Christmas without alcohol might sound weird to people unless it’s a resolution by someone who’s had to quit drinking altogether. But the truth of the matter is, some people just don’t enjoy alcohol, especially in large quantities it tends to be served during celebrations.
It’s only basic decency to offer them suitable alternatives.
Here are 13 drinks you can serve during Christmas celebrations, keeping up with the theme!
Let’s start with the most obvious. Of course, classic hot cocoa has to be on this list because it's basically Christmas in a cup: it’s warm and sweet, and nostalgic: it's basically the ultimate comfort drink during holiday time, especially if you have fond memories associated with the drink.
But even if your parents have never made you a cup of cocoa on Christmas day, it’s still an easy choice, right on the surface. Even if you’re not much of a Chef, you’d have to put some effort into ruining cocoa. All it takes to make a good cup is some high-quality cocoa or hot chocolate powder and some hot milk. A hint: up the powder-to-milk ratio a bit, compared to the instructions, for a stronger chocolaty taste.
Cocoa is also a highly versatile and customizable drink! You can play around with the original recipe, adding flavored syrups or spices as you see fit to make a more festive drink if the original feels too basic. Try peppermint syrup for a classic Christmasy twist, or a more conventional cinnamon-cardamom-nutmeg spice blend, if the peppermint and chocolate combo is not to your taste.
Old-School Hot Chocolate
Yes, yes, hot chocolate is basically the same as cocoa. But for the sake of this article, we’re making a distinction: when we’re talking about old-school hot chocolate, we mean the drink made with the actual melted chocolate bar.
Here’s a trick to authentic gourmet hot chocolate: it should be made with high-quality dark chocolate, the darker the better (if you find a bar with over 90% cocoa, don’t hesitate!), and whole milk. And you should be patient. That’s the biggest obstacle to making a good cup of thick hot chocolate: heat milk on the medium-low and don’t bring it to a boil, just light simmer, before adding the chocolate.
The recipe is easy, not going crazy for the approximately 20 minutes it’ll take to make the drink - now that can be hard. But trying to hack the recipe usually results in a lower-quality drink. Just not worth it.
If the drink is too bitter for you, you may add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the milk, beforehand. But considering you’ll be adding marshmallows and whipped cream on top of the drink, additionally sweetening the drink shouldn’t be necessary.
“Adult” Hot Chocolate with Coffee
Now, this is for people who like to savor their chocolate on the tongue and debate about the complex flavor notes of high-grade gourmet dark chocolate. Add a shot of espresso to the drink once the chocolate has fully melted and incorporated with the milk.
The combination of chocolate and coffee flavors makes the drink taste richer and deeper. But it also adds a distinct bitter hint, especially if you’re generous with your espresso portion (which you should be, because why add any at all if you’re not adding the entire shot!).
If you don’t have an espresso machine, don’t fret! This is one of those recipes where you can easily swap with instant coffee since the coffee is here mainly to augment the chocolate flavor. Just make sure to dissolve around ½ tsp in 30ml of hot water before adding it to the hot chocolate. If you add coffee outright, it may not dissolve fully.
Yes, this is still a list of non-alcoholic Christmas drinks. But how, in good conscience, could we make a list of Christmas drinks and skip the ultimate staple?
Fortunately, not wanting to drink alcohol doesn’t mean you have to skip eggnog altogether during the celebrations. Just whip up your own non-alcoholic one.
In the end, while spirits like dark rum, brandy, and whiskey often play a key part in creating the eggnog’s overall flavor profile, they’re not the main ingredients. Eggnog is a complex drink made of multiple ingredients. Just skipping the alcohol won’t stop you from creating a satisfying Christmas beverage, if you follow the recipe otherwise.
So how do you make up for the depth of flavor the spirits supposedly add? Easy - spices! Spices are the MVPs of non-alcoholic eggnog! Add a splash of vanilla extract, along with some cinnamon, nutmeg (preferably freshly grated), and maybe just a pinch of white pepper, if you’re feeling brave, and give it a try!
Apple cider is an overlooked classic. Classic apple cider is an unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic drink made of apples. It has a deep, sweet, and refreshing taste, with just a touch of tang. The alcoholic counterpart you may be thinking of is called hard cider in the US.
Apple cider is an easy drink of choice if you want something fruity, crisp, and versatile. It can be served cold, straight out of the bottle. Or, better yet, it can be mulled.
If you want to enjoy some mulled wine but are skipping alcohol this Christmas, then mulled apple cider might just be the answer to your woes! It even goes with similar spices as classic mulled wine does! Add a few sticks of cinnamon, a few star anise fruits, some cloves, and maybe a bit of honey for extra sweetness to your cider, and put it on medium-low heat. Then just heat it up and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. And your non-alcoholic mulled drink is done!
Gingerbread Frappuccino (or Latte)
Gingerbread is in the running for the most iconic Christmas flavor title, and the only reason it hasn’t outright won the championship yet is that peppermint exists. Christmas is nigh-unimaginable without gingerbread, so is it truly surprising that it has found itself in our drinks alongside our food?
(Yes, it was Starbucks. Of course, it was Starbucks. But we’ve got to give it to them - the gingerbread frappuccino for the Christmas season was as natural a creation, as any Starbucks drink can be).
So, Frappuccino for those who are good with cold drinks during the winter, and a latte for those who prefer their drinks warm. Similar to the pumpkin spice latte, there’s no gingerbread in the actual drink, but common gingerbread spice: a mixture of cinnamon, powdered ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. But do keep a dry gingerbread cookie on hand, while making the drink. Once it’s ready, you just have to cover it with a thick swirl of whipped cream and crushed cookies!
