Restaurants and bars are some of the biggest hurdles you’ll face in your sober life. They are hard to avoid and even harder to deal with after going through their doors. There is social pressure to drink, a feeling of not wanting to be odd man out, and it can feel awkward to say “Just water for me”. If you’re looking for a new non-alcoholic beverage to suit your sober life, try one of these:
- Sparkling water with lime – This drink is light, refreshing, healthy, and, if served in a rocks glass, visually indistinguishable from a gin and tonic or vodka soda. It’s a great way to slide under the radar if that’s what is called for at the present occasion. It’s simple and classy, a great way to mocktail your way through a more formal evening.
- Bar ginger ale – Most bars and restaurants these days have some actual form of ginger ale or ginger beer these days, but a decade or so ago that was pretty uncommon. If a guest requested a drink that called for ginger ale, canny bartenders would often sub “bar ginger ale” in the recipe with none the wiser. The recipe is as follows: a couple of dashes of bitters (angostura or similar), a splash of sour mix, fill most of the glass with lemon-lime soda, and add a splash of coke on top. You’d be surprised at how convincing this mixture can be (right down to the color!) and there’s many people who still order it even when bottled ginger ale is available. Give it a try – you might have found a new favorite.
- The Mocktail Trinity – Of course referring to the old standbys of Shirley Temple (lemon-lime soda and grenadine), Roy Rogers (cola and grenadine) and Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade). They’re all classic flavors, and fun to order too.
- Brown Pelican – This lesser known drink is sure to impress, particularly around the holidays. It’s 2 parts apple cider to 1 part ginger ale, served over ice. It’s bright and snappy with a complex blend of spices. The sharp notes of the ginger and mulling spices with an overall clean flavor means it’s a great palate cleanser between courses as well.
Take the time to find non-alcoholic drinks that you genuinely enjoy. Going out should be a treat for everyone involved, and you deserve that too. If you’re happy with what’s in your cup, it will show in your company as well.
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Dr. Joseph Ranieri D.O. earned his BS in Pharmacy at Temple University School of Pharmacy in 1981 and His Doctorate Degree in Osteopathic Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine Addiction Certification. Dr. Ranieri has lectured extensively to physicians, nurses, counselors and laypeople about the Disease of Addiction throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 2012.