The holidays are for celebration, generosity and spending time with family, friends and colleagues. For most of us, this means a blur of social functions – events like holiday fundraisers, office Christmas parties, gift exchanges with friends, huge family dinners and New Year’s Eve parties. The holiday season is arguably the most social of seasons in our society, which may be how it earned its reputation as the most wonderful time of year. But the holidays aren’t wonderful for all of us all of the time.
For many, getting social is synonymous with getting tipsy. The association between being social and drinking alcohol can make the holidays a tricky time for non-drinkers. Many party-goers think that, if you aren’t drinking, you either aren’t fun, aren’t friendly or you just aren’t going to fit in. Basically, you’re The Grinch (unless of course you’re pregnant or someone’s designated driver – the only socially acceptable reasons to stay sober).
Clearly, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Some simply want to enjoy the holiday season without embarrassing alcohol-induced antics and late-morning migraines. The problem is, carrying around a water bottle screams, “I’m not drinking tonight” leaving you subject to pregnancy rumours, pressure to have “a real drink” and requests to drive home your drunken friends. And Plan B – disguising plain club soda as a vodka drink – doesn’t really give you that festive feel, even with the twist of lime.
So what’s a non-drinker to do when faced with another holiday function?
The next time you’re at a holiday function, try ordering one of these 5 delicious, alcohol-free cocktails – perfect to enjoy and evade pressure when you’d prefer to stay sober:
A Non-Alcoholic Fizz
Equal parts cranberry juice, orange juice and club soda, a Non-Alcoholic Fizz is a classic choice for non-drinkers. Fruity and refreshingly fizzy, this non-alcoholic cocktail is usually served on the rocks in a highball glass, so it easily passes for a traditional cocktail.
Alcohol-free sparkling wine is available at most liquor stores; however, bars and restaurants don’t always carry it. The good news is bartenders can still create an excellent champagne substitute. Made with equal parts apple juice (or white grape juice) and ginger ale with a splash of lemon juice, Mock Champagne is a golden, bubbly stand-in for the real thing.
An Arnold Palmer
Now here’s a drink with a story. Pro golfer Arnold Palmer was overheard ordering his usual half-iced-tea-half-lemonade drink in a Palm Springs clubhouse in the ‘60s. The drink was coined the “Arnold Palmer” and soon became popular with American golfers, eventually making its way to the mainstream. Other versions of the Arnold Palmer have since surfaced like the Grapefruit Arnold Palmer, which substitutes grapefruit juice for lemonade.
A Ginger Beer
Not into fruity drinks? Try a Ginger Beer. Not to be confused with Ginger Ale or Root Beer, Ginger Beer is a carbonated drink with ginger as its primary ingredient. Now available at many bars and restaurants, Ginger Beer is usually served by the bottle, exactly like a regular beer. The only thing missing is the four to nine percent alcohol content.
A Virgin … well, almost anything
Pretty much any mixed cocktail can be made without the alcohol. Check out the bar or restaurant’s cocktail menu and order whatever looks good to you, but with ‘virgin’ in front of it. No cocktail menu? Ask for a Virgin Caesar (or Virgin Mary), a Virgin Daiquiri, a Virgin Pina Coloda … you get the idea.