Whether you’ve recently quit drinking or are well-adapted to sober life, the holidays can be an uncomfortable time. If your friends and family drink alcohol, it’s easy to feel left out of the celebration as you sip a soda or plain water.

This year, you’re in luck. There are plenty of ways you can enjoy a fun beverage while staying alcohol-free. From coffee to candy cane cocktails, here are the best drinks for recovering alcoholics this holiday season and beyond.

1. Sparkling Water

Sparkling water is the go-to for recovering alcoholics. Simply water that’s been carbonated to give it a fizzy texture, this drink is a great alternative to a glass of the flat stuff. Not only does it help you stay hydrated, it also satisfies the craving for something other than water or juice.

Also known as soda water or seltzer, sparkling water is a blank slate you can customize to your taste preferences. Add syrup, a lime or a splash of fruit juice to your glass to shake things up, or opt for a flavored variety everyone will enjoy.

2. Coffee

If you love coffee, you know it’s the perfect drink for any occasion. And like all the best drinks, it can be prepared according to your exact preferences. Make it hot or iced, with cream or sugar, and tailor it any way you please.

Plus, you don’t have to leave the house to have a great cup of coffee. Invest in some good beans and a milk frother and you’ll have everything you need to be your own barista. Get creative with homemade syrups and flavor your cup with everything from vanilla bean to hibiscus.

3. Tea

Few things are more comforting than a mug of hot tea, which is why it’s one of the best nonalcoholic drinks out there. Plus, the drink boasts numerous health benefits, including a strengthened immune system and lowered risk of heart disease.

Choose from calming herbal blends and fruity mixes that steep to perfection in just minutes or opt for black tea for a slightly bitter taste. Add a slice of lemon to your cup or pour it over ice to mix things up.

4. Ginger Ale

Like sparkling water with a spicy kick, ginger ale is another beloved nonalcoholic beverage. Even if you’re not a fan of ginger’s spiced, slightly heated flavor, you may still enjoy an icy glass of this drink.

Carbonated water and sugar team up to prevent the ginger from overpowering your taste buds for a beverage that’s truly the best of both worlds. Plus, ginger may even offer relief from headaches while boosting your immune system. Skip the commercially bottled brands and go for an ale made from real fermented ginger root.

5. Cider

Nothing says festive like a mug of hot spiced cider. This drink is perfect for social events like work parties or holiday gatherings because everyone will enjoy it. The sweet, fruity base is the perfect canvas for a host of spices like cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

Cider can be served hot or over ice for a cool take on the classic drink. Purchase a premade bottle of cider or make your own to share (add a splash of cranberry juice for a delicious tart undertone). Apple is the most popular variety, but try a cider made from pears and you won’t be disappointed.

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6. Hot Chocolate

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, a steaming cup of hot chocolate is the perfect drink for you. Creamy, chocolaty and always festive, hot chocolate is guaranteed to give anyone’s mood a boost.

Instant hot chocolate packets are convenient but don’t always make the most enjoyable cup. This year, make your own and tailor it to your taste preferences. Brew it slightly bitter and ultra-thick or sweet and milky. Add a dash of peppermint extract to the pot for an added minty twist, and be sure to top it all off with a dollop of whipped cream.

7. Eggnog

Eggnog is one drink that’s synonymous with the holiday season. With its rich texture and spicy-sweet flavor, this beverage will satisfy anyone’s cravings. Though a boxed version from the store will do if necessary, wow your friends by making it yourself this year. Take a heavy hand with the cinnamon and nutmeg for a drink that just screams “celebration.”

Though the alcoholic version is popular at holiday parties, eggnog’s delicious flavor is strong enough as a mocktail — no alcohol needed. Leave it out and your fellow holiday guests won’t even miss it.

8. Chile-Lime Pineapple Soda

If you like spice, a chile-lime pineapple soda will quickly become one of your go-to mocktails. Club soda and pineapple juice mix with sugar and chile de árbol for an alcohol-free drink that will leave you energized and refreshed.

The spicy chile mingles with the tart pineapple for an intense flavor, while the club soda tones everything down to a perfect drinking level. Add a squeeze of lime at the end for an extra punch.

9. Strawberry Ginger Lemonade

Nonalcoholic drinks should have the perfect balance of sugar, spice and freshness — and strawberry ginger lemonade ticks all the boxes. Crushed strawberries mix with ginger and lemonade for a blend of sweet, spicy and tart you taste with every sip. Add a splash of lemon-lime soda for a fizzy delight.

Though strawberry lemonade is traditionally a summer drink, get creative and swap the fruit for cranberries or blueberries for a seasonal twist.

10. Chai Blossom

Some nonalcoholic beverages will make you forget about drinking alcohol altogether, and the chai blossom will do just that. Mix hot chai tea with soda water, sugar and lime juice for a drink that will warm up your body and your taste buds.

