Holiday Survival: Tips to a Sober Holiday

Recovery from addiction is a difficult task, but sticking to it during the holiday season can be even more challenging. you may find yourself in situations where the urge to drink or use is overwhelming or around people who do not respect your choice to remain sober. However, it is possible to continue your path of sobriety during the holiday season and PA Health Management wants to help with some tips, tricks, and alternatives for this holiday season

Staying Sober during New Year.

Avoid Possible Relapse with these Tips

For the first 6 months of sobriety, it is important to stay away from situations that could be tempting to drink or use again. Rather than attend parties or other social situations that pose a risk try out these ideas.

Be the host

Volunteering to host can help you to have more control about what is going on during the party. So rather than going to a friends party where everyone is participating in activities that you are trying to avoid, now you can control the event. There are so many fun ideas to do that are productive in your recovery and fun for everyone!

Break Out the games


Catch Phrase

Wii Games


The Game of Things



Give Back

Volunteering can be a fulfilling way to give back to your community and positively impact the rest of your life. Giving back to your community can help you grow as a person and meet new people that can positively impact your life. 

Volunteer to be Designated Driver

Taking on the responsibility of getting everyone home safely is a great idea to remain sober! Knowing that there is a need to stay sober for others’ safety can be very effective in keeping the temptation at bay. People will also be less likely to try and pressure you into an uncomfortable situation. Everyone will know that you are staying sober as a favor to them rather than being a “downer” or “party pooper”. However you should avoid “friends” who would try to pressure you in the first place, we, unfortunately, cannot always get away from these types of individuals.

Perfect Mocktails for New Years

Sparkling Cranberry Kombucha Mocktail


1 inch slice of fresh ginger, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish

1 large sprig of fresh rosemary

1/2 cup of 100% cranberry juice 

2 12-ounce bottles of live kombucha (original or ginger)

1. Fill 4 double old fashioned glasses with ice and set aside.

2. In a pitcher or quart sized mason jar, muddle sliced ginger and rosemary together using the end of a wooden spoon or muddler 

3. Add cranberry juice and kombucha, stir gently to combine 

4. Pour into ice-filled glasses (using a strainer if needed) and garnish with sprigs of rosemary, a slice of fresh ginger and a few cranberries before serving 

Lemon Lavender Mocktini


1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tbsp. lavender simple syrup 

1/4 tsp. Grenadine 

3 dashes of bitters 

1. Combine ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until cold (about 10 times)

2. Strain into a glass and top off with club soda

3. Garnish with fresh lavender

Note: Add a tiny drop of food coloring with the end of a toothpick to get purple hue

Lavender Simple Syrup

1. Combine 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1 tbsp of dried lavender in a saucepan 



2. Bring mixture to a boil while stirring constantly, then turn off the heat once boiling starts

3. Let the mixture cool in the pan and then strain out the lavender

Mock Winter Sangria


1 Pear, diced 

1 orange, sliced

1 cup of fresh cranberries 

1/4 cup of fresh raspberries

2 cups of cranberry juice 

1 2-liter bottle of ginger ale


1. Combine all ingredients except ginger ale into a large pitcher

2. If desired, let sit in the fridge for 1 to let flavors mingle. 

3. Add chilled ginger ale. Serve immediately 

Snap Dragon


1.5 oz cold apple cider

1 oz of Chai Monbrewcha Kombucha (or other apple or ginger flavored kombucha) 

1/4 oz of fresh pressed ginger juice 

1. Add ingredients in a whiskey or rocks glass

2. Add large ice cube to glass and stir lightly 

3. Garnish with a slice of apple and a dusting of nutmeg

Blueberry Moscow Mule Cocktails


1/4 cup of fresh blueberries 

1/2 lime 

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 (9 oz.) ginger beer 

Crushed ice

1. Add blueberries to a large glass with lime wedges and sugar

2. Muddle ingredients together well with a muddler or something similar

3. Transfer blueberry mixture to a copper mug  and add crushed ice 

4. Pour in ginger beer, stir, and serve



1.5 oz. sparkling water

2 oz. cranberry juice 

4 dashes Peychauds bitters 

2.5 oz. apple cider

10 cranberries (plus more for garnish) 

Orange wedge 

From the Waldorf Astoria Chicago 

1. Muddle cranberries and orange wedge in cranberry juice

2. Pour in the rest of the ingredients and stir with a spoon

3. Garnish with cranberries and orange peel and serve on ice



2 oz. Cranberry juice

.5 oz. lemon juice

2 oz. homemade sorrel tea  dry kombucha

From Jim Wrigley

1. Shake ingredients with ice

2. Strain into a champagne flute

3. Top with kombucha and garnish with a clove-studded orange twist 



Apple juice

Cranberry juice 




From Jekyll Island, Georgia

1. In a glass mix equal parts apple juice and cranberry juice

2. Add a dash of sprite

3. Garnish with cranberries and a sprig of rosemary 



.75 oz. cinnamon syrup

.75 oz. lime juice 

.5 oz. cranberry juice

ginger beer

From XV Beacon, Boston 

1. Combine the cinnamon syrup, lime juice, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker 

2. Shake with ice 

3. Pour into a collins glass over ice 

4. Top with ginger beer and garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprig with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.



.5 oz. lime juice 

.5 oz. honey syrup 

1 oz. black currant puree 

4-6 mint leaves 

Ginger beer 

1. In a shaker filled with ice, combine, and shake all contents except ginger beer

2. Then strain over ice 

3. Top with ginger beer and serve 



1/2 cup butter, softened 

1 cup dark brown sugar 

1 cup monk fruit in the raw bakers bag ( or 24 packets of monk fruit in the raw) 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom 

1 1/16 teaspoon ground cloves 

Boiling water 

Half and half heavy cream 

By Mary of Barefoot in the kitchen

1. Combine the butter, sugar, monk fruit in the raw, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves in a mixing bowl

2. Beat with an electric mixer until combined well

3. Use immediately or store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use 

1. Scoop 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of the buttered spice mixture in a small mug 

2. Pour 1/4 cup of boiling water into the cup and stir or whisk to dissolve completely 

3. Add 1-2 tablespoons of half and half or cream, and stir once more

Taste, and add more water or cream as desired 


Callie Dresser

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