Mocktail Recipes for the Holidays


Growing up, I always felt so special when my dad or one of my grandpas ordered a Shirley Temple for me. Back then, I had never heard of mocktails, but I enjoyed having my own fancy drink at a family celebration or holiday event. This certainly didn’t happen every time we went out to eat. But when it did… oh, boy! I was just over the moon.

Sure, you can buy sparkling apple or grape juice for the kiddos or the pregnant ladies and other teetotalers in your life . . . But I always like to get a little more creative! Today, I’m going to share two of my favorite recipes for cocktails — one hot and one cold. I don’t really know if mocktails are supposed to be hot, but in my book, hot drinks are totally welcome at holiday celebrations! Plus, I just think that the world should know about the wonderfulness that is chaider. So read on below! 

Chaider - a great fall mocktail


One of my favorite hot mocktail recipes is Chaider, a recipe inspired by a drink at a coffee shop in my husband’s college town. We think it is amazing! On my own blog, I share more about its origins and the full recipe to fancy it up a little bit. But just between you and me? Here’s how I make it most of the time:

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Simple Mocktails with Simple Syrup!

Another simple way to fancy up your mocktail scene is to make simple syrup! It’s called simple for a reason. You don’t need many ingredients or much cooking know-how to make this easy mix-in. An abundance of flavors of simple syrups can easily be made to mix with lemonade, ginger ale, lemon lime soda, sparkling juice, or club soda. The possibilities are endless! Basically, boil sugar and water together and add mix-ins if desired. (Once you master simple syrups, you will want to make them ALL. THE. TIME. They’re great for adding a little flavor to coffee and tea too! I pretty much always have a mason jar or three stashed in my fridge.)

Strawberry Simple Syrup

This is my fave with ginger ale! You can also switch up the berry. Raspberries are great. I also like mixing equal parts pineapple juice and lemon lime soda with a splash of berry simple syrup for a fruity treat! 

Brown Sugar Syrup

Try this with club soda and cranberry juice.

Honey Cinnamon Simple Syrup

PLEASE make this so you can mix it with sparkling apple juice or hot apple cider.

Serve one of these easy drinks in a fancy glass to up the experience for the kiddos. I’ve found plastic cocktail glasses at party stores and even places like Target around the holidays. If you’re looking for something easy for a party or you don’t want to risk breaking your good glassware try those.

Recipes to Try

Aside from my two go-to mocktails, I always look for new recipes to try. What can I say? I’m a food blogger at heart. 🙂 Here are a few I’d like to try this holiday season to expand my mocktails game!

Now I just need to have a party to try all these yummy recipes! What do you think?

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After three years in Nashville, Sarah still doesn't consider herself a Southerner—though she loves it here in Middle Tennessee. Maybe that day will come, but until then, she is still a proud Indiana girl married to an Ohio State-obsessed man, Ben (who has banned the term "y'all" at their house and will be utterly devastated if their baby develops a Southern accent). Sarah became a mama in May 2016 upon the birth of their first child, a son (online persona=#BabyVolde). Though she loves her three cats, they are most assuredly not her children. By day, Sarah is an academic librarian. By night, she loves to cook, bake, read, run marathons (well, not every night...), be involved with her church, and explore Nashville's many parks, restaurants, and coffee shops with her little family. You can find out what Sarah is up to in the kitchen by visiting her blog, The Pajama Chef (, or by following her on Twitter or Instagram (@thepajamachef).



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