On the other hand, if you're more of the "eat, drink and be merry" philosophy -- at least until January -- you might spike these drinks for those who prefer to indulge.
Click on the link above to read about all the non-alcoholic suggestions. Here are a few, with my ideas in parentheses about what alcohol you might consider adding to some of them.
- Cranberry Splash – Fill a tall glass with ice cubes and fill the glass half full with tea (any flavor) and top off with sparkling cranberry juice, such as Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash, or a little plain cranberry juice and ginger ale. Garnish with a wedge of lime and a few floating cranberries for a pretty and festive drink. [Instead of ginger ale, add Prosecco or other sparkling wine]
- Cherry Bomb – Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, remove from the heat and add 1 cup of grenadine, stirring to combine. Cool slightly and then pour into ice cube trays. Freeze for at least 2 hours. To make the drink, fill a tall glass with the ice cubes and top with a lemon lime soda. Garnish with several bottled cherries on a toothpick laid across the top of the drink. [Cherry flavored vodka, or just a shot of plain vodka, would spike this one nicely.]
- Grape cider sparkler – Combine ¼ cup of grape juice with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Split this mixture between 2 glasses, then fill up the glass with sparkling cider. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
- Apple pie spiced cider – You can create this warm and soothing drink in place of a hot toddy. In a medium pan, whisk together 1 ¼ quarts of apple cider, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of allspice, ½ teaspoon of ground ginger and ¼ teaspoon of cloves. Add a pinch of salt (optional) and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat. Grate some fresh nutmeg over the pot. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve in mugs and garnish with a whole cinnamon stick. [I've always liked rum in hot cider, but others swear by bourbon.]