Special holidays call for special meals, and special meals call for special drinks. For adults, a special drink often includes a favorite brand of alcohol, but when little chefs want something to sip, a new recipe is in order. Your little chefs will light up when they are given – or help make – their own special holiday drink.
Before you plan for a particular recipe, take a look at your stash of existing drinkware. Most mocktails are quite beautiful in color, so you don’t want to miss out on that effect by using opaque cups. For safety reasons, you should also avoid glassware and even ceramic mugs, depending on your little chef’s age. Clear plastic cups are best, and you can even find clear plastic mugs. It's also a good idea to make sure the cups for the little ones look different from those that contain alcohol. Finally, consider adding an accessory to each kids’ cup. You can use charms, decorated straws, or even just personalize each one by using a permanent marker to write the little chef’s name.
During the dark winter months, we bring light into our homes with ornaments, candles, and by stringing up colored lights. To bring a sense of light to your mocktails, you’ll need only a few simple ingredients. There are lots of sparkling beverages out there, ranging from white grape juice to apple cider to pomegranate juice. To make a sparkling mocktail, just combine these sparkling drinks with any flavor fruit juice and add some sugar or sprinkles around the rim of the glass for decoration. Another option is to combine sparkling water with fresh strawberries and a cup of simple syrup. If your little chef likes pears, consider making a sparkling pear drink by combining pear juice, lemon, sugar, and ginger ale.
Is there anything more pretty than a simple Shirley Temple? For this classic bubbly drink you need only three ingredients: grenadine, your favorite lemon-lime soda, and a cherry or two on top. If you want something a little fancier, you could try this recipe for a ginger lime fizz. It has more flavor notes, but it’s not difficult to make; just combine ginger beer, seltzer water, and lime juice.
There are so many delicious ways to include fresh fruit in your little chefs’ mocktails. One easy way that can be prepared in advice is to actually freeze the fresh fruit directly into ice cubes that you can add to the mocktail. Lemonade makes a great base ingredient for mocktails; simply pour a glass half full with your favorite lemonade and then add fresh cut strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, and bring it all together with a splash of ginger ale. You can also create a fruity mocktail without using fresh fruit. Combine frozen strawberries or frozen peaches, with crushed pineapple from a can (or fresh). Next, add ginger ale or club soda and a scoop of French vanilla ice cream. Yum!
Hot chocolate is practically a necessity during the holidays. Everyone has their favorite recipe, but most call for some combination of milk, chocolate or cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract. To take your hot chocolate to another level, consider adding a small amount of food coloring to transform the color, or adding a flavored whipped cream with sprinkles on top. For safety, always be sure to taste hot drinks before giving them to young children. Don’t worry about that whipped cream mustache! Another popular yuletide drink is warm apple cider. For this drink you can make your own ahead of time, using a slow cooker, or you can buy some apple cider and warm it up on the stovetop. Either way, a little bit of caramel or whipped cream adds a special touch to warm your little chef’s heart and his tummy.