Thanksgiving is often considered the kickoff to the holiday season. For many, this means a time of celebrations, food and drinks. But for those who are in recovery for an alcohol addiction, this season can be a difficult and challenging several weeks. Thanksgiving can be a time where you see old friends and family, which reminds you of your former rituals that may have included alcohol use.1
The holidays do not have to be a struggle if you think ahead and have a plan in place. Ask in advance if your host will be providing any non-alcoholic drink options. If not, bring your own and avoid the awkward conversations or suggestions from relatives that you can “have just one.”
With these hot or cold non-alcoholic options, you can either make them ahead of time or take the ingredients with you. This can be a fun activity to help keep you busy, and you can even invite the other guests to try one too.
1. Apple Pie Punch
– 1 chopped or sliced apple
– 1 quart apple cider
– 2 cups pear nectar
– 24 ounces ginger ale
Combine in a pitcher and stir well. And the sliced apples to the top. Serve over ice.
2. Hot Mulled Cider
– 1 gallon apple cider
– 2 peeled, whole apples
– 3 cinnamon sticks
– 10 whole cloves
Core apples and place cloves inside the hollow core. In a crock pot, combine apple cider, apples and cinnamon sticks. Heat to a boil then simmer for one hour. Pour in coffee mugs and add nutmeg to the top of each.
3. Sparkling Cranberry Apple Punch
– 2.5 cups cranberry juice
– 2.5 cups apple juice
– 1.5 cups cranberry-flavored lemon-lime soda
– Fresh cranberries
– Apple chunks
– Mint sprigs
Stir together both juices and refrigerate until chilled. Right before serving add the soda, and float the cranberries and apples on top. Serve over ice with a sprig of mint.
4. Peppermint Hot Chocolate
– 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 quart milk
– ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 7 peppermint sticks – 3 crushed and 4 whole
– Pinch of salt
Place cocoa in saucepan and whisk in milk until cocoa dissolves. Add chocolate chips and crushed peppermint. Simmer until both are melted (about 8-10 minutes). Bring to a boil then immediately remove from heat. Add pinch of salt. Ladle into mugs and serve with a peppermint stick.
5. Pomegranate Soda
– ½ cup pomegranate juice
– 1 cup sugar
– Club soda
– Maraschino cherries
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and juice. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Reduce to a simmer until mixture is syrupy (approximately 2 minutes). You can make this ahead and store in refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to serve, fill glasses with ice. Pour 2 tbsp of syrup in glass and top with club soda. Garnish with cherries.
Stay Sober and Healthy
Don’t put your sobriety at risk during Thanksgiving. With some prep and planning, you can still enjoy a family gathering, and maybe even add a new tradition of bringing a special non-alcoholic beverage to the dinner. Staying on your path to recovery can be work and that’s why it’s important to have a relapse prevention plan in place. Learn more about addiction treatment at Footprints and how our program helps to reduce the risk of relapse. Contact us today to learn more.
1. How to Stay Sober Over the Holidays. www.everydayhealth.com. (Accessed Nov 12, 2018).