by Kate Spalding | Mar 17, 2022 | Alcohol Free, Blog, Helpful Tips, Mocktail, Recipe, Resources
Normally I post my mocktail around the 15th of the month, but this month I delayed my post for 2 days so we could talk about
St. Patrick’s Day…
Ready?! Let’s go!
When alcohol is a central focus in your life, every day can be seen as a day to drink! For me, when “drinking holidays” arrived, this was truly my time to shine. It was when everyone else drank like I did on the daily! I could be me, I could be free…. I could have a 3 day hangover… I could have UBI bruises (Unidentified Beer Incident)… I could have lost a phone… I could have…
In Cafe RE this week, someone posted about how in the past they used to drink to their Great Granny O’Reilly and tell everyone at the bar about their Irish heritage. Until they did an ancestry test and discovered they are only 2% Irish! I assume if you’re here, you are thinking about cutting out alcohol, so I feel comfortable asking: How many times have you convinced yourself that something was true to justify the way you were drinking?
As we step away from alcohol, we have to build our own tool belt of sobriety tips and tricks to whip out at a moments notice. My biggest tool (and the whole reason I’m here writing this mocktail blog!) is:
Having your own drink is, to me, by far the most important thing when socializing. And St. Patrick’s Day can be a doozie! Everything is green, everyone it seems is drunk and you can almost feel the bad decisions being made.
Who wants a green treat to bring to their best friend’s, brother’s, dog babysitter’s, plant sitter’s, cousin’s, co-worker’s St. Patrick’s Day party?!
The St. Patrick’s Day-Rita (AF)
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 celery stalk, rough chopped (save the leaves for garnish!)
- 2 oz (1/4c) lime juice
- 1 oz (2T) orange juice
- 2 oz (1/4 c) simple syrup
- celery salt for rim
Combine first 4 ingredients in blender and blend until celery is puréed. Strain through cheesecloth or dish cloth, reserving liquid & pressing liquid through. Put liquid back into blender, add a handful of ice and blend. Rim the glass with celery salt and pour into glass. Garnish with celery leaves and drink!
by Kate Spalding | Jan 16, 2022 | Alcohol Free, Blog, Mocktail, Recipe, Resources
Happy 2022! I hope everyone survived the end of 2021 with at least a smile on their face.
Growing up, my grandfather owned a liquor store. It was a family run business, my uncles all worked there as kids and my one uncle worked there his whole life. They raised their family in a small beach town in New Jersey. So it was a mom and pop shop through and through.
However when my grandfather passed away and they were closing the store, our family had the problem of a surplus of glassware. So each child and grandchild received some special glassware.
I have found there’s two ways of thinking when it comes to barware once you’re sober. The “get rid of it” group and the “repurpose it” group. I personally fall into the latter and love using my old glassware with a new purpose. Because today’s mocktail is best served from a Champagne glass I’m using some Perrier-Jouët glasses that I’m sure were part of a promotional package, but now have deep sentimental meaning to me. I have no regrets holding onto these glasses and using them over and over again.
Don’t get me wrong, those plastic wine glasses that were bought so I wouldn’t break *another* glass were thrown away. The cheapie wine glasses, also garbage.
But the special glasses remain, there’s just a lot less of them now
The No Regrets (AF)
Prep time: 60 minutes (including cooling time)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/2 cup sugar
- NA wine*/prosecco/seltzer
Combine first 3 ingredients in sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool. Divide evenly among 4 glasses, top with your NA beverage of choice.
*I used this.
Your sobriety is just that, yours. So do what keeps you sober and just keep moving forward.
by Kate Spalding | Nov 15, 2021 | Alcohol Free, Blog, Holidays, Mocktail, Recipe, The first Year
Hello again all!
We are starting that descent into the holiday season which can often cause anxiety for those of us in sobriety. No matter how much time you have there can be triggers everywhere that threaten to derail you.
First up: Thanksgiving.
For all my Canadian Sober friends, yes I know REAL Thanksgiving was last month.
I quit drinking in August of 2018 and pretty much on October 1st of that year I started panicking about what I was going to do for Thanksgiving. My husband Jay and I spend Thanksgiving with his family, and it was always filled with wine, specialty cocktails and after-dinner shots. That year was different, I had been trying to get sober for 2 years and the determination I had for this round of sobriety felt stronger.
