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What Non-Alcoholic Drinks Can I Order at Bars in Recovery?

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What Non-Alcoholic Drinks Can I Order at Bars in Recovery?

Before you got sober, a night out may have consisted of buying a round of shots or taking turns paying for pitchers for the table. Although you may have had a fun time with your friends, remind yourself about the negative impacts of those nights, such as dangerous blackouts, brutal hangovers, and endless passive-aggressive fights with your family. Now that you are in recovery, you may isolate yourself and feel left out from these social outings. Once you are strong enough in your sobriety to hang out with friends at a bar without drinking alcohol, you need to know what you can order now that you are sober. Thankfully, various non-alcoholic drinks for recovery taste amazing, look sophisticated, and are just plain fun to drink.

At New Start Recovery, we understand the need to spend time in the company of friends and family. You do not have to keep yourself locked up at home when your loved ones want to enjoy a night out. With a relapse prevention plan in place and mocktails in hand, you can prepare for a fun, sober night. And remember, you can always call us at [Direct> if you need more support for alcohol addiction recovery.

Disclaimer: Bars are a huge trigger for relapse, so if you are in early recovery or have a history of relapse, it is best to avoid bars altogether. Either hold off until you are completely confident and comfortable in your recovery or try to find new places to hang out with friends.

Anxiety Over Ordering Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Recovery

It is very common for people to experience anxiety when ordering at a restaurant or a bar when they are in recovery. If the anxiety is too much, it is better to avoid these environments. People in recovery often worry that:

  • Others will make a big deal about them not drinking.
  • They might look uncool to the bartender if they order non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Others will pressure them to drink alcohol.

If you are anxious about the above, keep in mind that they will support your recovery if your friends are true friends. They may slip up and accidentally offer to buy you a drink, but you can respond by asking for water or other non-alcoholic drinks. If you are concerned that your friends will give you a hard time with non-alcoholic drinks, you might want to consider sitting this one out. It is not worth putting your hard-earned recovery in jeopardy.

As for the bartender or server, they do not care. They have a job to do, and as long as you are buying something — soda, a virgin mojito, cranberry juice on ice, etc. — you are helping them. And if you want to stick with water, they will not mind. It takes virtually no time to fill a water glass. Just be sure to be courteous and tip them.

Mocktails for People in Recovery

When you get tired of glass after glass of water, try these fun mocktails on your next night out:

  • Tonic water and lime are among the easiest and most popular non-alcoholic drinks to order at a bar. Tonic water is a classic alcohol mixer, but you can also drink it sans alcohol. The added lime will give it more flavor, although you can always ask for a slice of lemon or orange if you prefer.
  • Craft sodas – Many bars now carry a selection of unique craft sodas, like ginger ales and root beers. Craft sodas generally taste a lot better than your typical colas.
  • Virgin mojito – Some people do not feel comfortable if they stand out, and they think ordering water, juice, or soda will draw unwanted attention to their alcohol-free status. In that case, a virgin mojito might be the way to go. The muddled garnishes make it impossible to distinguish it from the alcoholic version.
  • Virgin Mary – Bloody Marys are an acquired taste, but if you like tomato juice and enjoy spicier drinks, a Virgin Mary is a good non-alcoholic alternative. You will still get all the fun garnishes (olives, celery, pickles, etc.) without the alcohol.
  • Virgin Collins – A Tom Collins without the gin, a Virgin Collins, is a combination of soda water, lemon juice, and sugar syrup. It is one of those classic non-alcoholic drinks sweet, refreshing, and easy to sip on. Plus, you can customize it by substituting the sugar syrup for something like grenadine or a non-alcoholic cordial, like elderflower.
  • Spice up your Shirley Temple – A Shirley Temple is the infamous non-alcoholic drink, and they are known for their delicious flavor. The base for a Shirley Temple is lemon-lime soda or ginger ale, grenadine, and a maraschino cherry, but you can easily ask a bartender to spice up the drink for you. Try it with soda water for a drier, bitter taste. Or splash some lemon juice in there for a citrus kick.

Recovery does not need to take the fun out of your social life. By developing a list of your favorite mocktails, even going to a bar with your friends can be more fun sober. You will enjoy the taste of what you are drinking, you still get to socialize, and you will remember everything that happened when you wake up the next day.

New Start Recovery: Your Support System for Alcohol Addiction Recovery

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism or another substance addiction, New Start Recovery can help. Call us at [Direct> for a free and confidential screening, or talk to us on our live chat.

Posted in Addiction, Alcohol Addiction Treatment, Alcohol Detox, Alcoholism, Culture, Recovery, Sober Living Program