As I’m nearing my one year sober journey next month, which I am so proud of me, btw, and as the holidays are fast approaching, this topic has been on my mind. During the holidays alcohol consumption doubles and while I am still choosing to be sober out loud, there are many who struggle with wanting to cut back but feel pressure this time of year to still accept that drink. I want you to know there are other delicious options that still feel celebratory and fun, without the alcohol.
I remember right where I was a year ago, wanting to quit and was finally ready to quit.
I had been using wine, my drink of choice, as a means to not face some harsh realities. My 2022 year has been about being awake to those hard things and finally feeling them so I can move through and move on from them. I officially quit drinking December 23, 2021.
If you want to hear more about that part of my story, I invite you to listen to a very vulnerable podcast episode I did in April called Choosing to be Sober.
If you’re wanting to keep your sobriety journey going or if you just want to drink less during the holidays, I’ve got 5 delicious mocktails that will keep you social and while not making you sluggish and foggy feeling from drinking alcohol.
5 mocktails to try this holiday season:
1.5 oz sparkling water
2 oz cranberry juice
4 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2.5 oz apple cider
10 cranberries (plus additional for garnish)
Muddle cranberries and orange wedge in cranberry juice, and then pour in the rest of the ingredients and stir with a spoon. Garnish with cranberries and orange peel and serve on ice.
*From the Waldorf Astoria Chicago
2 oz cranberry juice
.5 oz lemon juice
2 oz homemade sorrel tea
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Top with kombucha and garnish with a clove-studded orange twist.
*From Jim Wrigley, beverage manager at Ave at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman
Apple Cranberry Spritzer
In a glass mix equal parts apple juice and cranberry juice. Add a dash of Sprite. Garnish with cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.
*From Jekyll Island Club Resort, Jekyll Island, Georgia
.75 oz cinnamon syrup
.75 oz lime juice
.5 oz cranberry juice
Combine the cinnamon syrup, lime juice, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Pour into a glass over ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprig sprinkled with a dusting of powdered sugar.
*From XV Beacon, Boston
2 muddled blackberries
1.5 oz orange juice
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz Saigon cinnamon syrup*
Build all ingredients in a shaker and shake well. Strain into a Collins glass and top with soda water.
Saigon Cinnamon Syrup:
2 tbsp Saigon cinnamon
1 quart water
1 quart white sugar
Boil all ingredients while whisking periodically. Let simmer then strain through a chinois (or a fine strainer). Let cool.
*From Matt Tocco at Pinewood Social in Nashville, Tennessee
There are also many other NA wine and beer drinks that are good too. Some my husband and I enjoy are:
NA Wine – Fre
NA Champagne – Tost
NA Beer – IPA and Heinken 0.0
If you’re looking for more budget friendly options, because even making mocktails can get pricey, try simply infusing water or flavored sparkling water with fresh fruit or cucumbers. Add a fancy glass, garnish with frie and you’ve got yourself a fun beverage that feels celebratory without the expense.