The Great Mocktail Debate - The Discovery House Los Angeles CA
The Great Mocktail Debate

The Great Mocktail Debate

Being sober is cool. At least that is what millennials today have to say, and they’re not just talking the talk. We now live in a world where juice crawls are the new pub crawls. We get up before the sunrise to dance our sober butts off at Daybreaker raves before hitting up our creative morning seminars. After work we meet up at alcohol-free bars to mingle with guys and gals we met on sober social networking apps.

Some might say that being sober is the new black. And out of this new trend has come many new ways to kick back and have fun in the summer sans booze – one of them being the controversial mocktail (or as our new friend Marnie calls them, soft cocktails.)

Mocktails: The General Consensus

While soft cocktails are no longer strictly reserved for people who are shhh – sober, people in recovery circles still view it as a highly controversial topic. Justin, who is a person in long-term recovery, thinks that it’s all about intentions.

“For somebody that is an alcoholic, I think if that’s something you have to do to keep from drinking when you’re at a party where everybody is drinking, then okay – that’s something you have to do,” Justin told us in a recent IGTV episode. “But I’ve been taught that it’s all about intentions. What is your intention for drinking that drink? Is it so people will stop bothering you about why you’re not drinking? Or is it because you’re trying to relive the old days when you still drank?”

On the flip side, Megan who is also in recovery thinks that the idea of non-alcoholic beverages can be a slippery slope.

“I think they can be fun but depending on your situation they can also be kind of damaging,” she shared. “Especially if you’re an alcoholic, it can just trigger things.”

We asked five people in recovery what they thought about mocktails. Watch the episode on TDH IGTV now. 

It All Boils Down to Perception

Many sober people agree that while they would say no to non-alcoholic beer or wine, they see nothing wrong with a creative concoction. For some, it all boils down to perception. An anonymous post in the Sober Recovery forum had this to say:

“One persons ‘mocktail’ is another persons ‘tasty beverage.’ I went out for dinner last night with family to celebrate my husband’s birthday. I had a house made Italian soda with raspberry. Delicious! I did not consider it a pretend alcoholic drink. It was just a tasty glass of soda.”

Marnie Rae, sober for 15 years, says that by not offering their sober guests non-alcoholic options beyond soda or water the hospitality industry is not only missing out on a sizable market they are further alienating those who choose not to drink. Her namesake website and blog are dedicated to sharing not just recipes, but stories that help non-drinkers feel more welcome around the dinner table.

“15 years ago I got sober, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that fun, delicious, grown-up cocktails were not an option in most of the hospitality world,” Marnie shares on her website. “I complained and whined and finally, after yet another disappointing experience at a 5-star restaurant, I decided to fix it.”

What do you think about mocktails?