Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails for the Holidays

Looking to get into the spirits without getting into the spirits?

We’re here to help.

Here are some of our favourites from years past:

Cranberry-Apple Cider Punch
(Modified from here)

A fizzy and refreshing taste of the season that’s super easy to make! In a punch bowl or large pitcher, stir together:

1 litre of unsweetened apple cider, chilled
2 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
2 cups ginger ale, chilled
1 can (12oz.) frozen orange juice concentrate

When serving, add some orange slices, berries, or red and green apple slices for garnish. For extra festive cuteness, use frozen cranberries instead of ice cubes.

Hot Not Toddy
(Modified from here)

Get toasty without getting toasted.

Get your measuring spoons out and get these things into a mug for a single serving: 

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (grated, or 1 cinnamon stick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
  • 1 teabag (your choice, but we love this with Chai)

Pour hot water over it and give it a good stir. Add a lemon wedge if you’re feeling fancy.

Blood Orange Italian Sodas
(Modified from here)

This combination of sparkling water, coconut cream, and blood orange syrup feels like a grownup creamsicle. 

To make the blood orange syrup, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • the juice of 3 blood oranges
In a medium-sized sauce pan, add the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the blood orange juice. 

To serve, pour ½ cup of sparkling water in a glass, followed by 2 or 3 tablespoons of the syrup and a ¼ cup of coconut cream, and garnish.

Definitely Not Gin & Tonic

Not into the sweet stuff?

Try mixing Campari Crodino (get it at any nice grocery store) or a few dashes of non-alcoholic bitters (Cocktail Emporium in Toronto has a selection) with soda or tonic water to get the taste of an adult drink without any of the danger. 

The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.

Kids Meet a Kid in Recovery from Addiction

“Were you addicted to alcohol?”
“I was, I was indeed, yup.”
“You were… so that means you stopped?”
Take a listen to this incredible open and honest conversation between a young person in recovery and an even younger person who is just learning about addiction. It’s an amazing insight into how these conversations can go.

The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.

Perspective: Nothing will bring you greater peace than minding your own business

Perspective: Nothing will bring you greater peace than minding your own business

Officially I don’t belong to a 12-step group; I do have a sponsor who has become like a sister, and a team of incredible women who inspire, mentor, entertain, challenge, and have continued to love me on my best and worst days over the last 8 years, 10 months. Some may say that because I don’t have a home group, I am not a member of AA. I remind them the only requirement of membership is a desire to stop drinking.

For the past 8+ years, I have lived my best life. I am the same woman who could not stop drinking for anything or anyone; I was hopeless and destined to die until I finally “surrendered” in January 2010.

I am growing up in AA and was actively involved in service for a number of years. I still say I owe everything to AA, my higher power, and the people who showed me the way. This includes people outside of 12 step and the people who stick around the rooms, make coffee, and open the doors. I have experienced my parent’s funeral and my child’s wedding, and I didn’t drink — this is truly a miracle. I have found a recovery program that worked for me, and I have persevered. I still consider myself in early recovery, and I don’t hide my recovery from the public. Whenever I can put a face to recovery, I do it with pride as a person with lived experience of a substance use disorder and long-term recovery.

What I’ve learned along the way is there are many roads to recovery, and recovery looks different for everyone. What I measure as success may not be what you consider success. One of the very first teachings in AA was “to keep an open mind” and when I was in early sobriety, I was very opinionated about the quality of other people’s programs even though the next thing I was taught was “live and let live.” It took time, patience, pain, and practice to stop looking at the quality of other people’s lives and focus on my own.

What prompted me to write this is that I want to — as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous — provide an alternate perspective when it comes to harm reduction, abstinence, cannabis, methadone, suboxone, and other mood-altering substances. What people choose to do is none of my business; I want my friends and members of the fellowship to live their best lives. I don’t care if you smoke pot, I don’t care if you drink, I don’t care if you come to meetings drunk. I care that you’re happy, I care that you’re whole, I care that you’re not suffering, and I care that you’re alive.

Letting go has been a process, and for me that means freedom.

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness.  

 

Members of Renascent’s alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email alumni@renascent.ca.