5 mocktail recipes for your sober wedding guests
Real talk. Not everybody drinks alcohol, and that’s OK. For my book launch party of Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding, I celebrated with friends, family and wedding industy colleagues. I brought in a caterer, cases of wine and beer, and several friends and my spouse kept the drinks flowing all evening. Several people who I didn’t hang out with as often asked me if we had any water. I thought we had purchased some but I realized we didn’t. I offered them wine, and they turned it down. “I don’t drink anymore,” one said. Another guest just shook their head, left the party, and actually returned with a six-pack of sparkling water to share.
I. Felt. Like. Crap.
Here I was trying to be the hostess with the mostess, but instead, I’d created an unsafe environment for people who don’t drink alcohol, but were thirsty, too. And of course, it was unsafe too that partiers who were imbibing didn’t have water to balance out the alcohol in their system. Now whenever I host or plan a party or gathering, I’m mindful of those who choose not to drink. If you’re thinking (or realizing you need to think) about offering mocktails to your nondrinking or sober wedding guests so they’re not just stuck with water or soda, here are 5 recipes to try:
1 / Virgin Marys by Ina Garten
3 stalks celery from the heart, including leaves, plus extra for serving
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon chopped shallot
Dash Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 dashes hot sauce, or to taste (recommended: Tabasco)
2 limes, juiced
1 (48-ounce) bottle tomato juice (recommended: Sacramanto)
Cut the celery in large dice, including the leaves, and puree in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the horseradish, shallot, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, kosher salt, Tabasco and lime juice and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large pitcher, add the tomato juice, and stir. Pour into tall glasses and serve each with the top half of a celery stalk.
2 / Cranberry Moscow Mule
1 ounce fresh cranberry juice
1 ounce ginger beer
1/2 ounce lime juice
Fill a copper mug with ice and add all ingredients. Stir.
3 / Virgin Pina Colada
4 ounce pineapple juice
2 ounce cream of coconut
1 cup ice cubes
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve in a hurricane glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge.
4 / Strawberry Basil Lemonade
1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
1/4 cup basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more for garnish
Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool. In a blender, combine the simple syrup, strawberries, basil, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses filled with ice and garnish with basil and lemon slices
5 / Cranberry and Rosemary Fizz
1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup sparkling water
1 sprig rosemary
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine the cranberry juice, sparkling water, rosemary, honey, and lemon juice in a pitcher and stir to combine. Serve over ice.
Kirsten Ott Palladino
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