Smug as a bug

I was sitting pretty and feeling great when my boyfriend got a bad cold last week…I’d been drinking echinacea tea almost daily, getting enough sleep, and eating lots of wonderful winter veggies like squash and kale.  My immune system is strong, I thought, I am not susceptible.  Too smug!  It started in my throat and moved up to my head.  While I’m hopeful that this means I’ve paid my dues and will be healthy for the holidays, it got me thinking – what to drink when you want to feel festive, but know that alcohol will make you feel even worse?

Mocktails to the rescue

On top of being alcohol-free, mocktails are actually a great opportunity to get some much-needed hydration and virus-fighting vitamins & minerals.  But many of them call for added sugar in the form of concentrates, syrups, or sodas.  Here are 3 mocktails I “mocked” up to improve the nutrient balance.  It’s always a good idea to offer a non-alcohol beverage if you’re hosting, but you could bring one as a guest to contribute, too – most people just bring wine, so your concoction will get special attention.  Other great times to use these recipes: for kid’s parties, Christmas morning brunch, pregnant women’s groups, or church events!

Non-Alcoholic Sangria
Cut out the 1/2 cup of sugar; instead brew with a fruit-infused black tea (less astringent!)

Cranberry apple cider punch
Sub OJ for orange juice concentrate; infuse with sliced fresh ginger instead of ginger ale; add club soda

Blueberry Mojito

Muddle blueberries with mint; eliminate sugar & add Buchi’s Elderberry Blueberry Coconut Kombucha to taste instead.

I’ve also pinned some on my Pinterest boards – check them out for extra inspiration!  If none of these hit the spot (though I’d be surprised!) try this: type in *herb of choice* + *fruit of choice* + *cocktail or mocktail* (use Pinterest or google) and something will come up…I haven’t found a combo that doesn’t yield something delicious-sounding yet!  Rosemary peach?  You bet.  Thyme apple?  Sure.  Lavender kiwi?  Sounds weird, but…yup, it’s there.  Post below if you do find a combo that doesn’t exist…maybe there should be a recipe for it!