As the temperature drops and daylight shortens, everyone is looking forward to snuggling up on the couch with a warm mug! Whether your crisp nights are accompanied by friends and board games or a blazing fireplace and a good book, you’ll appreciate some drinks to go with it. While most of these are commercially available, homemade versions are healthier and tastier since you can regulate the flavours yourself.
While most people turn to the basics – coffee, tea or hot chocolate, there’s a whole world of undiscovered hot beverages to explore. These are adapted into non-alcoholic beverages, modified to accommodate those wanting non-alcoholic options as well as kids, so they can enjoy the palatable, smooth flavors. We all need help beating those winter blues, and a skillfully curated warm drink might be just what you need!
Key Ingredients to Stock Up On
There are a few things you need in your pantry before you start. Specific ingredients and flavours help make the perfect wintery, festive drinks to have as you stay warm from the winter chills. Here you’ll have a choice between exciting, fizzy and zesty, and warm, comforting flavors.
So pick your favorite ingredients and begin your adventure:
- Citrus Fruits (oranges, grapefruit, mandarin) – antioxidants, vitamin C and lots of fibre
- Pomegranates – packed with phytonutrients and vitamin E
- Ginger – soothes bowel movements and helps the immune system
- Apples – potassium, fiber, and vitamin C
- Honey – potassium and iron
- Spices (cardamoms, cinnamon, nutmeg) – iron, potassium, magnesium, fiber, calcium, vitamin B
- Chocolate – magnesium, iron, fats, potassium
- Coffee – increases fiber intake
Top 8 Tastiest Alcohol-Free Beverages to Try This Winter
All of our picks here are non-alcoholic beverages. Expect flavors ranging from decadent to hearty, and all can be tweaked to tailor to your preference and diet regimen. Either way, prepare to dial up your mixology creativity.
If you feel like indulging in some extravagant mocktails:
1. Grapefruit Honey Ginger Soda
For those who are adamant soda fans, even in chilly weather, this is the perfect alternative for you. The light and tangy fizz from the drink is a welcome treat. Honey is used as the primary ingredient for sweetening the drink.
The recipe allows you to whip up your syrup with some commercial soda for a classic winter taste. With all the elements balanced well, the mixture produces a bittersweet zest with tones of spiciness from the ginger.
Once you’ve boiled and sieved the syrup, pour your concoction into a fancy glass and sip the taste of winter!
2. Mandarin Kumquat Spritzer
Treat your taste buds to some flavorful, citrusy juice to give you an energy boost and quench your thirst. The kumquat, ginger, and mint combination perfectly complements each other, not to mention the great nutrients it gives you.
If you’re out of mandarin, a simple swap to oranges will still deliver the same great fruity flavour. The spritzer adds a great contrast to the sweet and vivid flavours, making it an impressive non-alcoholic beverage to serve. It’s perfect for bulk brewing and keeps for long so you can have a supply to pour up and enjoy!
3. Homemade Apple Cider
This cider is super-simple to prepare in a crock-pot or on the stove. On top of that, you probably already have all the ingredients needed for it! Throw in some ripe apples, hearty spices, sweetener and water, and you’ll be good to go.
While you can buy non alcoholic beverages like this in stores, the choice to add a personal touch to it makes it a crowd favourite. The intoxicating smell is almost as pleasant as the taste itself. A steaming mugful is sure to keep everyone nice and toasty on frosty nights.
4. Peppermint Eggnog
Serve up this virgin eggnog, jazzed up with some minty extract in coated-rimmed glasses for a delectable treat. Whip up some eggs, sweetener, salt, milk, and other preferred condiments until everything is well blended and heat it all up. The peppermint adds a fresh spin to the hearty drink.
Soon enough, the aroma will fill your house and once it’s cooked, grab some custard for an extra creamy flavor! The vegan option tastes just as great once as you can whip it up with some egg and milk replacements.
If you’re craving a soothing, piquant cuppa:
5. Masala Chai Tea
This Indian-inspired brew makes the perfect companion for cold winter nights and has a history for clearing a blocked nose. Masala means mixed spices, and these are simmered together with milk tea. When it comes to the spices, go wild with all your favorites, cardamoms, cinnamon, nutmeg, it’s up to you.
If you’re planning on making this often, (which is highly likely once you taste it) make some masala powder to store. From this bulk supply, you can make cup after cup of flavor packed tea tailored to your liking.
6. Caramelised White Hot Chocolate
This is rich, luxurious hot chocolate is a delightful twist to the classic winter hot cocoa drink. Your palate will appreciate the combination of roasted, nutty butterscotch infusions with mellow sweetness that’s absolutely magical. Although it takes a while, the scent of the caramelising chocolate mixed with cocoa butter makes up for it. Your patience will pay off once you’re curled up under the covers with your steaming cup.
7. Warm Pumpkin Pie Drink
If you love pumpkin pie, then you’ll enjoy this hot creamy cup of perfection! It’s made from actual pureed pumpkin and hot chocolate, and is a meal on its own packed with goodness. A pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg adds undertones of piquancy that heighten the flavor of your drink.
This cozy drink is perfect as a breakfast boost and comforting at the end of a long day. If you’re not shy to overindulge, add a generous serving of whipped cream for an extra kick.
8. Barbajada (Milanese Hot Chocolate-Coffee Drink)
Why choose between hot chocolate and coffee when you can have the best of both worlds? Barbajada is a frothy combination of the two, topped with some whipped cream for some fun. This is evidence that the best taste isn’t the most complicated, as these three ingredients are all you’ll need.
Exercise your barista skills as you whisk this mouth-watering beverage topped off with some delicious whipped cream. This Milanese hot drink packs great flavor with equal parts sweet and tart coffee fragrances. If you want to have this one at nighttime, opt for a caffeine-free coffee and still enjoy the same flavorful non-alcoholic drink.
These non-alcoholic beverages work perfectly as winter companions to chase the winter blues away. They’re delicious ideas to keep you warm and incorporate the rich flavors from winter produce. If you’re not convinced that these drinks can satisfy your cravings without a little spike, add a splash of alcohol for an extra edge. A dash of brandy in the milky lattes or white rum in the festive mocktails can spice up any occasion. With the amazing flavors packed in each beverage though, you probably won’t notice there isn’t any alcohol in them!