Spices like cinnamon and cardamom marry well with the citrus fruit, while the soda water gives everything an energetic fizz. While this is a perfect cold-weather beverage, you won’t stop drinking it after the season has passed.

11. Shirley Tonic

The Shirley Temple is an iconic mocktail, but it could use a refreshing twist. Update the classic by adding pure pomegranate juice to the grenadine syrup and club soda mixture. The pomegranate’s flavor adds a tart, slightly bitter taste to the beverage, which many find excessively sweet. Use lemon-lime soda instead of plain sparkling water to add some acidity.

12. Cranberry Fizz Mocktail

While mocktails are delicious in their own right, it’s common for recovering alcoholics to long for the cocktails they ordered when they were still drinking alcohol. For some, that drink was a cranberry fizz.

Luckily, you can still enjoy your favorite drinks without alcohol. Mix sparkling cider, cran-apple juice and cinnamon sugar to satisfy your cravings with this sober twist on a classic. Don’t forget to add a squeeze of lemon or lime to brighten up the drink.

13. Minty Mocha Protein Shake

Most nonalcoholic drinks are lacking in one thing: protein. Get all the nutrients your body needs with a minty mocha protein shake that comes together in minutes.

Simply blend coffee, milk, mint leaves, protein powder and unsweetened cocoa together for a drink that’s both refreshing and nutritious. Mint and cocoa are a match made in heaven, and any coffee lover will love the energizing burst of flavor.

14. Candy Cane Sparkler

Candy canes are an iconic holiday symbol. Add them to your mocktail this season with a delicious candy cane sparkler. Just mix pomegranate juice with sugar, sparkling water and candy canes for a drink that will keep you and your friends in the holiday spirit. Serve it in a champagne flute and toast to your continued sobriety as you ring in the holiday season.

Need Help Managing an Alcohol Addiction

Need Help Managing an Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol abuse is tough to manage any time of year, but especially around the holidays. If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, Ranch Creek Recovery is the best place to find help.

RCR has helped recovering alcoholics in Southern California for over 25 years. People at RCR’s alcohol addiction treatment centers find a caring support system and a dedicated team of mental health professionals. From the initial detox process through your recovery, you’ll find the guidance and tools you need to overcome your addiction once and for all.

Contact us online or call (877) 843-7180 to start your recovery journey today.

