When you think about New Year’s Eve often the images of champagne toasts come to mind. This year, however, maybe you’d like a non-alcoholic alternative to champagne. The good news is, you don’t have to give up the spirit of the holiday if you’re giving up the alcohol. Almost any bubbly beverage housed in a champagne flute can set the tone for a fun New Year’s Eve celebration.
Here are some of my favorite non-alcoholic beverages that will keep the toasts jubilant and the mood effervescent.
One of my all-time non-alcoholic favorites is cola or soda and fruit juice combinations. If you’re looking for a similar look to champagne citrus flavored sodas mixed with your favorite juice make excellent bubbly concoctions. My favorite is grapefruit soda mixed with a splash of cranberry juice. But grape, strawberry or blueberry taste great too. If you don’t mind departing from the look of champagne, try cola with your favorite juice splashed in. If you’re on a diet and you don’t want the extra sugar of soda, diet soda works well too. (There’s a reason all those diet colas are now offering fruit flavor combinations like cherry and lemon/lime: they taste great!)
My second favorite festive, yet non-alcoholic, drink is sparkling fruit juice. There are many versions for sale in supermarkets or specialty stores. Sparkling apple cider or grape juice are common choices. Or, if you want to be more sophisticated, you can try sparkling strawberry, blueberry or pomegranate juice, to name a few.
If you don’t want to buy commercial sparkling juices, you can make a simple spritzer. Club soda or seltzer with a splash of your favorite fruit juice to taste works very well. My favorites are cranberry, grape or kiwi-strawberry juice splashed into seltzer. For a sweeter flavor use more juice. For a drier flavor just use less juice.
If you want a very exotic and festive looking drink, try flavored seltzer/club soda and your favorite color of food coloring. A bright blue, pink or purple bubbly drink in a champagne flute will make your friends ask for the recipe–but you don’t have to tell them your secret.
OK, now don’t laugh. How about a chocolate drink spritzer? Chocolate flavored soda or your favorite cold chocolate drink mixed with seltzer or club soda. Add a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top and voilà another delicious way to ring in the new year.
If you have a blender handy and want to get creative you can always make a fruit juice and carbonated water smoothie. Fresh fruit and fruit juice, ice cream or yogurt, carbonated water and ice blended and poured into the traditional flute or other festive glass garnished with a sliced lemon or lime will definitely hit the spot.
These are just five of my favorite holiday drinks that have worked well for me on New Year’s Eve and all year long. The different options for non-alcoholic champagne alternatives are many if you use your imagination. I hope I’ve helped give you some suggestions to help you have a healthy, happy and alcohol-free New Year.