Author: Whitney Hollingshead
If you are hosting a New Year’s party this year you may decide to celebrate without alcohol. Here are four great reasons to make your party alcohol free:
You’re hosting and you don’t drink – if you do not drink, but some of your guests do, you may feel pressure to provide alcohol at your party. The best part about being the host is that YOU get to be in charge of the party. You will drive yourself crazy trying to plan a party that suits every guest’s tastes and preferences. It’s your party, so smile and serve whatever you like!
Some of the guests will be kids or teens – things get complicated when you try to throw a party for the adults, but kids will be in the room. Steer clear of any potential complication and skip the alcohol.
You are trying to help one of your guests – if you know that one of your guests struggles with alcohol or is a recovering alcoholic, you may want to make some changes to help them out. To gain a greater appreciation of what your friend or family member may be going through, read this and then celebrate without alcohol.
You have a tight party budget – serving alcohol to your guests can quickly get expensive. Save yourself some money and serve a festive, but cheaper alternative instead.
Here are four great beverages you can serve for a very festive New Year’s gathering:
1. Sparkling Cider
Sparkling cider is an especially festive beverage. You can chill the bottles in the refrigerator and break out your fancy stemware in time to enjoy this beverage at the stroke of midnight. While apple is the traditional flavor, you can also find many other sparkling flavors such as White Grape Peach, Cranberry Apple, and Red Grape. So choose your favorite flavor, or grab a variety of options to try out with your guests.
2. Italian Sodas
You can serve Italian sodas to your guests for a fun, fruity, and unique beverage. You can even set up a beverage bar and make a customized soda for each guest. Here’s what you will need:
Sparkling water or club soda
Half & half
Whipped cream (from a spray can is easiest)
Measure 3 tablespoons of syrup into a glass. Fill the glass halfway with ice. Pour in sparkling water or club soda to fill the glass. Stir in 2 tablespoons of half and half. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!
*Check out a restaurant supply store or search online for Torani or Da Vinci flavored syrups. With a little searching you can find dozens of fruity flavors. Or for a budget friendly alternative, try mixing any packet of Kool-aid with ¼ cup of water and 6 tablespoons of sugar to create your own flavor of syrup
3. Hot Cocoa Bar
Hot cocoa is often associated with Christmas, but this beverage is a great choice to serve throughout the winter. You can set up a hot cocoa bar so that your guests can customize their own beverage and even try something new. Here is what you will need:
Mugs or heat resistant cups for serving
Stirring sticks or spoons
Hot cocoa* (consider using slow cookers to keep it warm)
Crushed peppermint candies
Flavored syrups (mint, caramel, hazelnut, peanut butter, etc.)
Flavored baking chips (mint, cinnamon, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc.)
Crushed candy bar pieces
Set up your hot cocoa bar with the mugs first, the hot cocoa next, followed by the toppings, and ending with the stirring sticks.
*For extra fun, consider serving multiple flavors of hot cocoa. You can also have people mix their own cocoa powder into hot water so that you don’t have leftover cocoa at the end of the night.
Party punch used to be the go to beverage for every party. Serving punch is a great way to add a festive touch to your evening. Check out these great punch recipes:
Fruit flavored sherbet or sorbet
Lemon lime soda
Directions: Pour lemon lime soda into your punch bowl. Add sherbet or sorbet and serve immediately.
Sparkling Raspberry Punch
2 liter bottle of Squirt
1 large can of pineapple juice
1 packet of raspberry Kool Aid
½ bag of ice
Directions: Combine pineapple juice with squirt and Kool Aid. Place ice in punch bowl. Pour punch over ice and serve.
Fruity Party Punch
2 liter bottle of ginger ale
Frozen fruit punch concentrate
Frozen orange juice concentrate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions: Prepare this punch the day before. Make fruit punch and orange juice according to package directions. Combine with ginger ale and vanilla. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve over ice in punch bowl.
Pick your favorite suggestion above and ring in 2015 with your family, friends, and a delicious beverage.