Ranch Creek Recovery
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M HonM Hon
00:26 19 Jan 24
Staff: 4.5/5Owner, Director, therapists, nurses, counselors, and support staff are all really great. I had no issues with anyone in particular. They are all there to help you however they can. I found that everyone advocated for my well being, were available when I needed them, and did their best to support me, check in on me, and make sure I was happy and comfortable.(why not 5/5? They have had a bunch of turnover and need to update their website with their newer staff members and qualifications. Additionally the Doctors they partner with were not as thorough as I would have wanted, and were kind of pushy with medications)Program: 4/5Small groups for the win! You get a lot of attention if you need it. This is a Holistic approach rehab. They do not focus on any 12 step programs. You have daily classes with different counselors, focusing on the science behind addiction, anger management, talk therapy, art therapy, equine therapy, nutrition, and much more. You have one-on-one sessions twice a week with a Licensed Therapist, and you have access to a gym daily, with a yoga instructor and trainer coming a few times a week. You also have a docent that comes once a week to do sound therapy, and you can learn techniques such as tapping. They have 2 doctors on staff you will have Zoom appointments with, and someone is always present to distribute morning, afternoon, and bedtime medication. You can also always grab whomever is on-call to talk through any issues or questions you have.(why not 5/5? Overall I found that there was too much down-time. I got bored and restless with that much free time and I craved more structure. Additionally I thought that the family Zoom sessions could have served as a stronger resource for loved ones)Location: 4/5Murrieta is a quiet, tranquil area, with mountain views, a lot of farmland, and very little public noise to distract you. When you do leave the house, you get to visit a small farm that is very close by to interact with horses and goats, etc. You also have an outing on Saturdays for a few hours that allows you as a group to get out of the house. The immediate area has all the basic stores and activities you would want, like target/walmart/grocery/7-11/etc as well as mini golf, bowling... You do need to decide as a group where you want to go because you have 1 chaperone and need to stay together at all times.(why not 5/5? There are 2 different houses located about 10 minutes away from each other. The Bass house advertised on the website is much nicer and larger than the Doreen house. During my time the clients staying at the Doreen house were shuttled over to the Bass house for our daily classes and sessions, not being able to utilize their own kitchen, rooms, and bathrooms during the day. I was also told by clients that the Doreen house was not as nice as the Bass House)Amenities: 4/5Pool - (I was there in the winter, so it was not heated and basically unusable, however, I did do some cold plunges just for the shock)Hot tub - available once a week on Friday eveningsYard - Large Grass Backyard and cement patio with tables and chairsGym - Available daily. TV for movies or music. Free weights, yoga mats, and a few outdated cardio machines that mostly worked.Kitchen - Large kitchen, multiple Fridges/Freezers, Huge pantry for preparing anything you want, ovens, microwave, toasters, dishwasher, outdoor gas grill, etc...Pool table, ping pong table, arts and crafts table, outdoor TV, Indoor TV, Computer, land-line house phone.Comfortable rooms and bathrooms with laundry access, and provided bedding and towels.(why not 5/5? I was disappointed that it wasn't clear that the pool and hot tub didn't have daily access as advertised, and that the gym was more outdated than described/pictured. They also could make some very inexpensive recreation investments like a basketball for their outdoor hoop, soccer ball, frisbees, croquet set, bocce, etc for their giant lawn to be used during the extensive downtime)
Dorothy SmithDorothy Smith
00:29 12 Aug 22
Ranch Creek Recovery is the best way to start your new healthy way of life. This program actually saved my life and my sanity. Their Holistic approach was amazing and I learned so much from my counselors and Dr. Dena. With only a limited number of participants in the house at one time, you are guaranteed the one on one time, as well as the group counseling they offer in a safe and comfortable setting. They make you aware that they truly care and are there to support you , listen to you, and most important to teach you. Teach you information about triggers, cognitive behavior and how to stay sober. They include therapy through others means such as Yoga, Meditation, working with Horses and even Physical Training. Ranch Creek makes sure when you leave you are good, Mind, Body and Soul. They have an excellent Intensive Outpatient Program (10) weeks that helps navigate your way back into life. A year ago (received my one year chip June 8, 2022) I was lost and a raging out of control alcoholic. I can proudly say today that I am not. I will always be an alcoholic with an addictive personality. But now I have tools, personal contacts and the faith in myself that I have never had before in my 9 years searching for sobriety. I often reflect back on my time at the Bass house. I am probably one of the few that actually stayed 60 days because I had so much to learn. My insurance did not cover all of the last days, but it was worth it to me, so I stayed. I am so grateful to so many of the staff, Jimmie, Christine, Jonathon, Dr. Dena and countless extended staff to name a few, because there were more. I would not be here to tell you it works, because without the treatment and the help I received, I alive today to tell my journey. If you are ready to face the truth, please give them a call. I promise if you are committed, you will never be the same as when you walked in. Thank you Ranch Creek Recovery.
Martha BlackMartha Black
18:45 25 Jan 22
Also known as Angelica, I couldn’t recommend this place more . This treatment center really helped me get what I have always wished for , Peace with my past , healing , restoration . Ranch Creek Recovery’s program was such a tremendous blessing, life changing experience for me and my family. This week I celebrate 9years of living life in recovery, sobriety. Thank you RCR for saving my life .
00:59 03 Nov 21
I had long term sobriety and was under a lot of stress from my professional position. I began to use cannabis recreationally and soon became dependent. I sought recovery, because I could not stop using cannabis on my own. It was causing issues with my family and in my professional life. I signed up with Rancho Creek Recovery, through my insurance. I attended the pm IOP zoom sessions with Lorri. Her group sessions and the materials she provided, helped me to get off of cannabis. Lorri was a big help in giving me strategies to stay sober and to manage the cravings and ways to deal with my work stress. I would strongly recommend Rancho Creek Recovery's outpatient program and the pm IOP zoom sessions with Lorri. She was a great professional to work with.
Courtney FergusonCourtney Ferguson
19:04 01 Aug 21
I've had a few stints with rehab and none even skinned the surface of what I learned here. Located on a beautiful property in the foothills of Murrieta, with in house groups led by instructors that break it down so in depth. My perspective had a total shift and I can honestly say I owe my life and the promise of a new future to this facility and it's faculty. If you're willing to do the work this is the place to get into your core issues and help you recover from the lifestyle and vices that one is addicted to. I recommend this place to anyone who wants something different from life. DBT, CBT, recovery education, family therapy are just a few of the groups and The program director and Clinical director hand picked a team that is progressive, informed, patient, caring and passionate about what they do. I encourage anyone who's seeking treatment to look into this program I first hand watched others and had my life transformed.
David KlentDavid Klent
09:17 16 Jul 15
Coming to Ranch Creek Recovery, I had been through three different inpatient chemical treatment facilities in CA. I was feeling lost and somewhat hopeless. The serene setting gave me peace and I began healing. The counselors were very inspiring and helped me grow in ways I haven’t experienced in years. I began to see the bigger picture that a life in sobriety can give you. Although I am somewhat scared to leave the comfort and security that Ranch Creek Recovery and staff has brought me, I am also excited to share my growth with my family and to start my new life. Thank you RCR!