Recently, I decided to take a month off from drinking alcohol. You can read more about that on the blog soon, but mainly I was looking to disrupt this habit in my life and just take a little break—like a reset button. During this 30-day period, I made lots of different kinds of mocktails (which are simply cocktails that don’t contain alcohol) and other yummy drinks. We’ve shared quite a few recipes for non-alcoholic drinks on the blog before, but I had a number of people ask me to share more from Instagram, so I thought I would.
So, first I figured out during my sober month that for me a big part of having an evening drink isn’t so much about the booze as it is about the ritual. I like to take a couple minutes to make a drink, whether it contains alcohol of not, and then take my time enjoying it. I might watch some TV, read a book, or chat with my husband. But it’s really more about taking a little time to chill out at the end of the day and I think for me those few minutes I take to actually put the drink together is almost a mini signal to my brain that says, "Good job, you’re done working today and now it’s time to take a break," or something along those lines. Of course I do enjoy a boozy drink or glass of wine too; I’m not saying it’s the exact same thing as obviously alcohol does have an effect on our bodies/brain. But a big part of it for me is about taking a couple minutes to make a drink, and this little habit signals it’s break time.
That being said, I don’t usually make super elaborate mocktails. They are still usually very simple, just 2-3 ingredients. I also tend to keep them very low to no sugar, simply because I do make them most days, so I want them to be drinks that I feel good about having that often. I don’t really have that many "recipes" as I tend to just think of them as more a formula you can change up based on what you have or what you like. And since the weather is finally cooling off, I’m sharing both hot and cold drink options.
For a cold cocktail, I will use some kind of flavored sparkling water + fresh citrus + fresh herbs or berries. I sometimes add a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar (like 1/2 to 1 teaspoon). And sometimes I’ll mix one part sparkling water to one part kombucha (although kombucha does contain sugar, but I love the flavors and also getting some probiotics is great).
Using this formula, here’s a sample drink I made pretty often during my sober month. Half a teaspoon balsamic vinegar muddled with a couple big leaves of basil and a few raspberries or strawberries (whatever I had), then I’d add ice and fill the glass with a flavored sparkling water. Give that a stir and you’ve got a very flavorful and sort of strange (but I like it!) mocktail.
To make a non-alcoholic hot toddy, all you need is a flavorful tea + fresh lemon + a few spices (turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg—it’s up to you). I personally tend to stick with teas that are heavy on the ginger as I like that flavor alongside lemon, but you could also make something more fruity if you like.
I don’t usually drink coffee in the evenings unless it’s decaf, but in the afternoons I sometimes make what I like to call "frothy coffee," so I just thought I’d share that here too. You simply take a cup of hot coffee and add it to a blender along with a tablespoon of coconut oil or butter (or a mixture of the two), add a couple pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg and blend well. It will get super frothy and it’s really delicious. This is especially great if you’re doing Keto as it contains a decent amount of fat and feels like drinking a latte.
Like to do shots? Try a shot of apple cider vinegar. I also add this to my hot tea non-alcoholic hot toddies and it adds a little zing of flavor. I’d love to hear if you have any favorite mocktail or beverages you make when you’re avoiding alcohol! What are your favorite combinations or flavors? xo. Emma