Special NYE Cocktail Without Booze

Nothing is more symbolic of New Year’s Eve than a champagne toast at midnight. But all of that Yuletide revelry with bubbly can be a drag for our family and friends who can not, or do not wish to, drink booze.

So for those people who are pregnant, driving, or just plain not drinking, we hosts ought to offer up something equally as special as champagne. I turn to muddled basil concoctions for summertime non-alcoholic refreshment, but for winter, I prefer something a bit more reminiscent of the flavors of fall and winter.

Amazing, local, healthful cranberries are still available in the freezer, so here’s a recipe that will make a celebration a blast for your guests who prefer to skip the booze:

1 1/2 cups frozen (or fresh) cranberries
1 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain the mixture into a bowl and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature (about 1 hour). The syrup will last for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Create a non-alcoholic sparkling cranberry cocktail by combining a couple ounces of the cranberry syrup with some sparkling apple cider, sparkling cherry, or sparkling pear juice. You can even use a few frozen cranberries or cherries as a garnish to keep the drink chilled.

Are you whipping up a non-alcoholic cocktail for your guests? I’d be glad to read about your crowd-pleasing drinks without booze.