When Friday night rolls around and my friends are all picking up their first cocktails of the weekend, I’m usually fixing myself a seltzer with lime or, if I’m really feeling crazy, mixing it with some cranberry juice. Three years and almost three months into my sobriety, that’s getting old.
Many of you will remember that in February, to celebrate my 1000th day of sobriety, we hosted a mocktail party. We held a contest to see who could come up with the best mocktail name and the best tasting mocktail. There were some very clever entries. (See my post from February, 2015, “One Thousand Shades of Sober”). I’m happy to report that some very clever people have taken the concept a step farther and started a company called Mocktails. They currently have four different flavors of nonalcoholic beverages on the market: Karma Sucra (Cosmopolitan), Sevilla Red (Sangria), The Vida Loca (Margarita) and Scottish Lemonade (Whiskey Sour). I had the pleasure of sampling two of them this weekend.

They come in their own glass shakers, ready to go. All you have to do is add ice, shake and pour into your favorite glass. I will say that I had to pour a little out into a separate glass to fit the ice in—-I’m not complaining though. I’d rather do that and have them fill the shaker up as much as possible than cut back on the amount. I invited two friends, also nondrinkers, over to do the taste tests with me.

There are many who participate in 12-step or other programs for recovery who are adamantly opposed to the concept of non-alcoholic beers or pseudo-cocktails. In fact, my therapist refers to them as “mental masturbation”. I guess they feel that you are perpetuating the whole ritual and habit of drinking alcohol by drinking even a non-alcoholic beer (which does have a very small amount of alcohol in it). It still smells like a beer and looks like a beer. And pouring these Mocktails into martini glasses, they look like, well, cocktails. BUT, I did check with my sponsor and got the okay. We agreed that since there is NO alcohol in the new Mocktails and since we are often looking for something new and creative to drink while others enjoy happy hour, we could give it a try.

We tried the Sevilla Red Sangria first. I poured some out into a separate glass, filled the shaker with some ice, put the top back on and shook away. It has been a long time since I shook a martini shaker. The sound did drum up some old memories for a split second. I unscrewed the top and poured some through the strainer into three very pretty martini glasses. Hey, I know that sangria isn’t supposed to be served in martini glasses but give me a break somewhere. I think it is fair to say that all three of us expected a sickeningly sweet concoction that was going to leave our lips puckered. We were all very pleasantly surprised. After the first few sips, we decided to add some cut up fruit into the glasses like true sangria. Even better. The shaker says it serves four, but we got almost 2 full glasses for all three of us.

Next, we moved on to Karma Sucra, their version of a virgin Cosmopolitan. Also sweet tasting without being overly sugary, but this one had a little bit of a medicinal taste to it. We added a little seltzer (watermelon and lime flavored) which gave it a smoother taste. These drinks are only 50 calories per serving, with no artificial flavors or colors, no preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup, gluten free, BPA free, allergen free, and Kosher! And, for those of you who don’t have a broken “off” switch like me, feel free to add alcohol to them if you want.

Bottom line—-I’m very happy to have an alternative to seltzer now to drink at a happy hour. Having the drinks did not make me want alcohol at all. I was happy to have the yummy taste and the pretty drink without it. And happy to wake up without a hangover the next day. Bravo to the Mocktails folks!