There’s nothing better than a fun, icy drink on some of the hottest days of the year. Whether it’s sipping a refreshing summer drink by the pool or sipping cold drinks on hot summer days at barbecues, summer cocktails often take center stage when it’s hot, so what about those who love a refreshing libation, but choose to go alcohol-free?
Dominique Personi works as Corporate Director of Medication Assisted Treatment Programs at Recovery Centers of America in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. people who choose not to drink alcohol create healthy and sustainable alternatives.
How to support booze-free guests at your summer party
Personti says there are many reasons why people may choose to live an alcohol-free lifestyle: each deserves respect. “A lot of times we focus on people who are recovering, which is appropriate in many cases, but there are a variety of reasons people choose not to drink alcohol,” she told Yahoo Life. “Whether someone is recovering, sober-curious, or sober due to medical issues, it’s great to have options for them.”
Social settings can be trying for people in the early stages of their healing journey, Personti says, and the struggle intensifies when coupled with the need to explain over and over again the reasoning for refraining from to drink alcohol. Personti says providing mocktails at your summer parties is a great way to help your non-alcoholic friends feel more comfortable at the event.
“Everyone has the right to choose how and when to disclose that they are recovering,” she says. “This is one of the reasons why it makes sense to provide easy access to mocktails as daily options, as it provides an inclusive experience for everyone and normalizes the consumption of non-alcoholic beverages in all settings. “
What to drink when not drinking
Abraham Zherebilov lives in Buffalo, NY and says that as a teetotaler – someone who doesn’t drink alcohol – he has a repertoire of simple mocktails using simple ingredients that sidestep the ever-intrusive questions he receives at social gatherings.
“The way I avoid alcohol at parties is to order a club soda with a lime,” Zherebilov says. “If I’m hosting a garden party, I’ll grab some pomegranate juice and sip it in a wine glass, as it has a similar tannic aftertaste and resembles red wine.”
Sarah Errafay, the Orlando, Florida-based designer of Travels of Sarah Fayshares that as a travel vlogger and blogger, her goal is to shine a light on amazing activities, adventures, and wellness activities that don’t revolve around alcohol.
“I’m constantly at events where there are drinks, and my best tip for getting through the warm months if you’re at a party or event with an open bar is to interrogate for a mocktail,” she says. “Honestly, I often find that when I’m having a good time dancing and participating in activities, no one ever asks me not to drink because I’m having a good time.
Errafay’s must-have mocktails include the classic Shirley Temple, a soft drink made with ginger ale and grenadine, and kombucha. Plus, she loves to bring her own drinks when she can, whether it’s a craft soda or a fresh cold brew coffee.
Marlena Del Hierro is a licensed clinical addiction specialist in Brownsville, TX who specializes in helping her clients with this specific topic. She mirrors Errafay’s advice and shares some of her favorite mocktails for the summer season. “Blank Mojitos [made] with mint, seltzer, lime, and sugar or a sugar substitute,” she says, “virgin Cuba Libre containing lime and coke, seltzers, or sparkling waters with a lime, or even some refreshing lemonade…staying hydrated is so important in hot places especially, so I like mocktails that best incorporate seltzer water.”
Del Hierro shares that keeping a full cup makes it easy to not only stay hydrated, but also avoid being offered a drink.
How to stay sober at summer parties
A mocktail pro, Abby Ehmann, owner of the popular New York hot spot Hekate Cafe and Elixir Lounge built his business around serving fun soft drinks. She remembers the struggle that summer can bring to sobriety.
“I can’t even imagine the events I’ve attended that didn’t offer alcohol,” says Ehmann. “For the new sobers, that’s obviously a problem. But it’s summer – you don’t want to lock yourself inside.”
Ehmann recommends preparing for summer events by packing a cooler full of favorites, so booze presents less of a temptation. “My recommendation would be to pack a cooler with some tasty drinks created with fresh fruit or maybe a six-pack of 0.0% ABV beers, which have all the flavor you could want, but no alcohol” , she says. “There are so many products on the market that provide an adult consumer experience.”
Ehmann offers advice for those looking to cut back on alcohol this summer and beyond. “Eliminating alcohol — or even just cutting back — obviously has a lot of health benefits,” she says. “But the biggest benefit is having a clear mind and more vivid memories. We’re sold alcohol as a necessity to have a ‘good time’, but more often than not those good times are ‘good times’. ‘drunkenness’ which we only remember through a haze of alcohol. .
Courtesy of Abby Ehmann at Hekate Cafe and Elixir Lounge
Mix and serve chilled.
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