I really haven’t missed alcohol much at all for the past seven months. I kind of thought I would – we were living in wine country up until two weeks ago, after all. But no, I’ve been perfectly content to just drink tea, water, juice and small amounts of coffee since finding out I was pregnant back in July.
Deli meat, on the other hand, is a totally different story. All I want in life lately is a ham sandwich, piled high with meat, some Swiss and mayo. I’ve tried heating up the meat first, but it isn’t the same. I’ve already directed Dan to make sure my first post-delivery meal is a sandwich.
The one exception to the “I don’t really miss alcohol” rule seems to be when I think about New Year’s Eve. It is the one time of year when we make brandy slush, and we savor every last glass of that batch. That obviously isn’t going to be how we ring in 2015. We’ll also be forgoing our usual board-games-and-cocktails New Year’s Eve party. I don’t think we’ll be up for driving to Milwaukee for our friends’ party that soon after moving and closing on our house, and I doubt we will be unpacked and settled enough to host a big crowd at the new place.
I’ll be honest, I’m a little bummed to be missing out on our annual December 31 traditions. But, I reason, nearly all of our traditions are going to change in some way next year anyways, right? We won’t be giving them up entirely, but they’ll be tweaked to better fit our new little family. And that’s what we’ll do this year – tweak our New Year’s Eve traditions to allot for all the life changes we’ve made in the past six weeks. Maybe we won’t host or attend a giant game night complete with a full cocktail menu, but we can still have a small group of family or friends over a game or two. And while I may not make a big batch of brandy slush to ring in the new year, I can certainly make a bowl of orange green tea mocktail punch that our alcohol-drinking friends can spike with some brandy.
Cheers to the holiday season and ever-changing traditions!
This fruity mocktail punch will please all of your guests. Offer a bottle of brandy alongside the punch and allow the adults to spike their drinks as desired.
Adapted from this brandy slush recipe .
- 4 bags green tea
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 9 cups water, divided
- 16 ounces orange juice
- 16 ounces cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail
- 16 ounces citrus soda (7Up, Sprite, etc)
- Orange slices or candied orange peel, for garnish (optional)
- Arrange the tea bags in a big heat-proof bowl. It will need to hold all of the punch, so be sure it is extra-large! Scoop the marmalade and sugar into the bottom of the bowl.
- Bring seven cups of water to just below a boil. Pour over the tea bags and steep for 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags and whisk to finish mixing in the sugar and marmalade.
- Add the remaining two cups of water and both the orange and cranberry juices to help cool the punch.
- When the punch is at room temperature, it can be chilled. Either refrigerate it for later (and add ice just before your party) or add ice now.
- Just before serving, stir in the citrus soda.
- Garnish each glass with an orange slice or a few pieces of candied orange peel (optional) before ladling in the punch.