An Alcohol-Free Alternative: Cosmo Punch for the Holidays

A few evenings ago, the Hostess and I tended bar for a local business at their annual holiday open house.  In case you’re keeping score, this was my second gig as a guest bartender – back by popular demand (or maybe just because the Hostess did a good job of farming me out) for the same event as last year.  This year we decided to serve the Cosmopolitan.  The Cosmo is quick and easy to make and, with its cranberry flavor and festive color, it’s the perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving and Christmas entertaining.  Our Cosmopolitan recipe proved to be a big hit that evening, and I was surprised that, while most of my “customers” had heard of the Cosmopolitan, several had never actually tasted one.  One person even commented that she didn’t think people drank Cosmos any more; after a few sips won her over she agreed with us that it’s high time for those people to start again.

As with last year’s event, we also wanted to offer an alcohol-free alternative to the featured cocktail so I set about concocting something that would have the same signature flavors as a Cosmopolitan.  It needed the tartness of cranberry, the hint of tangy-sweet orange (normally provided by the Cointreau), along with the subtle bite of lime juice that holds all the flavors together in perfect balance.  Plus some effervescence to round out the edges usually occupied by the vodka.  After a few rounds of measuring, pouring, tasting, and tweaking, we’d created a virgin Cosmo Punch that was awarded the Hostess’ seal of approval.  We mixed up a punchbowl-full for the open house and it earned five-star reviews from drinkers and non-drinkers alike.  The best endorsements came from employees who first opted for the punch, then upgraded to Cosmopolitans once their shifts ended, and declared both to be equally delicious.

The fun and festive open house was a nice way for the Hostess and me to kick off our holiday entertaining season, and we enjoyed introducing (and re-introducing) people to the Cosmopolitan. Cheers!

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2 responses to “An Alcohol-Free Alternative: Cosmo Punch for the Holidays”

  1. laureen says:

    nummmmmmmy. I will be making the virgin cosmo punch for the under-21’s that come at Thanksgiving. Thank you for your wonderful blog posts!
    and a Happy Thanksgiving to both you and the equally talented Hostess. (:

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