Thanksgiving should be festive for everyone—not just those people who use it as an excuse to break out the bubbly. Here are 7 delicious (and sometimes unusual) non-alcoholic drinks to serve before—and with—dinner this Thanksgiving.
Sparkling Sumac Lemonade
Citrusy-flavored sumac imparts a tart and refreshing flavor to this unusual homemade soda. Mixed with a little fresh lemon, it's just the stuff to get your tastebuds raring to go on Thanksgiving day.
Mulled Cider Shrub
Prior to the invention of refrigeration, a shrub syrup was a means of preserving fruit long past its picking. These days, the name is often used to refer to any vinegar-based syrup, often used in cocktails, but also totally delicious served over ice with a pour of sparkling water. This version uses apples and apple cider vinegar, plus cinnamon, vanilla bean, cloves, allspice, and cardamom.
Orange, Rosewater, and Mint Sparkler
Orange juice isn't that exciting, but a touch of fragrant rosewater and plenty of muddled mint, topped off with bubbly seltzer makes for a sophisticated, refreshing drink that's much more interesting than your standard soda.
Fizzy Pear Ginger Punch
Pear juice gets a kick from spicy ginger in this autumn punch. The pear's sweetness is balanced with fresh lemon, and you can garnish each drink with a little chewy candied ginger.
Blueberry Lime Rickey
This spin on the classic soda fountain grapes gets a gorgeous color from a quick syrup made with frozen blueberries. You can make the syrup a few days in advance and mix up each boldly flavored soda to order.
Sparkling Apple Tea
You can do better than plain ol' Martinelli's. This fall punch has complex flavor from sparkling apple cider and black tea steeped with cinnamon sticks. The tannins in the tea work with a little bit of fresh lemon to counter the sweetness of the cider.
Ok, adding 5 dashes of Angostura bitters does contribute a small amount of alcohol to this concoction, but if your guests are ok with that, this is a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving sipper, with the texture and tart, bittersweet flavor you might expect from a Campari drink.