Last week, I shared some of my bet tips for navigating peer pressure and substances in social situations. After almost 4 years of sobriety, I have become quite comfortable saying no firmly in most settings, but it can definitely be a little bit awkward being the only one with no alcoholic drink in hand OR not knowing what to serve/offer at social gatherings.
YES, I’ve been that person to join the group toast or cheers with a teacup or my glass of water, or to chat at parties while empty handed and I don’t really mind it. But, if you find social settings challenging to navigate, having some kind of drink in your hand can actually help you feel more at ease, more covert, and if you’re not ready to openly share that you’re not drinking alcohol, you can totally go undercover with a nonalcoholic bev. Similarly, you can serve nonalcoholic drink alternatives at gatherings so you can still share a toast sober-style with friends and family.
If you’re transitioning or working towards sobriety, having a healthy swap may actually be really helpful in the beginning. Sometimes it’s the habit and the ritual that’s hard to kick, more than the drink itself. For example, if you’ve ever used drinking as a coping mechanism when you felt stressed or down, you can swap out the drink for something non-alcoholic and re-built that habit. At the same time, you may want to focus on habit changing completely, so if that’s the case, reserve these drink options for meals out, or special events.
Today I’m sharing a little list of 5 of my favourite drink alternatives to serve at parties, or to drink when you’re in a social situation.
One of my favourite drinks in general is kombucha. Kombucha does contain the slightest trace amount of alcohol (usually ~0.5%) as it is a fermented drink, but you don’t really get a “buzz” or get drunk from drinking them. Some people prefer to stay away from kombucha for this reason, but I personally think it’s all about your intention in drinking kombucha. So long as you’re not going empty stomach, 4-5x bottles of kombucha looking to get a high, I think it’s perfectly fine to enjoy a delicious probiotic drink. It does have a slight beer-like flavour about it however, so if that is triggering for you, then you may want to opt for another option.
Some of my personal favourites are:
I also find that the GTs Cranberry flavour kombucha has a very reminiscent cocktail-like quality about it in flavour and is great for virgin cocktails.
Here’s an easy and perhaps obvious one: mocktails. Almost any drink can be made virgin and you can swap out any bubbly alcohols for seltzer or soda. This is a great way to continue enjoying your favourite cocktails and all the flavours of the drink without the alcohol. You can also experiment with making cocktails using kombucha, or offer cocktail bases and give guests the option to spike their drink with kombucha or alcohol.
Beyond just the Shirley Temple, some faves that I might order virgin include Kamikazes, Mojitos or a Paloma. All of them are excellent virgin. Trust me!
Sparkling water can be a great way to get your bubbly fix sans alcohol. There are so many varieties available these days, infused with fruit, or fruit flavours. There are also delicious sparkling teas you can drink as well!
Some of my personal favourites are:
If you really love bubbles and you want to DIY and save some money, you might consider investing in a SodaStream to carbonate any drink of choice in your own kitchen.
Opt for a juice at a restaurant or enjoy a sweet drink. If you want something less sweet, you can also go for an infused water–slightly less boring than regular water. Most restaurants offer juices on their menu, or you can ask for something like cranberry juice, which most bars will always have on hand. You can also enjoy infused water, which is not only easy but fun to make at home, or ask for infused water at a restaurant.
I like green juices, fresh squeezed citrus juices, or sometimes I’ll even DIY a virgin drink by asking for a juice on the menu plus sparkling water. Get creative!
Did you know there are actually products resembling alcohol, but alcohol-free? There are AF beers, spirits and more these days. If you’re someone that truly enjoys the taste of alcohol, then this might be a good option for you. If you’re sober, however, you may want to be careful as the flavours may be triggering. Still, it’s awesome that these products exist and it’s a great option for anyone who’s simply looking to cut down on their alcohol consumption as well.
HOT TIP: Sip your non-alcoholic beverages out of a fancy cup or a champagne flute! Sometimes it’s all about the experience.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful–feel free to let me know if I missed any in the comments, and I’d love to hear your thoughts about this week’s post. Look out for next week’s blogpost on swapping one addiction for another PLUS a virgin cocktail recipe.
Love and light,
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