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Mix it up with Mocktails

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    Mix it up with Mocktails
    While it is customary to ring in the New Year with a toast, not everyone may want to partake in an alcoholic indulgence. For children, designated drivers, and those who don’t choose to imbibe, having some creative mocktails on offer ensures everyone will be in a festive spirit.
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    1: Good Cheer Punch

    6 cups (1.5 L) water, divided
    1/3 cup (80 mL) light agave nectar
    1/2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced fresh ginger
    4 jasmine green tea bags
    3 cups (750 mL) unsweetened pineapple juice
    1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
    Fresh mint, for garnish

    In large saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) of water, agave, and ginger to a boil. Reduce heat to low and, stirring occasionally, let mixture simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring remaining 4 1/2 cups (1.125 L) water to a simmer. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Set aside to steep for 2 minutes. Discard tea bags and let tea cool to room temperature. Strain ginger syrup into large pitcher or bowl. Stir in juices and tea. Refrigerate until cold. Serve in tall glasses over ice and garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

    Makes about 12 servings.

    2: Melon Fizz

    2 cups (500 mL) chopped ripe cantaloupe melon, plus extra for garnish
    2/3 cup (160 mL) green grapes, plus extra for garnish
    2/3 cup (160 mL) unsweetened apricot juice
    Chilled sparkling water

    Place melon and grapes in blender and purée until smooth. Strain melon mixture into bowl and stir in apricot juice. To serve, pour some melon mixture into the bottom of a glass or champagne flute and top with sparkling water. Thread a couple of extra melon pieces and grapes onto a cocktail stick or decorative toothpick to garnish each glass.

    Makes about 16 servings.

    3: Heart Warmer

    4 cups (1 L) water
    2 cups (500 mL) fresh or frozen cranberries
    3 cups (750 mL) unsweetened pear juice
    1 cinnamon stick, plus extra for garnish
    3 whole cloves
    1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground nutmeg
    1/4 of a vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
    2 strips of orange zest, cut with vegetable peeler

    In large saucepan, stir together water, cranberries, pear juice, cinnamon stick, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla bean, and orange zest. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. When cranberries start to pop, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Strain mixture into clean saucepan and discard remaining solids. Keep warm over minimum heat or serve immediately in mugs. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired.

    Makes about 8 servings.

    source: "Happy New Year!", alive #374, December 2013

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    Mix it up with Mocktails

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