BYO Mocktail: Tamarind Agua Fresca

BYO Mocktail: Tamarind Agua Fresca

At this point it sounds cliche, 2022 has been an a$$ kicker of a year. I’m very tired, but I’m also very sober, still. Sober because I was lucky enough to have built a large toolbox which I relied on a lot this year. When I tell you that I used ever single tool in there… I am not lying.

2022 has been the year I almost drank.

Best night ever
Fangwell judging me and also probably you.

 

For the most part I hang out with my pets and my husband. But among the highlights was a cruise to Alaska and I went to Bozeman to hang out with my sober friends, who are now like family.

Returning home, all I want to do is spend the long days of the end of summer on my back porch drinking something fancy and refreshing.

 

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Therefore, I keep my mixing simple and to the point. I used fruit to keep it sweet and a topper of your choice of seltzer makes it unique!

 

Best night ever

 

 

Tamarind Mango Agua Fresca (AF)

Serves 2
Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 cup Tamarind Nectar
  • 1 t Tamarind puree
  • 1⁄2 cup frozen mango
  • 1 t honey
  • 2T Tajin
  • Fizzy water (your choice of flavor)
To make the drink

1- In a blender place the nectar, puree and frozen mango. Blend until smooth.

2- Rub the honey along the rim of the glasses and then dip the edges into Tajin.

3- Divide the mixture evenly and top with the fizzy water.

 

Sangria

 

Love and Mocktails,

Kate

BYO Mocktail: Pineapple Basil Lemonade

BYO Mocktail: Pineapple Basil Lemonade

One of the scariest questions I had during my path to sobriety was: How will I celebrate ANYTHING? How will I toast at my wedding?

Am I allowed to celebrate anymore ever?!

Best night ever

 

 

I was married for the first time in 2005, I was young, figuring out my career and had spent the previous 2 years as a bartender. So I had my best bartender friend (hi ash!) write us a signature cocktail. Seventeen years later, all I can remember is that it was called “The True Love”, had a champagne floater and I drank many of them.

 

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My young bride self preparing myself to drink heavily.

 

The name of that drink rang true, because what I was really in love with was the alcohol. I wasn’t able to love myself, let alone anyone else at that time. Alcohol was my true love, it was the celebration. I had the ability to turn a Monday afternoon into a celebration, because of booze.

 

Best night ever
Best night ever

 

I’ve come to learn over time and with therapy, yes, those that are alcohol free do celebrate! It has also come to light that we celebrate harder because we are fully present in the moment. This month, in honor of Paul Churchill getting married, I’m dedicating this mocktail to his bride. A reinvention of The True Love  because this time, it actually is true love.

 

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The True Love: Pineapple Basil Lemonade (AF)

Serves 4
Prep time: 30 minutes + cooling time

Ingredients

  • 1 pineapple, cored, chopped & divided
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T honey
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups pineapple water (see below)
  • Ice
Pineapple water

Boil 3 cups water, add pineapple peel, rough chopped and cinnamon. Boil 20 minutes, strain liquid through sieve. Allow to cool.

To make the drink

1- In a blender place the pineapple, pineapple water, lemon juice & honey. Blend until smooth.

2- Add in basil and pulse a few times to chop up the basil.

Garnish with pineapple if you want!

Sangria
 

Love and Mocktails,

Kate

BYO Mocktail- Keeping a Gingerly Tempo (AF)

BYO Mocktail- Keeping a Gingerly Tempo (AF)

The other day I was texting with a longtime friend, just the usual, sometimes nonsensical, back and forth of friends who have a solid foundation. While she was catching me up on her husband and son, she mentioned that her son’s favorite mocktail right now is a Don Johnson. Being a curious person, I took the bait and asked “What’s a Don Johnson?” 

It’s a Miami vice with no socks! (🚫rum)

Best night ever

 

And then I snorted so hard with laughter, I scared my cat. But this got me thinking about the mocktail traditions I had as a kid. I believe that we all experience exposure to alcohol in our youth and it begins to form the values we have around alcohol. 

 

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My family mocktail was a Shirley Temple. On Saturday evenings my father would make my mother a Campari and soda and then for us kids, a Shirley Temple. We would then sit dow as a family and have a little pre-dinner chat. As an adult I can see what my (extremely tired) parents were doing. They wanted us to sit down and talk to them, but also not have to exert a lot of energy at the same time.

 

Best night ever

 

To this day, I love to sit and have a pre-dinner drink. I find it the best way to quiet my busy mind. I used to think that I needed vodka to also quiet my mind, but I know better. So in keeping with traditions established in our youth, I’m updating the Shirley Temple, adding in some ginger and lime to spice it up, but keep it fun without the booze.

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Keeping a Gingerly Tempo (AF)

Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Ginger Beer
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 3 T grenadine
  • cherry and limes for garnish

Combine all ingredients (except garnish) pitcher. Stir together. Put 2 cherries in the bottom of the glass. Pour over crushed ice (my ice maker has decided to stop making crushed ice, please trust me, crushed is best!)

Sangria

 

Love and Mocktails,

Kate

PS- When I told the friend she was the opening subject of my blog, she wanted me to add the following “Your friend is an aspiring film writer with a penchant for tennis skirts and an endearing laugh. She tells amazing jokes.”

BYO Mocktail: St. Patrick’s Day-Rita

BYO Mocktail: St. Patrick’s Day-Rita

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!

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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?

 

Best night ever

 

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:

 

BYO MOCKTAIL!

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?!

 

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The St. Patrick’s Day-Rita (AF)

Serves 1
Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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!

Sangria

 

Love and Mocktails,

Kate

BYO Mocktail: The No Regrets (AF)

BYO Mocktail: The No Regrets (AF)

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.

Yes! A liquor store…

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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.

Sangria

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

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The No Regrets (AF)

Serves 4
Prep time: 60 minutes (including cooling time)

Ingredients

  • 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.

Sangria

Your sobriety is just that, yours. So do what keeps you sober and just keep moving forward.

 

Love and Mocktails,

Kate

BYO Mocktail: The First Thanksgiving Sangria (AF)

BYO Mocktail: The First Thanksgiving Sangria (AF)

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.
Sangria

 

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.

 

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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.

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The First Thanksgiving Sangria (AF)

Serves 8
Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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.

Sangria

 

Love and Mocktails,

Kate

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