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Alcohol Free Christmas Drink Recipes

Article by David P Walker

Mulled wine and mince pie parties are a staple part of Christmas celebrations among friends and families, but daytime drinking can leave you feeling drowsy and lethargic as well as unsafe to drive home. If you want to avoid binge drinking, alternate your alcoholic beverages with these delicious alcohol free festive drinks to stay hydrated, or go completely alcohol free for a great party, without the hangover.

Alcohol Free or Low Alcohol Mulled Wine

Mulled wine, the quintessential Christmas drink, is normally alcoholic as it contains red wine and sometimes even brandy, but it needn’t be. If you have a stockist of non alcoholic or low alcohol content red wine near you, or have enough time to buy online, this can be a great way to emulate the taste without the potentially negative effects of binge drinking. If you can’t find non/low alcohol wine, don’t worry, just use cranberry or red grape juice instead.

Ingredients: 375ml low alcohol wine, non alcoholic wine, cranberry juice or red grape juice375ml orange juice 1 large orange, halved and sliced 1 cinnamon stick1/2 tsp ground nutmeg1 tsp ground ginger

Method:Put everything into a pan and heat on the hob for 5 to 10 minutes until liquid is hot, but not boiling. Then turn the hob off and cover pan with a lid until ready to serve. Ladle into glasses and decorate with a few pieces of orange and a cinnamon stick in each glass.

Alcohol Free Warm Spiced Apple

Normally a drink made with cider, but there’s no reason why the alcohol free version made with apple juice, shouldn’t be equally delicious. The trick here is to buy good quality, fresh apple juice, not the made from concentrate stuff you normally find in supermarket’s own brand ranges.

Ingredients:700ml apple juice200ml water100g brown sugar1/2 a lemon, sliced1/2 orange, sliced1 cinnamon stick1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Method:Put everything into a pan and heat on the hob for 5 to 10 minutes until liquid is hot, but not boiling. Turn off the hob, strain liquid into a new pan and place back on the hob to keep warm from the residual heat. Cover with a lid until ready to serve. Ladle into glasses and decorate with a few pieces of orange or lemon.

Alcohol Free Eggnog

Another traditional Christmas drink, though now more popular in America than the UK. Eggnog is an egg based drink, which is more delicious than it sounds, which can be made with or without alcohol.

Ingredients: 3 large eggs, plus 1 yolk475ml whole milk60ml double creamA pinch of nutmegA pinch of salt1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Method:Whisk together eggs, egg yolk, sugar and salt. Then add milk slowly, whisking the whole time until the mixture is a smooth, even consistency.Add the mixture to a pan and heat on the lowest hob setting until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This may take 45 minutes to an hour, but don’t be tempted to turn up the heat – this will cause the eggs to scramble.Strain the mixture into a jug or bowl and stir in the vanilla extract and nutmeg. Then cover and refrigerate until chilled – this will take around four hours.

When the mixture is cool, whip the double cream until it makes soft peaks, and then fold in to the chilled mixture.

Virgin Mary

As Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, what could be a more topical drink than the Virgin Mary, the Bloody Mary’s alcohol free cousin. Easy to make, but also great to order if you’re out and about, as most bars will stock the ingredients for this and can easily make it without alcohol.

Ingredients:1,200ml tomato juiceTabasco sauce to tasteWorcestershire sauce to tasteThe juice of a lemonA pinch of salt and pepperA celery stick per glass, to garnish

Method:Pour tomato juice into a jug and add lemon juice. Then season with Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and serve over ice with a stick of celery to garnish.

Travel Retail & Duty Free Exclusives

When it comes to duty free shopping on your way out or in to any international destination, many people get confused rather lost amidst the usually large range of products and brands at the duty free shops. A larger nos. of people buy at duty free shops primarily for the ‘duty free’ prices thinking it’s cheaper always!

However, duty free shops have another major advantage which generally people tend to overlook and that’s exclusivity of product ranges and packaging. There are always quite some products in every duty free shop which won’t be available in the domestic high street market or downtown and even if the product is available, the particular exclusive packaging and size of product would differ most often than not. Those products are called ‘Duty Free Exclusives’ or ‘Travel Retail Exclusives’.

International travel retail segment usually has few standard product categories like Liquor, Fragrances & Cosmetics, Confectionery and Tobacco. In the liquor category, you could find special casks, or limited edition bottles or sometimes completely a new brand altogether. For example, William Grant’s The Balvenie Golden Cask 14 Year Old, or a Macallan 1824 Limited Edition, or Johnnie Walker XR 21YO, Remy Louis XIII 40%, Lagavulin 12YO Special Pack are few of the exclusive products available in duty free retail segments.

In the cosmetics category most of the high street brands have specially designed products available in special sizes & combos just for travel retail customers. Brands like Lancome, Chanel, Sisley, Smashbox, YSL etc have a range of travel make-up sets, special bottle sizes which are otherwise unavailable in domestic market or even in high street showrooms.

The travel sets could comprise of combined set of lip glosses or eye make-up, lip gloss and face blushes or just a multiple set of eye shadows in one box. It could even be a complete basic make-up set in a make-up box which comes very handy while travelling. Keeping in mind the convenience and need of the travellers, the brands come up with innovative packaging and combination of products. The brands also offer lots of gifts with purchase specially allocated for travel retail purchases.

Exclusives don’t just end with liquor and cosmetics, the best is yet to come. The confectionery category sees lots of innovative packaging specially designed for travellers and gifting purposes. A study says that a majority of chocolate buyers at duty free shops buy for gifting purposes and, with the key end consumer being a kid mostly, it becomes imperative to design the chocolates and its packaging attractive for kids and yet easy to carry and gift.

For example, major chocolate brands across the globe like Mars, Nestle Swiss, Cadbury’s, Snickers, M&M, Milka, Galaxy etc have 400gm and above packaging of chocolates. They also have assortments available which can’t be found in domestic market. Those are exclusively packed for international travel retail shops.

Hope you find something exclusive on your next trip abroad!