So, I turned to my favorite place on the internet… Pinterest. Frantically searching for the best mocktail that looked enough like an alcohol-filled cocktail that no one would really ask too many questions. I wasn’t ready yet to talk about the fact I had quit drinking, so my plan was just to fake it for a little bit longer. There were so many different recipes for Sangria! Taking ideas from a few recipes, my own imagination and taste buds, I created Sangria minus the booze.
I wish I could go back and tell Past Kate that it would be ok and that no one really cared what I was drinking, they were just focusing on what they were drinking on Thanksgiving. That first holiday, I’m pleased to say, for me was a success. When my sister-in-law asked “What are you drinking?” I confidently replied “Sangria!” and I didn’t have to lie.
Today I’m giving you The First Thanksgiving Sangria.
The First Thanksgiving Sangria (AF)
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 2 medium apples, diced
- 2 medium pears, diced
- 2 medium oranges, skins removed, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cups brewed green citrus tea (cooled) *
- 1 750 ml bottle non-alcoholic sparking apple cider
Using a large pitcher, add the fruit, cinnamon sticks, and tea.
Stir to combine and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Pour into your favorite fancy glass, adding the sparkling cider as a topper to taste.
*I used this tea.
by Kate Spalding | Sep 20, 2021 | Alcohol Free, Blog, Helpful Tips, Mocktail, Recipe
Drinking alcohol for me wasn’t always bad. There are a lot of happy memories I have from when I was drinking. Fun adventures were had, friends were made and laughter was heard echoing through an afternoon. One of the bars my husband and I go to in the summer has a promotion “when it rains, we storm”, which meant a Dark & Stormy would be $1 while it was raining. Fun right?
But what about now that I don’t drink?
What were my options? Clearly my fun was OVER!
My last day 1 was in August 2018. For those of you from New Jersey, we know that the end of August is often the hottest and the rainiest of the summer. I was trying to prepare myself to mourn that old part of my life when my husband Jay came home and said “I’m making you a dark & stormy because it’s going to rain.” That afternoon he drank traditional ones and I drank the NA ones. It was a tiny action that had a huge impact on me.
The recipe was originally part of an ebook I wrote for the Cafe RE community. I have also given this recipe to the bar I mentioned before so those of us not drinking alcohol can still get a little stormy!
Dark & Stormy (AF)
Prep time: 3 minutes
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 2T lime juice
- Ginger beer*
- lime wedge for garnish
Pour pineapple juice and lime juice into shaker and combine. Put ice into a short glass and pour the mixture over it. Top with ginger beer to taste. Stir to combine. Garnish with lime wedge.
*I used this ginger beer.
by Kate Spalding | Jul 14, 2021 | Alcohol Free, Blog, Helpful Tips, Mocktail, Recipe
This past weekend I had the chance to teach some mocktails for the Dry July Restore class hosted by Recovery Elevator. The Sunday classes are a little check in and are meant to be fun. And what’s more fun than making some NA drinks?! For the class we made 3 drinks and I’m sharing one of them here with you now.
As the warm days of summer settle in, we deserve a classic non-alcoholic cocktail. Welcome: Tom Collins! The sweet, bubbly and citrus combination hits the palate differently when it’s hot outside. On Sunday my husband and I sat in the backyard as the weekend came to an end, quietly drinking these together.
The tart & sweet lemon flavor reminds me of being a kid. My siblings and I would get our pajamas on and then go outside to chase lightening bugs having one last lemonade pop for dessert. Because it was “fruit” (oh the 80s!) ours parents let us have them, everyone pretending they were good for us and us children not knowing the difference. We were happy because we were free to run around.
I hope you enjoy this NA drink as much as I do.
Tom Collins (AF)
Prep time: 3 minutes
• 1/2 cucumber peeled
• juice of 1 lemon
• 3 drops liquid stevia* (more or less to taste)
• 3 oz. soda water
• cucumber peel and lemon for garnish
1. Puree the peeled cucumber in a blender until smooth.
2. Pour cucumber puree and lemon juice into a shaker, add stevia. Shake it up!
3. Pour cucumber & lemon mixture over ice in a glass.
4. Top with soda water.
*I used this brand