A holiday isn’t complete without the holiday drinks. Whether you like it warm, cold, sparkly or just fruity, we’ve rounded up a few vegan recipes that your friends and family would love during this holiday season.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
This is probably the most ordered drink during the holidays. Even Instagram has millions of hashtags just for #PumpkinSpiceLatte! But since we want ours in a vegan and healthier version, here it is. This recipe only serves one person with a preparation time of 5 minutes, so feel free to do the math by adding more tablespoons to each ingredient for a bigger batch of lattes.
2 tbsp canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup milk of choice, or (for a richer taste) a combination of nondairy creamer and milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp strong coffee
sugar or stevia to taste
Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe: Mix everything but the coffee with a fork or whisk. Then, for a hot latte, you can either microwave or heat on the stove. Add coffee and whisk again. If desired, top with Homemade Coconut Cool Whip.
Additional Instructions: Drink in front of a fireplace! (Unless you live in a warm tropical country, a pool works too.)
Cranberry Lime Cocktail
Cocktails are usually loaded with sugar and we all know how sugar isn’t exactly a part of the healthy options. Plus, being hangover and sugar-rushed isn’t exactly a good festive feeling. So don’t fret, because this cocktail/mocktail isn’t loaded with sugar but it tastes so good!
1-ounce vodka (about 2 tablespoons)
handful fresh cranberries (or thaw frozen)
2-3 lime slices
1/4 cup 100% pure unsweetened cranberry juice
1 cup club soda
Agave nectar or other liquid sweeteners, to taste (I use 1/2 teaspoon agave)
1. Add the vodka to a 16-ounce tall glass. Now add a handful of cranberries and a couple lime slices. Add the ice on top.
2. Pour in the cranberry juice followed by the club soda.
Add a squeeze of lime juice (if desired) and agave to taste.
3. Stir to combine. Enjoy immediately!
Note: 1. For a mocktail, simply omit the vodka and add a couple extra tbsp of cranberry juice. 2. For a fun variation, try pomegranate juice + arils instead of cranberry juice and cranberries.
Just in case most of you still don’t know the drill, we advocate that tea is healthier than coffee. But this Christmas, we know that some of you are still naughty than nice! So we still got coffee latte recipes up in the bunch. But for the nice ones out there, here’s a chai tea recipe that can upgrade the Christmas feeling that’s wafting in the air. It’s vegan, just like everything else in this recipe list!
2 cups water
1 heaping Tbsp loose leaf black tea*
2 Tbsp whole chai spice blend – use less if ground
Cane sugar, maple syrup, or other sweeteners of choice (to taste)
1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (more to taste)
Coconut Whipped Cream for topping
Optional: scant 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked in cool water overnight or very hot water 1 hour – then drained)
1. Add water, tea, and spices to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10-15 minutes to fully steep.
2. Remove from heat and add almond milk and sweetener of choice and stir. Warm for 2-3 minutes off the heat, and then pour over 2 serving mugs using a fine mesh strainer.
3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more for sugar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan) for sweetness, and ground cinnamon for a little extra warmth.
4. Optional: For extra creamy texture, add your chai tea mixture + scant 1/2 cup soaked cashews in a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness/seasonings as needed. I added more sweetener, ground cinnamon and ground ginger for extra spice.
5. Either reheat briefly on the stovetop or microwave and serve. Heat modestly as the mixture can thicken quite a bit when reheated for too long (due to the cashews). If it gets too thick, thin with more almond milk or water.
6. Top with coconut whip and a dash of cinnamon and serve. Leftovers keep well covered in the fridge for up to a few days, though best when fresh.
Sparkling Fruit Punch
This sparkling punch is good for big batches. Not only is it easy to make, but it will definitely be a versatile pair to any of your holiday dishes.
1 lb fresh strawberries, stems removed and halved
1/4 cup fresh blueberries (44 g)
1/2 cup fresh black grapes (90 g)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (do not use that pre-made stuff at the store!)
4-6 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I only used 4 tablespoons but feel free to adjust, I found this to be just enough sweetness to cut the bitter and not be too sweet)
4 cups sparkling water, chilled
Note: It is important your sparkling water is chilled for several hours or overnight because if you add it to room temperature and then chill the drink afterward, the carbonation will fizz out by the time you serve it. To save time, you can have all your fruit ready the day before and then just add everything a few minutes before serving in your blender when it’s all nice and cold.
1. Before starting, make sure your sparkling water has chilled for a long time in the fridge (see above note).
2. Wash all your fruit and chop the strawberries and remove stems. Add them along with all the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and add any more sweetener if desired. I find this was plenty sweet with 4 heaping tablespoons, but if you are serving it at a party, you may add a little more.
3. Lastly, drain the punch through a fine mesh strainer to catch any skins left behind from the grapes. Pour in a pitcher and over ice if desired. Garnish and serve.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
What’s Christmas without Hot Chocolate? This is by far the best on the list especially if you have kids. Bonding time would be perfect with this hot drink that’s nostalgically delicious!
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 tablespoons dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (Dairy; would make it non-vegan)
Preferred sweetener (A couple drops of liquid stevia, half a pack of powdered stevia, or 1 tbsp of raw sugar)
1/8 tsp peppermint extract (Optional)
1. Add almond milk to a large (artsy) mug and microwave for 1 minute. Or add liquid to a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Once the milk is warm, add cocoa powder, chocolate, and sweetener and whisk to combine.
3. Put back in the microwave or continue cooking on stove top until completely combined and has reached your preferred temperature.
4. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
5. Lastly, add in peppermint extract if preferred. Stir, and garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder and enjoy!