Coffee mug with the word "begin" pressed into the ceramic. Signature non-alcoholic drink

The One Lifestyle Change You Should Make To Keep Your Sobriety Strong

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Choose a signature non-alcoholic drink to call your own in early recovery.

In early sobriety I drank a ton of coffee. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I overdid it. Working at a coffee place didn’t help, with its early hours and grueling rushes, but I definitely carried my coffee habit well after I quit that job. These days, I’m trying to reduce my caffeine. (Not to eliminate it, but to have a saner perspective when it comes to getting my energy from what I drink.)

Having a signature drink is just as helpful and comforting now as it was when I was drinking. Actually, when I’m at a work function or party with mostly drinkers, it’s even more important to know what I’ll be drinking. So here’s a handy guide to cooking up a new signature non-alcoholic drink now that you’re living the sober lifestyle.

“Having a signature drink is just as helpful and comforting now as it was when I was drinking.”

Coffee

This one is an old standby. Very few things are as comforting and camaraderie-inducing as a hot cup of the good stuff. And with coffee shops on every corner, and in-home brewing options from cold-brew to espresso, it’s very popular. Granted, it’s easy to overdo it on the caffeine. And finding a decent cup at bars and restaurants isn’t always easy. Plus, unless you drink it black, you may find yourself spiking and crashing on sugar, in addition to that caffeine rush. Still, if you were one of those drinkers who liked to geek out about the more esoteric qualities of wines and spirits, a coffee obsession may just fill that gap.

Tea

Much more calming than coffee, the possibilities with tea are practically limitless. Some of my sober friends have gone particularly far down this rabbit hole, even sourcing rare and fancy teas from around the world. If you’re looking to take your palette on a wild ride, tea may be your drink. If you’re really serious, you can carry your own tea bags with you and just order hot water wherever you go. You also get to enjoy that most elusive of pleasures: tea time.

Energy Drinks

You won’t find an impartial perspective on this stuff from me. In my experience, they all taste like carbonated cough medicine. Best avoided. But when push comes to shove, it’s better to have one of these in your hand than to pick up a beer.

Juices

Access to quality juices with great ingredients is on the rise in most parts of the country. These days, you can walk into any mall and get a sparkling concoction of energy- and health-boosting fruits and veggies. But you will pay handsomely for it. Of all the drinks on this list, juices might be the easiest way to spend that paycheck.

Mocktails

More forward-thinking bars will make you something delicious completely sans alcohol. This can be fun if you’re at a particularly interesting place with top-flight mixologists and the crowd you’re with wants to make a night of it. Some places will even make you something custom if you tell them your tastes. I’d say, when in Rome, give it a whirl!

Ready for some recipes? Check out our mocktails.

Coconut Water

So many people love this stuff that I wonder what I’m missing. It does pack some pretty remarkable hydrating effects. So if keeping your cells in top shape is your goal, consider working coconut water into your routine as a non-alcoholic drink option. It can also be particularly effective after a workout.

Sparkling Water

Like many people living the sober lifestyle, I am a La Croix addict. I love it because it’s free of caffeine and calories, and still provides decent hydration. The taste may be too “subtle” for some, but it’s just right for me. And if sparkling water is your bag, you’ll find plenty of options on the market at a variety of price points. Especially refreshing when the weather heats up!

OG Water

Nothing beats it, and nothing ever will. You can’t go wrong with water as your signature non-alcoholic drink. In some places, a fancy bottle of water is even a cool-kid emblem of chic sober living.

Vincent Malouf is a design strategist and experience specialist by trade, but that doesn’t stop him from nerding out about food, art, and culture. He holds degrees from Rice University and he currently works for Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. You can read more on his personal blog at vmalouf.com.

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