Montreal bartender shares her recipe for holiday mocktails, 'zero guilt' mulled wine

·2 min read

Around the holidays, many people start to think about incorporating festive drinks like mulled wine and eggnog into their menus. But what about people who aren't drinking alcohol?

As Kate Boushel says, "just because you aren't drinking, doesn't mean you can't drink well."

Boushel is the beverage and education director for the Barroco Group, which runs trendy Atwater Cocktail Club and Milky Way bar.

She said increasingly, and for a variety of reasons, many people are trying to cut back on or cut out alcohol.

But it's still possible to "find ways of enjoying yourself without overindulging," she told CBC'sLet's Go.

When it comes to mocktails, it's about rolling up your sleeves and thinking beyond classic sodas, said Boushel.

She said there are plenty of non-alcoholic wines and spirits appearing on the market, including some made in Quebec.

Instead of buying a cheap bottle of red wine for mulling this year, consider working with a non-alcoholic brand.

It's as easy as adding spices and warming it up, she said.

Zero guilt mulled wine 1 (750-ml.) bottle non-alcoholic light bodied & fruity red wine 1 orange, sliced into rounds, plus more for garnish 6 whole cloves 3 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish 3 star anise 3 whole allspice berries 1/4 c. maple syrup Method:

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients.

  • Bring to a simmer (not a boil), then reduce heat to low.

  • Simmer gently for 10 minutes.

  • Serve warm and garnish with more citrus slices and cinnamon sticks.

AP Photo/Matthew Mead
AP Photo/Matthew Mead

Eggnog is another good option for people wanting to whip up a larger batch of drinks which can be either boozy or not.

With this eggnog recipe, alcohol can easily be added at the end to individual glasses so that everyone, kids included, can enjoy the same thing.

Eggnog, à la minute 2oz (60ml) milk 1oz (30ml) cream 0.5oz (15ml) simple syrup 1 egg yolk 1ml (1/4 tsp) vanilla extract 1 cinnamon stick 2 star anise 2 whole cloves 1 whole nutmeg, for grating


  • In a shaker or a mason jar add the clove, one star anise and grate in cinnamon and nutmeg.

  • Add all liquid ingredients.

  • Close the shaker or mason jar and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

  • Open and fill with ice. Close and shake vigorously for 20 seconds, until chilled.

  • Fine strain into your glass.

  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick, one star anise and a touch of grated nutmeg.