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Recipes

On Trend: Alcohol-Free Beverages

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If you’ve gotten used to that relaxing 5 p.m. glass of wine, which many of us looked forward to during the darker months of COVID quarantine, you’re not alone. In fact, alcohol consumption has skyrocketed during the last few years by a whopping 21%. Women especially have seen a huge jump in what is termed “gray area drinking,” meaning they turn to alcohol to cope with stress. Although this is different from classic alcoholism, it still points to the fact that many people drink far more alcohol than what is recommended for a healthy lifestyle.

But I love the ritual

While many of us enjoy the occasional cocktail, some people are more prone to overconsumption. This leads many people to ponder going dry, or abstaining from drinking for a certain period. Others see the physical and mental benefits of giving up booze. Regardless of your reasons, abstaining from alcohol has never been easier than it is right now. Even those who love the ritual of crafting a delicious cocktail in the evenings will find that many companies now make it possible to mix those drinks without liquor.

Why should I give up the “real” stuff?

Whatever your reasons for taking a break, you’ll find abundant health benefits in ditching the carcinogenic effects of alcohol. Some of the things you can expect include:

  • Weight loss 
  • Better skin
  • Increased immune function
  • Decreased chances of developing cancer
  • Improved sleep
  • Better mental health
  • Enhanced nutrition
  • Reduced cardiovascular risk
  • Better memory and thinking

The best part? Because of the plethora of alcohol-free spirits, it may not even feel hard to make healthier choices for your body and mind!

Don’t call them ‘mocktails’

We used to employ the term “mocktail” to describe the overly sugary alcohol-free (AF) substitutes found at various dinner parties or baby showers. While they could be fun and fruity, what they lacked was a more sophisticated touch. Now, you will find AF prosecco, zero proof botanical spirits and even AF gin, whiskey, and tequila for those who want more of a classic cocktail experience without the headache afterward. Some of our favorite options include:

You can use these non-alcoholic spirits in place of their counterparts for a sober twist on your favorite classic cocktails.

Now for some recipes

Want to craft your own 5 p.m. alcohol-free ritual without the fuss (or the expensive AF spirits)? Here are some great recipes that won’t leave you feeling like you’re missing out:

Faux Fizz Heading into fall, this drink is a must-try. Blending yummy flavors like pear, apricot, honey, lemon, and rosemary gives this drink sophistication and a fun flair. 

Non-Alcoholic G&T Want the taste of a Gin & Tonic without spending big bucks on AF spirits? Try this one using chamomile tea instead. With the same relaxing effect found in this medicinal herb, it will have you melting into your evening (and getting great sleep to boot!).

Mindful Mimosa Looking to host a brunch but want to nix the bubbly? Check out this alcohol-free mimosa, using only two ingredients: fresh squeezed orange juice and non-alcoholic sparkling wine. 

Frozen Apple Margarita Want something to serve with your Taco Tuesday fun? Try this margarita that even the kids can sip on. Salt the rims for an extra flair. 

Going dry doesn’t have to mean giving up on the fun. If you have been a social drinker, you can still enjoy time with family and friends without the alcohol. Substitute these fun drinks and alcohol-free spirits to boost your health and tickle your tastebuds. 

If “going dry” is more of a challenge than simply switching up your beverages, the Healthy365 Connection Center in Greenfield is a free and confidential service to help connect you with treatment options for substance misuse, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions affecting mood, thinking, and behavior. Visit the Healthy365 website for more information.

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