While plenty of folks will tip back a few adult beverages to celebrate New Year's Eve, it's always a good idea to offer nonalcoholic drinks at your end-of-the-year bash.
Pop is always a popular alternative. And water, naturally. And juice. Some folks even like nonalcoholic champagne. But there are plenty of other options, too.
AAA, known more for offering travel tips and tracking gas prices, sponsors a mocktail competition each year and releases the winning recipes before the holiday season. AAA also offers insurance policies, so encouraging safe driving is just good business.
Every year in South Dakota, about 35 percent of all vehicle crashes are alcohol related, according to AAA. During the holiday season, that percentage jumps to about 40 percent. Hence, AAA's annual party planner, which includes nonalcoholic drink recipes.
Below are the winning concoctions from this year's AAA Great Pretender Mocktail Mix-Off:
Mistletoe: Ingredients: 4 mint leaves, fresh-squeezed juice from half an orange, 2 ounces pomegranate juice, 1ounce agave, Sierra Mist or soda water.
To prepare: Muddle mint leaves at least five times, pour orange juice into a glass and add pomegranate and agave. Shake and pour over ice. Top with Sierra Mist or soda water. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
Feliz Navidad Chocolat!: Ingredients: 1 pint milk; 1 cup heavy cream; 8 ounces dark, unsweetened chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao); 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper.
To prepare: Mix milk, cream and seasonings in pan. Heat to a bare simmer. Stir in chocolate to melt, pour in glass.
Apple Shrub Festivus:
Ingredients: 3 ounces apple shrub, 3 ounces soda water, 3 ounces Sprite, 2 teaspoons apple marmalade.
To prepare: Pour apple shrub into a shaker with ice, add apple marmalade and shake vigorously. Pour over ice into garnished glass, finish with soda water and Sprite.
Butter Brew: Ingredients: 1/4 cup butterscotch syrup, 1/4 of an International Delight chocolate caramel coffee creamer, 2 tablespoons whipped butter, 2 cups vanilla cream soda.
To prepare: Combine butter, butterscotch and creamer and heat in microwave for one minute. Divide mixture between two mugs, and top each with warm cream soda. Stir to mix well.
Harvest Dreamsicle: Ingredients: 1 1/2 ounces butternut squash puree, 1/2 ounce spiced grenadine (Pom juice, sugar, clove, star anise, cinnamon), 1/4 ounce sage simple syrup, 1/4 ounce spiced cream (nutmeg, cinnamon, all-spice).