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6 Alcohol-Free Options to Serve at Your New Year’s Party

December 31st, 2019

New Year’s Eve is notorious for consuming alcohol and attending wild, raucous parties. For those struggling with addiction, especially alcoholism, options for ringing in the New Year range between staying home alone in a safe environment to attending a party with a significant risk for relapse. 

If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party this year, having equally attractive non-alcoholic beverages available will make your event more inclusive. Here are six alcohol-free options to serve at your next holiday gathering.

Be Mindful of Peer Pressure

When a person in recovery from alcohol addiction attends your New Year’s Eve party, he or she may face several issues, including feeling pressure from other guests at your party to drink. Someone might hand the recovering addict a drink or pressure him or her to take shots. Your recovering addict may even face ridicule for choosing non-alcoholic, “boring” drinks. These factors can make New Year’s parties stressful, painful, and triggering.

To make your New Year’s party inclusive for sober people:

  • Have multiple dry options available.
  • Make sure these non-alcoholic beverages are as attractive as your alcoholic options.
  • Do not single out sober people at your party.
  • Keep an eye out for peer pressure situations and intervene when necessary.

When you’re choosing non-alcoholic options for your party, make sure to choose drinks that anyone would want. Avoid setting out bottled water or canned soda as your only dry options. Choose drinks that are delicious, festive, and different. This will help sober people enjoy your holiday party without feeling left out or facing ridicule

  1. Mulled Punches and Ciders

Mulled wine is a well-loved holiday beverage – simply simmer a selection of dried fruits and fragrant spices in any wine, and you receive a warm, comforting drink. Did you know that you can make mulled punches and non-alcoholic ciders too?

Gather the same spices and fruits you’d use to make mulled wine. Instead of simmering these aromatics in wine, use apple or cranberry juice instead. You’ll get the same warm, spicy flavors of mulled wine you know and love without the alcohol.

2. Sparkling Apple Cider

Don’t want your alcohol-free guests to miss out on the midnight New Year’s toast? A classic alternative to New Year’s Eve bubbly is to use sparkling apple cider instead. Sparkling apple cider is a refreshing alternative to champagne, thanks to its carbonation, similar coloring, and sweet flavor. Many sober people feel as if they’re left out of New Year’s traditions because they do not drink but having sparkling cider on hand can help.

3. Hot Chocolate

What’s more festive than a good old-fashioned hot chocolate? These warm, delicious drinks will appeal to everyone at your New Year’s party. Try setting up a make-your-own hot chocolate bar with different mixes, syrups, and toppings for your guests. Not only will you provide an easy dry option for your sober guests, you’ll have a creative drink station for your party. Just make sure you have enough for everyone – hot chocolate is a popular beverage.

4. Mocktail Recipes

Your non-alcoholic options should be as attractive as your alcoholic options. If you are hosting an informal party with a selection of spirits and mixers for guests to drink, you can provide sodas and juices to your sober guests. However, if you have a hosted bar or you’re serving fancy cocktails, you want to put in an equal amount of effort into your dry options. 

Virgin mocktails are a tasty, sophisticated way to provide equally attractive non-alcoholic beverages at your party. The recipe website Tablespoon has a creative list of non-alcoholic cocktails to serve for your New Year’s Eve guests. 

Some of our favorites include:

  • Sparkling Cranberry Ginger Punch, which includes ginger root, fresh lime juice, and sparkling cranberry juice.
  • The simple Noel Spritzer with apple juice, cranberry-apple juice, sparkling water, and fresh mint.
  • A warming cup of Hot Cranberry Wassail, which has cranberry juice, apple juice, and variety of spices.
  • Fun and whimsical Raspberry Frost Sodas, with cranberry juice, ginger ale, and raspberry sherbet.
  • A revamped Cinnamon Cider made of apple cider, oranges, and spices topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • The refreshing Sparkling Pear Punch, which uses fresh pears, ginger ale, pear juice, and lemon. 

5. Fancy Fruit Juices 

Another creative and fun sober option is to serve a selection of specialty fruit juices. From blood orange and mango to pomegranate and papaya, these juices can provide a low-stress and equally attractive dry option for your sober guests.

6. Italian Sodas 

You can also serve Italian sodas at your party for a fresh, unique beverage option. Both sober and non-sober guests alike will enjoy this feature, which will help dry guests avoid any singling out. Consider setting up an Italian soda beverage bar for your guests to customize their beverages. All you need is:

  • Sparkling water
  • Half & half and whipped cream
  • Ice
  • A selection of flavored syrups

Italian soda syrups come in a variety of flavors, including cherry, lime, orange, vanilla, strawberry, and raspberry. You can even find more elevated flavors, such as blackberry, blood orange, and grenadine. Throw in some unusual flavors, such as lychee, mango, tangerine, and coconut, for even more fun.

DIY Bar Solutions

If you’re hosting a DIY bar or have a spiked punch bowl for your guests to drink from, there are a few ways to incorporate dry drinks at your party.

  • If you have a DIY bar, include mixers, sodas, juices, and waters for sober guests to drink.
  • If you are using coolers to store drinks, include sodas, juices, and waters in a separate cooler from your alcoholic options.
  • Have a second, virgin punch bowl along with your spiked punch. Make sure to clearly label and separate the bowls so no one accidentally takes a sip of alcohol!

Avoid “Non-Alcoholic” Beers and Wines

Serving non-alcoholic beer and wine varieties may seem like a logical solution for alcohol-free guests. However, these drinks still taste very similar to their alcoholic counterparts. If someone struggling with alcohol addiction takes a sip of these drinks, this may trigger a craving for the real deal.

If you have the alcoholic versions available at your party, these non-alcoholic drinks can trigger a relapse for people in recovery. Avoid non-alcoholic beers and wines, and stick to mocktails, punches, and apple cider instead. 

If you have a loved one struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, get help today. Windmill Wellness Ranch offers residential, holistic treatment programs to help people in the Canyon Lake, Texas, area on the path to sobriety.