If you’re throwing a festive bash this holiday season, make sure your cocktail menu stands out with drinks that will impress all your guests -- even the nondrinkers in the house. Mixologist Natalie Bovis-Nelsen, a.k.a. the Liquid Muse (www.theliquidmuse.com), provides healthy concoctions delicious enough to suit everyone’s tastes in her book Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-Be ($17, Globe Pequot Press), which hits shelves this month. “It’s nice to have nonalcoholic options for people who prefer to have a tasty, beautiful, sexy-looking drink [without] alcohol in it,” Bovis-Nelsen says. Check out these three seasonal selections, perfect for those guests who are looking for liquorless libations. (And for those of you who aren’t, don’t worry. We offer tasty spiked versions too!) -- Haley Shapley
3 ounces cranberry juice
1/2 ounce mandarin orange juice
1 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce orange-flavored syrup
1 lime wedge
Shake juices and syrup with ice. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Spike It: Reduce cranberry juice to two ounces. Replace mandarin orange juice with 1 1/2 ounces of mandarin orange vodka. Replace orange-flavored syrup with Cointreau or other triple sec.
Pants on Fire
1 ounce passion fruit puree
3 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce guava nectar
1 ounce chili-infused simple syrup*
1 Thai chili
Pour passion fruit puree, pineapple juice, guava nectar, and chili syrup* into a mixing glass. Shake with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the Thai chili on a toothpick on the side of the glass.
*Chili syrup: Pour one cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water into a small saucepan, along with one Thai chili. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and let simmer for a few minutes. Let cool. Remove chili, and then store syrup in a jar in the refrigerator.
Spike It: Place three or four Thai chilies into a bottle of vodka. Let sit for at least one week. (The spirit will absorb the flavor and spice from the pods -- the longer it sits, the hotter it will get.) Shake one ounce of the fiery vodka with the juices and chili-infused simple syrup.
Pumpkin Pie Preggatini
2 graham crackers
1 ounce Fee Brothers Spice
2 ounces milk
1 1/2 ounces sweetened
1 heaping tablespoon canned pumpkin
Grind graham crackers into fine crumbs in a food processor. Pour onto a small plate. On a separate plate, pour a small amount of the spiced cordial syrup. Dip the rim of the martini glass into the syrup and then into the graham cracker crumbs, and set aside. Vigorously shake milk, sweetened condensed milk, remaining spiced cordial syrup, and pumpkin in a mixing glass with ice. Slowly strain into a martini glass, and then top with a dollop of whipped cream.
Spike It: Replace two ounces of milk with two ounces of aged brandy.
Recipes reprinted from Preggatinis (©2009) by Natalie Bovis-Nelsen. Published by GPP, Guilford, CT.