Yes, soda, especially citrus-flavored soda is actually a common Christmas and New Year drink in many countries. Cross my heart.
Well, soda is, generally, but citrus-flavored soda is often the drink of choice because the season is strongly associated with oranges and clementines in many countries. In fact, Iceland’s most traditional Christmas drink isn’t either hot chocolate or mulled wine, it’s Christmas Ale - a mixture of locally produced non-alcoholic malt beverage called Maltöl and Appelsín (Icelandic orange soda).
You can try to recreate this iconic drink with the non-alcoholic malt beer and orange soda of your choice. We’d advise using Italian soda for its more natural flavor.
Classic Christmas punch is usually alcoholic, yes, but the great thing about a punch, in general, is that it’s highly customizable. Non-alcoholic punch has been the bane of teenagers everywhere ever since it established itself as a staple prom drink (thanks, popular media), and no reason why you can’t subject your guests to the same ordeal.
What makes punch a Christmas punch? Well, opinions on the internet seem to differ (not surprising considering how loose the term punch is, to begin with), but it often comes down to the choice of fruit. Christmas punch must be made with fruit associated with the holiday season: oranges, cranberries, and pomegranates are frequent choices, with apples and pears popping up every now and then.
The classic choice of sparkling wine or champagne in alcoholic punches is swapped for ginger ale, or sparkling water, to keep the pleasant carbonation level.
Wait, you’ll say, milkshakes aren’t Christmas drinks! And we’d have to ask: why?
In essence, a chocolate milkshake is pretty much the reverse of hot chocolate. The iced chocolate, if you will! Add in more flavors that are closely associated with Christmas, and voila: you’ve got a drink perfectly fit for the seasonal festivities, matching all the requirements of the common nostalgic flavor profile.
Sure, it’s cold, but if we can have iced lattes and frappuccinos during winter, why discriminate against milkshakes?
And, just like hot chocolate, milkshakes are highly customizable, especially if you have flavored syrup and some spices lying about. For braver souls, there are always more risque flavor combos like peppermint, anise, and maple spice (all fine choices, very Christmasy!), but hazelnut is the classic, safe choice: 1. It. too, is associated with Christmas (along with other nuts); 2) it’s well-documented to be a great flavor combo with chocolate. So adding a hefty dose of hazelnut syrup to your milkshake should do the trick. Cover the top with whipped cream (and maybe add some Ferrero or Baci candies on top for a KO!) and maybe drizzle some cinnamon syrup on top, just to up the ante.
Look. There has to be something peppermint-flavored on the table. It’s Christmas! You can’t do Christmas without peppermint, we’re not the ones making the rules!
Peppermint Mocktinis seem to be the popular choice when it comes to Peppermint mocktails. It’s basically adding peppermint syrup or extract to a milky base, often in combination with chocolate (white chocolate is popular because it gives the drink a pale, bright color) or coffee. Yes, a peppermint espresso mocktail is totally a thing (and you should definitely try it).
Decorating the rim of the glass with a thick layer of crushed peppermint candy seems to be a mandatory element of serving peppermint mocktails.
Christmas teas (sometimes labeled as holiday teas or winter teas) are special blends that use fruits and spices associated with the season as flavoring ingredients for tea. The blends are usually made with black tea, and commonly add cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves.
Christmas tea blends are highly customizable, with most brands that offer something similar, having their own special recipes. Adding ingredients like nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, and peppermint, for example, is quite common.
Fruits are another common addition, particularly oranges (including orange peel), apples, and pears.
Christmas tea blend is a perfect drink for the end of the day if you just want to cozy up with a book, or are planning to go to sleep in a warm bed sometime soon.
Christmas Spiced Coffee
Pretty much the same as Christmas tea, but unlike the tea blends, coffee powder isn’t sold with spices mixed in (there are flavored pods, of course, but they’re hardly the same).
Cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg are, once again, the main choices for Christmas spices when it comes to flavoring coffee. Some braver souls tend to add anise extract or ginger to the coffee as well, but it can be a bit overwhelming. Ground spices are mixed into the ground coffee before the drink is brewed, imbuing it with deep complex flavor and robust aroma.
(Our advice: add just a dollop of whipped cream on top, imitating caffè con panna).
You didn’t think we’d skip the most iconic (maybe aside from hot chocolate and eggnog) Christmas drink, now did you?
Fortunately, these days finding a non-alcoholic mulled wine blend or extract is quite easy. You just need to mix the extract with water (or grape juice, if you wish to be cheeky!), and voila - your non-alcoholic mulled wine, with its deep well-spiced, and fruity flavor is ready.
Explore Yummy Bazaar’s Holiday Assortment for Traditional Christmas Treats:
Yummy Bazaar hosts one of the largest online selections of gourmet holiday treats, with a wide variety of items from across the globe. Explore the Italian section for a wide assortment of gourmet panettone or pandoro, go to the Spanish section for authentic Christmas turron nougat candy or check out the German collection for high-quality marzipan, far too often overlooked during the Christmas celebrations. Or maybe you’d like to go a little original with your choice of Christmas gingerbread cookies? You’ll find an assortment from all over the world, from German Lebkuchen to Swedish Pepperkakkor to French Nonnettes. All it takes on your part is sparing a few minutes to stock the cart with all your favorites, and we’ll take it from there, ensuring the goodies get delivered to your doorstep ASAP.