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  • Writer's pictureLouisa at Starre Corner

5 easy festive Christmas mocktail ideas – no alcohol but just as fun

Updated: Dec 22, 2023


History of cocktails and mocktails


It’s that time of year again, it is cocktail season, or in my case, mocktail season. Nothing feels more festive than drinking festive cocktails and mocktails with friends. Hopefully, these 5 easy festive mocktails will give you some great ideas. It's time to start stocking up your festive Christmas drinks trolley!


Although it is unknown where the name cocktail derives from, you may be surprised to know that cocktails have been around for a few hundred years. They evolved from a traditional British punch in the 1700’s and were first mentioned in a British newspaper in 1798. There is little knowledge of where the original cocktail originated, by whom, or what was in it. It wasn’t until 1806 that a clear definition was written - on 13th May 1806, The Balance, and Columbian Repository (Hudson, New York, USA), published a letter from a reader who, confused by the new term cocktail, requested an explanation from the Editor; in his response, the latter defined a cocktail as denoting “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters”, and added that it was “vulgarly called bittered sling


The first cocktail recipes followed in 1869 with William Terrington’s book, Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks containing a few cocktail recipes. Terrington’s first cocktail was a gin cocktail made with gin, ginger syrup, aromatic bitters, and a splash of water.


As lovely as a boozy cocktail is, mocktails are just as popular and unbelievably have been around for just as long but were originally known as temperance drinks and not mocktails. That phrase was coined in the early twentieth century, according to Merriam-Webster. On July 19, 1892, an article in the Journal and Tribune Knoxville, Tennessee, observed that “temperance drinks are almost as infinite in variety as intemperate drinks, and the greatest variety is to be found at a first-class bar.” (punchdrink.com).


The popularity of the mocktail, an abbreviation of mock cocktail, grew in the 1930’s with the popularity of the Shirley Temple mocktail.


Below I have collated my top 5 easy festive Christmas mocktails. They’re easy to make and won’t leave you with a headache in the morning. I have tried to avoid added sugar to make them a little healthier than traditional cocktails and mocktails. All tried and tested by both my family and myself.

Let’s kick off with the 1930’s classic – The Shirley Temple.


Shirley Temple Mocktail


History of the Shirley Temple

The Shirley Temple Mocktail was named after the Hollywood child star. Traditionally made with ginger ale and grenadine and garnished with a maraschino cherry to top it off. The Shirley Temple was originally created in a bar for the iconic child actor when she was frustrated by not being able to drink the cocktails that the adults around her were drinking. The Shirley Temple recipe has been tweaked since the original Shirley Temple mocktail in the 1930’s.


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Shirley Temple - 5 easy festive Christmas mocktail ideas

How to make a Shirley Temple Mocktail

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Just 4 ingredients. Serve in a crystal highball glass.

2 teaspoons zero sugar grenadine. I use Teisseire 0% Sugar Syrup Grenadine

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (Rose's Lime cordial would work just as well)

Ice


Shirley Temple Mocktail Method

Fill a highball glass with ice and pour over 2 teaspoons of Teisseire 0% Sugar Syrup grenadine

Next, add 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lime juice.

Top the glass up with ginger beer (or ginger ale if you would like a little more of a spicy kick)

Add a cocktail cherry and a slice of lime to serve.

Sage Gimlet Mocktail


History of the Gimlet Cocktail

The Gimlet originates from a doctor, not a bartender, or so the story goes. There are two possible origins of the Gimlet cocktail, both of which are plausible. Firstly, naval doctor Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette suggested adding lime to sailors' gin to stave off scurvy or secondly that the concoction was named after the hand tool that was used to bore into barrels of spirits on Navy ships - a gimlet.


The gimlet rose to popularity after it was mentioned in the 1953 Raymond Chandler novel The Long Goodbye. The main character, Philip Marlowe, said, “A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow.”


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Gimlet - 5 easy festive Christmas mocktail ideas

How to make a Gimlet Mocktail


Just 4 ingredients. Serve in a champagne coupe.

