If you’re planning a cocktail party anytime soon, it’s nice to have some recipes to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions. You might think beer as well as wine are “safe” alternatives to serve at cocktail parties. However, they’re not great choices for those who are vegan or gluten-free. Why not wow them with a variation on otherwise-forbidden favorites instead? Your non-vegan guests will enjoy the twist on traditional flavors that these five cocktail recipes deliver!
5 Cocktail Recipes Sure to Impress Your Vegan, Gluten-Free & Paleo-Dieting Friends
Dairy-Free White Russian
If you’re either lactose-intolerant or just want a healthier White Russian, this one features a rich, creamy texture. Like a few other cocktail recipes on our list, this version includes variants using either store-bought or homemade ingredients.
Ingredients (per serving):
2 oz. vodka (Smirnoff Vanilla’s always a good and vegan-friendly choice!)
2 oz. coffee liqueur (we recommend Kahlua, which is safe for vegans)
Splash of Pacific Foods Cashew Original plant-based beverage (to taste)
Put three ice cubes into your favorite cocktail glass. Pour in vodka and coffee liqueur, then stir gently with a swizzle stick to blend. Top with cashew beverage (splash to taste) and serve. If you like your White Russians extra-creamy, use ¼ cup of cashew beverage per glass.
The thing that makes this recipe work so well is using cashew milk or cream instead of coconut. If you’ve ever poured coconut milk over ice, then you know it tends to clump up some. This gives cold drinks with coconut milk a weird texture, but cashew-based creams and milks don’t have this issue. In fact, it’s super-easy to make your own fresh at home. Here’s a great cashew cream recipe, if you like!
Vegan Bloody Mary
Of all cocktail recipes that seem vegan-friendly, a traditional Bloody Mary’s anything but. It contains not one, but three ingredients that vegans cannot enjoy without a few modifications. Here’s the best recipe I found that didn’t involve spending a whole day prepping ingredients with my blender.
Ingredients (serves 8-10):
1 bottle Tito’s vodka
48 oz. plain tomato juice (do not use V8, it’s not vegan!)
3 tbsp. vegan horseradish sauce (Vegenaise Horseradish Sauce works well for this; otherwise, you can make your own using this recipe)
3 tbsp. of Annie’s Organic Vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 ¼ tsp. celery salt
3 tsp. garlic salt
1 pinch smoked paprika
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
Tabasco sauce (to taste)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 lime, cut into wedges
Celery (for garnish, if desired)
Before you do anything else, assemble your vegan Bloody Mary mix in a large pitcher. That includes tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, ground pepper, paprika, celery and garlic salts along with Tabasco (to taste). Dump celery salt onto a small plate. When you’re ready to serve guests, rub one lemon wedge along each glass rim. Then, dip in celery salt to coat evenly. Fill each glass with ice. Then, squeeze one lemon wedge and one lime wedge into a drink shaker. Add 2 oz. Tito’s vodka, 6 oz. Bloody Mary mix; shake well. Strain mixture into glass. Then, garnish with another lime wedge and a celery stalk, if desired.
Skinny, Paleo-Friendly & Gluten-Free Vegan Margaritas
It’s a struggle for the ages: Do you make vegan margaritas with sugar-based simple syrup? Or do you go for honey-based simple syrup to accommodate guests on keto/paleo diets? We prefer this simple, low-carb recipe that accommodates everyone’s dietary needs and tastes! Plus, it’s gluten-free.
Ingredients (per serving):
2 oz. good-quality tequila (label must say 100% agave to be paleo-friendly; Sauza Blue Silver’s a great choice)
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. agave nectar
1 lime, cut into wedges
Himalayan sea salt (for garnish)
Wet serving glass rim with lime wedge, then roll in Himalayan sea salt to coat. Pour tequila, lime juice and agave nectar into a shaker, and then shake well. Strain into serving glass and garnish with additional lime wedge, if desired.
Paleo-Friendly/Vegan Eggnog Cocktail Recipes
Is it possible to recreate classic cocktail recipes that capture the original flavors, but without all the dietary sins? Yes — if you have a blender, this one’s especially easy to make! It’s perfect to serve any guest during winter holiday season. Below, we’ve marked the recipe’s ingredient substitutions to make specific versions for serving to either paleo or vegan guests.
Ingredients (for 2 servings):
3 cups coconut milk (almond milk also works well)
3 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. allspice
Either 1.5 tsp. rum extract (paleo-friendly recipe), OR
3 tbsp. dark rum (vegan-friendly recipe — Plantation Original Dark Rum’s a great choice!)
Put all ingredients into your blender and blend well for 30-60 seconds. Serve immediately. You can also scale this recipe up and it’ll keep in the fridge for a day or two, minus the alcohol.
Vegan Crock Pot Wassail (Virgin + Boozy Cocktail Recipes)
Cocktail recipes that are just as delicious without booze are essential for gatherings that might also include children. Below is a classic winter drink you can make with or without any alcohol. Bonus: Once you’ve got the ingredients mixed together and warmed up, this wassail will make your house smell amazing.
Ingredients (about 9 servings without alcohol, 12 if using brandy):
2 quarts apple cider
1 cup orange juice
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
Wash your orange well and then cut off both ends. Then, slice the remaining orange into ring-shaped slices. Then, pour all liquid ingredients and spices into your 4-6 quart-sized slow cooker. Add orange slices to float on top once all ingredients are in. You can either cook the mixture for two hours on high, or four hours on low. Finally, add one shot of brandy to each “adult” serving in ceramic mugs, if desired.
These delicious cocktail recipes will help make you the perfect host for holiday events as well as special occasions.