Do you ever host alcohol-free parties? I do, frequently — there are certain groups of people in my life who don't drink. But I miss the special something that a good cocktail or bottle of Prosecco can add to a party, so I make up for it with other little touches. This is my favorite: Muddling raspberries (or any other berry) with sparkling water, and throwing in a handful of mint, too.
This is such a simple, quick way to dress up a drink. It doesn't need to be saved for teetotaller parties either; I often serve this at the table along with wine.
My usual approach is to put about half a pint of raspberries in the bottom of a pitcher, muddle them just a bit with a handful of mint leaves, and then fill up the pitcher with sparkling water. I add the rest of the raspberries or put a few in each guest's glass. It's not a terribly sweet drink at all; it's just light and refreshing.
If you do want to sweeten it up a bit you can add elderflower syrup or lime cordial. Non-alcoholic bitters, such as the Fee Brothers' rhubarb or grapefruit bitters also make nice flavorings.
I just love how a pitcher like this makes the table more colorful and beautiful, and it makes a simple glass of water just a little more interesting.
Do you choose to avoid alcohol at your parties? If so, what do you serve instead?