For many of us, having a festive drink (or three) is a big part of Christmas. Whether that’s a Snowball cocktail, a thimble of Baileys over ice, or a warming glass of mulled wine, alcoholic beverages are an enjoyable indulgence come the festive season, and something we shouldn’t miss out on just because we’re striving to lead a more compassionate lifestyle by being vegan.
However, many of our favourite tipples contain some animal product or other, making them unsuitable for vegan diets. Baileys, for example, has dairy in it while eggnog contains, obviously, egg. Even some red wines can’t be trusted. Thankfully, though, there are cruelty-free alternatives available, a few of which I thought I would share with you all today.
1 | White Russian
If you’ve seen Coen Brothers’ classic, The Big Lebowski, then you’ll be familiar with this concoction, which mixes together Kahlua (coffee liqueur), vodka and milk or cream. While it’s not in itself a very Christmassy drink, it is one of those boozy bevvies that you might not bother to make if there weren’t a good enough excuse to, and what better excuse does one need but Christmas?
For our vegan-friendly version, we used 2 tbsp Kahlúa, 60 ml Absolut vodka and 1 tbsp Oatly cream. We poured this into a small glass over ice, topped it up with cold Oatly milk and finished with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
2 | Marks & Spencer Gold Crème Brûlée Liqueur
Vegan Twitter was overjoyed to discover this cruelty-free gem available at high street staple, M&S. While it’s not the Baileys substitute I’d expected it to be, it is a delicious drink in its own right. It’s sweet, with tones of vanilla and caramel, perfect served over ice. Just look at that gold flecked surface!
3 | Rum-spiked Hot Chocolate
I’ve been determined to come up with a vegan-friendly hot chocolate every inch as decadent and delicious as the ones available at the coffee shops this year, and I’m happy to say that I’ve done it! Of course, you needn’t add any booze to this warming drink if you don’t want to, but a drop of dark rum will be sure to add a festive kick into the mix.
To rustle this scrumptious beverage up, I measured out a cup of Oatly, slowly heating it up over a medium heat. I added 2 tsp brown sugar and 60 ml dark rum (I used Captain Morgan, which is vegan) and let the milk continue to warm up. In the meantime, I mixed 1 tbsp Oatly milk with 2 tsp cocoa powder, to form a paste in my drinking cup, then poured over the heated milk and mixed it thoroughly with the paste.
There are several ways that these drinks can be customised, from using a different non-dairy milk or coconut cream, to choosing different toppings or adding more spices, etc. It just goes to show that being vegan needn’t mean missing out on the treats you are used to; you may need to get a little creative with them, but isn’t it more fun that way?
More cruelty-free Christmas drink ideas:
| Besos de Oro Brandy and Horchata
| Mulled wine
| Waitrose Gold Shimmer Hot Chocolate
I highly recommend Barnivore’s Vegaholic app for iOS to ensure the alcoholic beverage you’re drinking is vegan. You can find out more about that app and other great apps for vegans here.