Some holiday celebrations require indulging more than usual. That punch bowl gets a lot of mileage to take the edge off at family functions. Others, like New Year’s Eve, encourage near-buffoonery. This time of year, it’s likely that the majority of drinkers around the globe could use a break, however short.
Instead of opting for lamestream sodas or nothing at all, how about trying a cocktail free of booze? While it sounds suspect—did an image of a Shirley Temple or virgin frozen Daiquiri pop into your head?—there are drinks that give the illusion of a full-on cocktail and have as much sophistication as a Martini.
Still not having it? Give one of these refined mocktails a shot.
A meager three ingredients with full, aromatic plumage, this nutty lemonade shouldn’t be reserved solely for summer barbecues. Combine lemon juice soda and orgeat syrup, which mixes almonds, sugar, orange blossom and rose waters for a drink that shines even without the liquor.
For those who typically turn to whiskey to spice up their nights, this combination of grenadine, orange and lemon juices and club soda should keep the palate happy. Garnish with an orange twist for an aromatic, citrusy flare—the boozy drinks shouldn’t get all the fun.
Rickey fans: This one’s for you.
This drink is a sweet, tart amalgam of muddled herbs—dealer’s choice, of course (though mint and basil are recommended). Then it features equal parts lime juice and simple syrup (about an ounce of each), soda and ice. Build it in a Collins glass and remain cool and refreshed for the rest of the day.
Taking first place in unexpected holiday hangover cures: vinegar.
Yes, it’s not something that most people drink regularly, but the recent popularity of the off-kilter ingredient has been evident as bartenders across the U.S. feature it in an infused concoction known as a shrub. Used as a way to preserve seasonal fruits and vegetables for use in drinks throughout the year, shrubs are easy to make and, when mixed with seltzer, make flavorful refreshers.
Once the holiday hangover curse has dissolved, try your restorative shrub of choice in a full-on liquor-based cocktail.