Sage leaves – approximately 6 plus some to serve Lime juice – approximately 1 lime but more if you prefer it zingy

Simple Syrup – 2 teaspoons or more depending on personal taste

Club soda, to fill the glass

Ice

Slice of lime and sage leaf to garnish


Method

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for approximately 20 seconds

Strain ingredients into a champagne coupe

Add a sage leaf and half a slice of lime to garnish

Old Fashioned Mocktail


History of the Old Fashioned Cocktail

The Old Fashioned cocktail is a cocktail bar' standard, but it has quite a history. In 1862, Jerry Thomas published a book entitled Bartenders Guide, How to mix drinks, in which he gave a recipe for an Old Fashioned Holland Gin cocktail. This recipe however did not mention whiskey. The Old Fashioned cocktail, as we know it now was created in 1880, by bartender James E Pepper, in Louisville, Kentucky before taking it to The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.


In 1895 Modern American Drinks was published, written by George Kappeler. His Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail, reads as follows: “Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey-glass; add two dashes Angostura bitters, a small piece of ice, a piece of lemon-peel, one jigger whiskey. Mix with small bar-spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass."

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Old Fashioned - 5 easy festive Christmas mocktail ideas

How to make an Old Fashioned Mocktail


Just 4 ingredients. Serve in an Old-Fashioned tumbler.

1 orange slice, cut in half

Pure apple juice

Ice


Method

Put a cherry and half a slice of orange in the bottom of an Old-Fashioned tumbler.

Muddle the orange to release the oils and flavour. If you don’t have a proper cocktail muddler tool, use a wooden spoon, and gently press the orange into the bottom of the Old-Fashioned tumbler.

Fill the tumbler with ice

Add apple juice to a quarter of the glass tumbler.

Top up tumbler with ginger beer.

Gently stir ingredients

Finish off with half a slice of orange and a cherry.

Virgin Cosmopolitan


History of the Cosmopolitan

If you are a similar age to me, you’ll know that the Cosmopolitan was put back on the cocktail map by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City It’s a modern-day classic. The origin of the Cosmopolitan, however, is a little hazy but it is believed that it started with a health kick, when Ocean Spray published a recipe in 1968 for its cranberry juice. After that, there are many people taking credit for the Cosmopolitan cocktail which we know and love today.

How to make a Cosmopolitan mocktail


Just 5 ingredients. Serve in a martini glass.

Freshly squeezed orange juice, 4 teaspoons

Freshly squeezed lemon juice, 4 teaspoons

Simple Syrup, 3 teaspoons (more or less, depending on personal taste)

Ice


Method

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake for approximately 20 seconds

Strain ingredients into a martini glass

Serve with a slice of lime


Virgin Moscow Mule


History of the Moscow Mule

It is widely believed that the Moscow Mule was first created during the 1940s in America. During this time, vodka was rarely consumed in America, largely being perceived as a Russian drink.

John G. Martin, the owner of one of the first U.S. vodka brands, Heublein & Brothers, was trying to win over the American market with limited success. One night at the Chatom Hotel in New York City, Martin found himself in the company of his friend John “Jack” Morgan, owner of the Hollywood Cock n' Bull and president of Cock’n Bull Products. At the time, Morgan was struggling to market a ginger beer that his brand had produced.

Out of pure spontaneity, the two decided to mix some of the vodka and ginger beer and served it with ice and a squeeze of lemon juice. Their first Moscow Mule cocktail customer was the actor, Broderick Crawford. It was a few days later when the drink was given the name, “the Moscow Mule.”

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Moscow Mule - 5 easy festive Christmas mocktail ideas

How to make a Mocktail Mule mocktail


Just 5 ingredients. Serve in a highball glass (or traditionally in a copper mug)

Angostura bitters, 2 dashes (optional)

Lime juice from 2 limes

Soda Water

Mint

Method

Put freshly squeezed lime juice in the bottom of a highball glass

Add ice to around halfway

Fill a third of the glass with soda water

Add ginger beer near top of the glass

Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitter

Gently stir

Serve with a sprig of fresh mint.

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