It can be really difficult to keep-up at social events if you’re someone taking a break from substances. Especially as college-age individuals, the stress and pressure of drinking at functions are heavy. Whether you’re abstaining from drinking for a week, month or forever, there are some fantastic substitutes for your favorite drinks out there. Keeping your drinks ‘virgin’ does not mean your drinks need to be boring. For a socially-distanced evening with friends or for the perfect solo cup drink at a party (post-COVID) here are some of my favorite alternatives for a sober night!
1. Mock Mules
My personal favorite! Mules are such a bubbly and sweet treat that can be easily replicated and taste even better than the original. There’s a lot of variations of this you can do, but really the base is just lime juice, ginger beer, simple syrup and ice. After you set your base, you can add any flavor you want! If that’s a strawberry mule, add strawberry puree to the base or if you want a tropical, fruity mule, add mango and coconut cream to the base. I love this alternative because, in a traditional mule, the primary flavor is the ginger beer, making this really similar in texture and flavor to the original. For a more muted and subtle flavor on top of the base, try adding cucumber and mint!
2. Mock Margaritas
I know those nights at Tin Lizzy’s are tough on maintaining sobriety, but I promise there is a way to still enjoy a margarita with your friends. Just ask for a margarita, sub all the liquor with sparkling water and orange juice. If you have trouble getting your hands on one while you’re out, try making one at home at your next stay-in girl’s night! Start with limeade, sparkling water and orange juice, then garnish with a salt or sugar rim and lime. It will definitely do the trick and will go perfect with some chips and salsa!
3. Mock Mojitos
A perfect drink as things warm up here in Tallahassee. This one is really easy to order at most restaurants and is even easier to make at home. Since the original mojito is just rum, just take it out! No substitute needed here, but if you wanted, you could certainly add lemonade or some juice to make things interesting. An at-home recipe is just club soda, mint, lime, simple syrup and whatever mulled fruit you want to add. It’s refreshing and sugary and satisfies the craving for a summertime drink.
4. Lavender Lemonade
Sweet, floral and tangy, lavender lemonade is a great drink of choice. It’s just fancy enough to mimic a cocktail and just simple enough to tackle it in your own kitchen. Really it’s only water, lemon juice, dried lavender and agave or honey. If this is too tame for you, consider adding a mulled fruit like strawberries or sparkling water to have a more fizzy drink. I think the most important part here is the lavender. I’m telling you, if you have your doubts, just give it a try and I promise you won’t regret it.
5. Classic Mock Daiquiris and Coladas
There’s nothing quite like the flavor of a mock blended drink. It’s really just a leveled-up smoothie, but that would be underselling these drinks. Making a daiquiri or pina colada at home is probably the easiest drink to make on this list. Go to any grocery store and in the frozen fruits aisle, you’ll find a mix for your favorite flavor of daiquiri and pina colada. All you have to worry about is having access to a blender and no need to add any substitutes. These mixes are incredible and make for such a quick and easy sweet drink.