If you're like most people, the holidays come with a string of parties in tow. Party hosts should remember to add a very important item to this New Year's party checklist: plenty of appealing drinks for designated drivers, those people who agree to limit their intake of alcohol and take responsibility for driving companions who choose to drink.
The fete can take its cue from bars and restaurants, which are paying more attention to the needs of their non-imbibing patrons. Some have gone to serving "mocktails," special mixed non-alcoholic drinks that mimic common spirited offerings:
Makes 1 (5-ounce) serving.
1/2 cup canned or fresh peaches
2 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon grenadine syrup
1 tablespoon pineapple juice
2 to 4 ice cubes
FOR SIMPLE SYRUP:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
In a blender container, combine peaches, simple syrup, lemon juice, grenadine and pineapple juice. Cover and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes. Cover and blend only until ice is cracked.
To make 1 cup of simple syrup: Place 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue boiling for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and let cool.
1 (10-ounce) package frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
1/2 cup water
10 ice cubes
In a blender, combine strawberries, pineapple, limeade concentrate and water. Cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add ice cubes, 1 at a time, through opening in lid. Blend until slushy. Makes 4 (8-ounce) servings.
Hot buttered coffee
Makes 7 (6-ounce) servings.
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 pint vanilla or chocolate ice cream
about 4 cups hot, strong coffee
cinnamon sticks (optional)
In a bowl, beat butter or margarine for 30 seconds. Add sifted confectioners' sugar and ground cinnamon. Beat until well-combined. Add ice cream. Beat until smooth. Transfer ice cream mixture to a freezer container. Cover and freeze. For each serving, spoon about 1/4 to 1/3 cup ice cream mixture into a mug. Add 1/2 cup hot coffee. Stir well. Serve with cinnamon sticks, if desired.