Fun, easy to make, inexpensive and great for all ages, juice offers a versatility that few other beverages can match. It pairs just as well with liquors and liqueurs as it does with nonalcoholic ingredients like other juices (think juice blends), carbonated beverages and flavorings. Plus, don’t forget about the extra health benefits (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients) that come with adding another serving of fruit to your diet! Whether you are yearning for a nostalgic retro classic to bring back fond memories or an exotic new taste to indulge in, juice-based holiday fruit drinks are just the thing to excite your taste buds and restore your spirit.
There’s a reason why alcoholic juice drinks are so popular. The natural sweetness of the juice combines perfectly with the strong assertive flavors of distilled spirits, like rum, vodka or whiskey. Even some wines can benefit from a splash of juice, (consider the ever-popular Sangria or Fruit punch). Simplicity is another plus. Some of the most iconic alcoholic drinks feature only two or three ingredients – consider the mimosa (orange juice and sparkling wine or champagne), a colorful seabreeze (cranberry juice, vodka and grapefruit juice) or an Apple Jack (apple juice and whiskey). To dress up these simple fruity drinks, you can garnish them with fresh fruit slices, cinnamon sticks or a sprinkle of spices.
An Easy Transformer
One of the biggest advantages of featuring 100% juice in holiday drinks is the fact that it can often do double duty. Many juice-based alcoholic drinks can easily be transformed into nonalcoholic versions by removing the alcohol or simply replacing it with another juice or a carbonated beverage like sparkling water. In this way, you can offer children as well as adults who don’t want to partake, a glass of festive cheer.
Juice is also perfect for blending. In addition to alcohol, blending different types of 100% juices can turn a good drink into a great one. Juice combinations can range from the unusual such as strawberry watermelon to the more common like an orange-pineapple juice. These juice blends can be store-bought or you can create them in your own kitchen. Take for example this Maple Spiced Rum Punch, which mixes cranberry juice and apple juice with warm holiday spices and black cherry seltzer. Garnished with fresh cranberries and a cinnamon stick, this beautifully colored blended juice punch is sure to be a winner. Here are some other creative juice drink ideas:
Chilled apple juice is a favorite with whiskey or brandy cocktails while hot apple cider is best in warm or hot drinks such as the hot toddy laced with warm spices like cinnamon and honey. It can also give an interesting twist to common drinks like Fall Apple Sangria and Apple Pineapple Colada.
Refreshing orange juice drinks like the screwdriver or a tequila sunrise are classic combinations that are easy to prepare and favorites at celebratory events. In addition, orange juice lends itself to interesting whimsical drinks like the orange creamsicle or an orange-pineapple pina colada, It also partners well with amaretto, vanilla or peach schnapps. To make a delicious non-alcoholic option, consider adding a bit of OJ to a smoothie recipe, like this Orange Banana Smoothie from Sip Smarter.
Although most famous for its combination with vodka (the Cape Cod) and a drink known as the Cosmopolitan, cranberry juice – a favorite for its color and its taste – can easily be blended with other alcohols or juices like pineapple juice or orange juice for a variety of mocktail drinks. Consider these two popular options: 5-Ingredient Party Punch for the kids and Cranberry Orange Champagne Punch for the adults.
Like other 100% juices, grape juice can partner with a variety of distilled spirits and liquors. Alone, it is an ideal nonalcoholic substitute for wine (white or red), but combined it can pair with many other juices and sparkling beverages to create a number of interesting mocktails – take this Purple Bug Juice for example.
With these many options in mind, consider adding 100% fruit juice to your list of holiday beverage ingredients this year. It is nutritious, delicious, versatile, and is sure to make the season bright.