe substitute that is actually tasty and enjoyable. Fre Alcohol Removed Wines. They carry Chardonnay, Merlot, a Red Blend, White Zinfandel, Moscato, and Brut – which will come in handy for some of our mocktails this Christmas! Best of all, they can be found in the wine aisle at your local grocery store. My favorite is definitely the Merlot, which retains a deep black plum aroma, cherry and spice flavors, and a plush lingering finish that alcoholic wines have. Obviously you can taste that there is no alcohol in it, and to any average Joe it may seem pointless and taste like fancy grape juice. But, when you are forced to refrain from drinking alcohol or choose not to, and you are a wine lover, these Fre alternatives do the job beautifully and are full of great flavors with subtle nuances that you only see in fine wine. Combine that with the feel of your favorite wine glass in your hand, plus friends and family enjoying themselves around you, and you will probably get a healthy contact buzz.

Vanilla Plum Moscato

 2 1/2 cups chopped plums
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean, cut in half
1 cup Fre Moscato
plum slices

  1. Combine the plums, sugar, and water in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Crush the fruit with a potato masher then add the vanilla bean to the pot.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid has reduced and the mixture has thickened.
  3. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the plum mixture into the strainer. Press on the solids with a spatula to extract all of the syrup then discard the solids.
  4. Allow the syrup to cool then store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  5. Pour the syrup in the bottom of a wine glass and top with wine. Stir gently to mix and if desired, drop a few plum slices into the glass before serving.

Christmas Sangria

1 Granny Smith apple
1 lemon or lime
1 cup fresh cranberries or pomegranate seeds
1 large sprig Rosemary
1 bottle Fre Red Blend
1/2 cup white grape juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 can club soda

  1.  Cube the apples, slice the citrus, and combine with cranberries in a pitcher.
  2. Add the sugar, rosemary, and top with Red Blend, grape juice, and club soda.
  3. Stir and let the sugar dissolve. Enjoy over ice.

Champagne

What says “celebration” during the Holidays more than a Champagne toast? Nothing. So, even though these substitutes can never outshine the original bubbly, they come in at a close second. Simple and fragrant, any of these recipes can be made with Fre Brut, Ready to Pop, sparkling apple cider, or even chilled Perrier for a refreshing and alcohol-free start to your evening.

Pear Nectar & Thyme Mimosa

Fre Brut (or club soda/sparkling apple cider), chilled
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
10-12 fresh thyme sprigs
12 oz pear nectar

  1. To make thyme simple syrup, bring water, sugar, and 4 thyme sprigs leaves to a boil, until sugar is dissolved. Let cool, and remove thyme.
  2. Fill each glass with 3 ounces of pear nectar and a sprig of Thyme. Top with Brut and enjoy.

Sage Sparkler

Fre Brut (or club soda/sparkling apple cider), chilled
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
10-12 fresh sage leaves

  1. To make sage simple syrup, bring water, sugar, and 3 sage leaves to a boil, until sugar is dissolved. Let cool, and remove leaves.
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon of the simple syrup with a glass of Brut, and add a sage leaf to garnish.

Cocktails

Whether I host a small get together or a full on rager, I always have at least one signature cocktail or punch. Sparkling apple rum punch with thyme simple syrup, Grapefruit Margaritas, Pineapple Mojitos, Ultimate Bloody Marys, and Elderflower Champagne Cocktails are just some of the recipes that I have served my thirsty guests. Here are some delicious ideas to help you make it through the Holidays alcohol-free.

Champagne Grapefruit Mojito

1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
6 to 8 fresh mint leaves
3 to 4 ounces chilled Fre Brut (or club soda)
Quartered grapefruit slice for garnish

  1. In the bottom of a highball glass, muddle the mint leaves, sugar, and lime juice until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the grapefruit juice.
  3. Fill the glass with ice and top with Brut/soda.
  4. Garnish with grapefruit slice.

Spiced Holiday Punch

 6 cups apple juice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
12 cloves
1 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick
6 cups cranberry juice
ginger ale or Fre Brut

  1. Bring 6 cups apple juice, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 12 cloves, 1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger and 1 cinnamon stick to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain, cool and chill. In a large pitcher combine with 6 cups cranberry juice.
  4. Fill glasses partway with juice mixture and top off with ginger ale or Brut.

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