“The day I became free of alcohol was the day that I fully understood and embraced the truth that I would not be giving anything up by not drinking”
– Liz Hemingway
Yes, it’s me, Ali here – for those who knew me in my younger years you probably didn’t see this coming; I have been alcohol free for one year this October!
So, how did I get here?
Alcohol, I loved her, but she was like the best friend who caresses your cheek, and says, “Just f*cking do” when you’re standing on the edge of a cliff thinking about jumping. Then after building you up, you’re like, “I’m gunna f*ckin’ do it”, but it’s too late – she grabs a fist full of your hair, chops it off, Spartan kicks your ass off the ledge, and you pee your panties. Ya know? You can’t trust her.
The truth is, I wasn’t loving myself properly. Sh*tty things would happen in my life and rather than dealing with them, I would drink. In my mind, I felt like, I was getting away from these “bad feelings” because I was drinking “socially” – Beer pong at noon on a Tuesday, why not? Now mind you, this was more in my youngest stages of drinking. However, as time went on my relationship with alcohol morphed into my inability to stop the shots once I began the shots.
I do want to be clear, enjoying the pleasures of a nice glass of wine, well-crafted cocktail, or a perfectly brewed IPA doesn’t equate to an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
The decision to quit alcohol (or not) is very personal – almost like religion, great for some, so exorbitant and extreme for others soon they’re starting a cult (spot-on comparison, no?)
Now, as a self-proclaimed retired party girl quitting alcohol, was not a blink-clap, genie-head-nod, I’m good to go, type of easy.
But… until the day I’m spilling all my secrets, and you see my air-brushed face on the back cover of a book, you’re not going to get the full story. However, I do want to give you one tool that helped me…
Phenomenal mocktail recipes!
Mocktails helped me break that mental barrier between wanting to “drink” socially, and having a fun drink while being social. There is something next-level about pouring orange juice in a square wine glass – it just feels so right.
With a year practicing these original mocktails under my belt, I can say there is a flavor profile to match everyone. You’ll find that most require very little in the realm of ingredients (yay for saving money!) and are relatively healthy.
Try these guys at your next dinner party or when you just want to pamper yourself at home.
- Fresh Blackberries
- Coconut Milk
- Coconut creamer – I used coconut coffee creamer from Trader Joes
Muddle the the blackberries, add coconut milk, then the coconut creamer. You could even go the extra mile by muddling mint and honey with the blackberries.
Damn, that was easy! See, I told you.
PRE-PEAR FOR CINNA-BOMB
This beauty is so perfectly, perfect for a special holiday occasion. It gives off Thanksgiving meets Christmas vibes that set my heart aflutter.
- Pear Juice – I used RW Knudsen Organic 100% Juice, Pear
- Trader Joe’s Spiced Cider
- Trader Joe’s Ginger Beer
- Rosemerry (optional)
- Cinnamon sticks (optional)
This one can be a bit tricky if you don’t have a TJ’s in your area. Still, totally doable with simple replacers. I linked the two main Trader Joe’s ingredients above (Side note: I link a lot of the recipe ingredients throughout the blog).
The instructions are simple; Add ice, pear juice, spiced cider, then ginger brew (can be substituted for bubble water). I have also made this with a splash of cranberry juice. Top off with sprinkle of cinnamon.
Gym Babe was the very first mocktail I made a few weeks into my alcohol break-up.
I was going to a party/BBQ, unsure if I could turn down friends invites to take a drink or do a shot. So, I brought my own drink. Most people presumed it had alcohol in it, which took a lot of the pressure off.
- BCAA (branched-chain amino acid) – Essential amino acids that your body does not produce naturally. Adding BCAA’s to your diet may decrease muscle soreness after workouts.
- Coconut Water
- Frozen Blueberries – I love the frozen wild blueberries from TJ’s because they are tiny-cuties
- Frozen Strawberries
- Sparkling Water – A.K.A Bubble Water
- With a shaker/blender bottle, mix BCAA Powder with Coconut Water (plain water is also good) – shake it up
- In empty glass of your choice, add frozen blueberries and strawberries – I also use frozen fruit mixes like THIS
- As far as BCAA mixture to sparkling water ratio, I usually have significantly more BCAA than bubbles. Pour to your preference.
- Squeeze in a little fresh lime juice
Okay, I can say this is actually not an original idea; but regardless, she is a pleasurable replacement for a champagne toast, so I had to include.
- Your favorite Kombucha – I used Health-Ade Kombucha “Bubbly Rose”
- Orange Juice
- Fresh Strawberry (optional)
It’s all about the poor here. You want more bubbly = more Kombucha. Less bubbly = more orange juice. Top with fresh sliced strawberries.
STRAWBERRY ENERGY FIZ
I wanted to add a little energy boosting option for my caffeine lovers, and this baby is the light in your life that you didn’t even know was missing.
Celsius has slowly grown in popularity, and for good reason.
They are a healthy alternative to many of the energy drinks on the market. Celsius does not contain artificial preservatives or flavors, no aspartame, and no high fructose corn syrup.
- Watermelon Celsius
- Trader Joes Sparkling Watermelon Juice – alternative Here
- Coconut Milk
- Strawberries (or blended watermelon would also be really good)
- Add ice, fill glass half way with Celsius
- Add sliced strawberries or blended watermelon
- Leaving just enough room for less than a quarter cup of coconut milk fill with Sparkling Watermelon Juice.
- Top off with coconut milk.
Oh my god, look at her – what a beauty!
- Coconut Water
- Frozen Mango
- Frozen Strawberries
- Sparkling Water
- Tajin Classic Seasoning
- Place some Tajin on plate
- Take your glass, and with lime juice around the rim, dip the rim of the glass in Tajin
- Blend coconut water, mint leaves, frozen mango, and just one or two frozen strawberries.
- Poor in glass, and top with bubble water.
- Add lime, and enjoy
Michelada were my go to! If you know, you know…
This is probably one of the most basic in flavor combinations, but she does the job of kicking the cravings, and sometimes that’s all it’s about.
- Spicy V8 Juice
- R.W. Knudsen Organic Tomato Juice
- Sea salt
- Green Olives
- Lime (love those limes)
- Worchestire (optional)
- Place some Tajin and sea salt on plate
- Take your glass, and with lime juice around the rim, dip the rim of the glass in Tajin and sea salt – I like to get messy with it, the more Tajin the better. So, when I make it the Tajin usually overlaps the rim of the glass.
- Add ice then spicy V8, Tomato Juice, and worchestire
- Mix with a squeeze of lime juice
- Enjoy with green olives
So there they are. My pride and joys. I hope you guys love them as much as I do. Leave me a comment below naming which ones you’re most excited to try.