Healthy Living

Mocktails: Festive, Non-Alcoholic Drinks for the Holidays

Dec. 28, 2016

Wine, beer and cocktails are often parts of holiday celebrations. While consuming alcohol in moderation can be OK, it can also present issues for those with cancer, diabetes or other conditions.

Whether you have to avoid alcohol for medical reasons or you’re just looking to keep your calories in check, your holiday beverages don’t have to be boring.

Mocktails — mixed drinks that do not include alcohol — can still be festive and delicious.

spa in a pitcherTry these easy recipes:

  • Spa in a Pitcher is a refreshing water infused with citrus and fresh herbs that’s good any time of year.
  • Hibiscus Pomegranate Cooler combines iced herbal tea with the antioxidants of pomegranate and other fruits.
  • With flavors of cinnamon, cloves and ginger, Spiced Hot Cider is the perfect winter comfort drink.

You can also connect with your inner mixologist and create your own mocktails using this simple formula:

Start with a calorie-free base: Club soda and seltzers are great options, as is plain water. Green or herbal teas work well, too, and offer phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Add a small amount of fruit juice: Pure cranberry juice (not cranberry juice cocktail) or pomegranate, orange and apricot juices add color as well as flavor. Remember, fruit juices add sugar  — and calories — to drinks, so don’t add more than 4 ounces per serving.

Dress up your drink: Those little umbrellas are always cute, but you can get creative with some flavorful low- or no-calorie additions:

  • Make flavored ice cubes using diluted fruit juice or herbal tea, or freeze pieces of fruit in ice.
  • Drop in frozen berries or pomegranate arils.
  • Curl some citrus peels or add slices of lemon or lime.
  • Add some mint leaves, which pair well with pomegranate and cranberry.
  • Use cinnamon sticks, cloves or ginger to add seasonal flavors.

Sue Czap


Sue Czap, MS, RD, CSO, CDN, is a registered dietitian and a board certified specialist in Oncology Nutrition. She teaches a monthly wellness cooking class for cancer survivors and works primarily from Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Pluta Cancer Center.