Non-alcoholic drinks in Sacramento; stay sober during the holidays


Sacramento Thanksgiving Guide

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s your guide to the holidays – from free turkey and travel and self-care to Black Friday and preparing for Christmas.

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Holidays are the time for celebrations, celebrations, celebrations. And for adults over 21, that often means alcohol.

For people trying to stay sober, or even limit their alcohol intake, this season can be a difficult time as social drinking peaks. Benjamin Miller, clinical psychologist and president of Oakland-based Well Being Trust, also said the COVID-19 pandemic could amplify feelings of loneliness that could negatively impact mental health and lead to substance abuse.

“I would worry about people who are disconnected from their loved ones, their inability to really connect and be fair with the people they value,” Miller said.

If you want to avoid alcohol, the best thing you can do is prepare yourself, according to Heidi Taugher, a licensed marriage and family therapist who has a private practice in Folsom.

Planning everything from what drink you’re going to bring to a party to what you’ll say when someone offers you alcohol and when you’re going to leave is essential, said Taugher, who is also a clinical supervisor at a treatment center. residential. , where she treats patients for mental health and addiction issues.

“You have to stay committed to your plan that you have come up with before your emotional brain kicks in and has fun and could possibly turn you away,” she said.

Here are several ways you can better prepare for sober sailing this holiday season:

Bring your own drink

When heading to a vacation reunion, there is no guarantee that hosts will have alcohol-free options beyond the water. Keeping your hands full, preferably with a fun drink like soda water or non-alcoholic beer, is essential, Taugher said.

Or you can mix up your own take-out mocktail. Try a simple apple-cranberry spritz by mixing together equal parts apple and cranberry juice and top it off with Sprite. Something as simple as a garnish on a drink – a lime wedge or cranberries – can immediately stop surveys of what you’re drinking because of the resemblance to a cocktail.

Some of the soft drinks on the mocktail menu at Bottle & Barlow in Sacramento include Grove Robber, Probiotic Punch, Peach Destroyer, Buried in the Garden, and SL94 & Tonic. Paul Kitagaki Jr. [email protected]

Here are some other non-alcoholic cocktail ideas:

  • Alcohol-Free Eggnog, from Food Network: Whisk together three large eggs and two large egg yolks with 3/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Heat 3 1/2 cups whole milk and 3/4 cup heavy cream until it starts to smoke. Whisk a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture before combining the two mixtures in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; add the vanilla and nutmeg, strain and refrigerate. To serve, whip 3/4 of the cream with an electric mixture and slowly pour in the cooled egg mixture as you whisk.
  • Country Living Slow Cooker Apple Cider: Combine 64 oz. apple cider with six chai tea bags, two cinnamon sticks and a split vanilla bean in a slow cooker. Cook over low heat for three to four hours before removing the tea bags and adding 1/4 lemon juice.
  • Winter Sangria, from Emma Eat That: In an oven preheated to 400 degrees, roast two sliced ​​oranges, two sliced ​​grapefruits and a cup of cranberries for 30 to 40 minutes. While the fruit cooks, boil 16 oz of pomegranate juice with a cup of orange juice; pour the mixture over two chai tea bags once it boils and steep for five minutes. After removing the tea bags, add the fruit and let stand in the refrigerator overnight or for at least two hours. To serve, fill glasses halfway with sangria and halfway with grapefruit sparkling water. Use anise stars, cinnamon sticks and fresh cranberries for garnish.

And if you’re in town in Sacramento, keep in mind that mocktails are enjoying a bit of a renaissance. Discover these locations with alcohol-free menus:

  • Bottle & Barlow at 1120 R Street.
  • Ro Sham Beaux at 2413 J Street.
  • Mas Taco Bar at 1400 15th Street, 3535 Fair Oaks Boulevard or 450 Palladio Parkway.

be ready

Before you go out, you want to have a clear idea of ​​your goals. You need to plan not only what you’re going to say when people ask you if you want a drink, but also what time you’re going to leave and which route you’re going to take to get home.

“You want to do this planning from a very reasoned and rational point of view,” Taugher said. “What’s in my best interest?” Will this promote my sobriety or will it open up opportunities for me to drink? “

While it may seem silly or unnecessary, practicing saying no to alcohol can strain your nerves. If you have a response prepared and practiced, you will feel more confident when the time comes to deploy that response.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends three steps for an unsuccessful one:

  • Don’t hesitate, otherwise people might try to persuade you to say yes.
  • Be direct and make eye contact.
  • And be succinct.

On this last point: you don’t need to apologize or provide an explanation for refusing to drink. But if it helps, you can count on an apology if you don’t feel comfortable saying categorically no. For example, you can say that you are driving or that you have to get up early.

Miller said the best way to connect with loved ones while on vacation is to put yourself first. It might seem counterintuitive, but Miller said if we don’t bring our best to the table, we won’t be able to connect with our family and friends anyway.

“It almost sounds too simple to say, but truth and honesty have power,” Miller said of your decision to abstain from alcohol. “And one of the things we know about addiction is that the more you hide it, the more it gets. You never know who your next advocate or ally will be … you never know who else in your family might be. experience the same.

Watch for triggers

When you attend an event that you know will involve alcohol, make sure you are aware of your triggers. Whether they’re environmental – like the presence of a certain type of alcohol – or even a certain friend you’re more likely to drink around, it’s important to avoid triggers.

Common triggers include feelings of loneliness, family dynamics, and lack of sleep, Taugher said.

“After the pandemic and being so physically isolated from each other, I think people are really anxious, like they need to go out and feel like this is going to be the best ever,” Taugher told About some of the social pressures associated with it. holiday season.

Staying sober requires balancing the need to stay present in the moment with the fact that most cravings for alcohol come as waves that rise before they wear off, Taugher said. The craving for alcohol crescendo before collapsing, she said. One tool to help you stay in the time recommended by Taugher is an acupressure ring, which stimulates parts of your finger.

Attend a meeting

If you are struggling with an alcohol addiction, one way to make sure that you can deal with any additional stress or discomfort brought on by the holiday season is to be proactive. Attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings can provide an outlet for overcoming these challenges.

You can find meetings in the Sacramento area through the Central California Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous at

In addition to regular meetings, you can call the hotline for assistance at 916-454-1100. Some locals will also be hosting Alkathon events, which are continuous AA meetings, 24 hours a day. Four AA groups in the Sacramento area will be hosting these events starting November 24 and will end in the afternoon and evening. of Thanksgiving.

The Addiction and Mental Health Services Administration also operates a national helpline offering services in English and Spanish at 1-800-662-4357. The helpline is available 24/7.

Using the buddy system

Solidarity can be a game-changer when it comes to the social aspect of alcohol consumption. Bringing a sober friend to an event where you know there will be alcohol can help you feel more confident. You can also designate another sober friend to call – if you’ve got someone you can lean on, you can walk away from a party for a while for a quick chat if you’re feeling triggered.

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Mila Jasper is a reporter with the Sacramento Bee Public Services Office. A former Bee intern, Mila has also previously reported on information technology for Nextgov. She graduated from Northwestern University.

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