Imagine yourself this New Year's Eve. Lounging against the sofa in your sexy black dress, diamonds glittering at your throat, raising your Bombay Sapphire martini for a toast with...your 8 year old?

I don't think so! Yes, New Year's Eve is traditionally a holiday for getting sloshed with your closest friends (or some random strangers who are about to become your best friends!), but moms and dads with young kids know that just ain't happening this year. When you've got kids, your world pretty much revolves around them.

Of course, you could always hire a babysitter and head out to the bars on your own. But if your kids are getting to that age where they want to celebrate New Year's also, it feels kinda mean to leave them in the lurch.

It actually is possible to enjoy drinking on New Year's Eve without alcohol being a part of it! Enter the New Year's Eve mocktail.

A mocktail is basically a cocktail without any alcohol. Sounds a bit like an oxymoron since the whole point of a cocktail is that it's alcoholic! But seriously, a lot of the fun experience of drinking cocktails is really about the appearance and the style. Think about it: the brightly colored liquid, the little umbrellas, the maraschino cherries, lime slices, glasses dipped in sugar or salt...aren't those all elements that you can reproduce without having to add a jigger of rum? Of course they are.

So, not only can you make some delicious mocktails for your underage children, but you will also enjoy drinking these. And if you have a group of adults getting together at your place, of course you can always mix up a big batch of mocktails and then those grownups who are off-duty when it comes to looking after the kids can add whatever they like for that extra-special zing. The grown-ups who don't drink or who are celebrating New Year's Eve while pregnant will also appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Now, a really good mocktail is not just a cocktail recipe with the alcohol missing. You want it to taste like a complete drink, not like it's missing something important. So do your research and find free mocktail recipes online. Or invest in a comprehensive book like The Mocktail Bar Guide.

There are so many great, creative ideas. Once you have a feel for what does and does not work, you can invent your own New Year's Eve mocktail recipes!

Your kids and their friends will really enjoy their mocktails, and they'll feel a lot more included in the New Year's Eve festivities. You will enjoy quality time with your whole family while still ringing in the New Year in traditional style. Cheers!