Mocktails, Anyone?

Photo of lemonade and cucumber cooler. It's Dry January! While Dry January is not listed on the National Today Awareness Calendar, it is listed as a National Awareness Month in the UK. This annual movement encourages millions of people give up drinking for the month of January and explore their relationship with alcohol. LifeRing will be posting articles relevant to this movement throughout the remainder of the month. Let's start with a fun one!

On January 4th, Slate Magazine, a popular online news and views site, published a human-interested piece written by Ian Lecklitner: My Sober Feud With Nonalcoholic Drinks. This article is written by a person whose relationship with alcohol has been replaced by a relationship with sobriety:

... like 1 in 8 Americans, I drank enough of it to qualify as having an alcohol use disorder. But because of my past relationship with alcohol—and my current one with sobriety—drinking NA drinks feels kind of like hooking up with an ex; it’s not what it used to be, and once your “cup” is empty, all that’s left is guilt.

Lecklitner clearly shares his distain for NA drinks and mocktails, seeing them as an inevitable trigger for many embracing sobriety. The growth in the nonalcoholic options is growing. Non-alcoholic beer, which can contain as much as 1.8% alcohol is the new new for craft beer manufacturers.

The author suggests the growth in the NA product industry is not to support the reduction of alcohol consumption, but as a ploy to win back lapsed customers:

... NA drink manufacturers are hoping that people find themselves in an endless cycle of drinking alcohol, drinking NA drinks, falling off the wagon, and doing it all over again. At the very least, it seems that they want people to stay close to the culture of drinking.

This article is well worth a read. One of our LifeRing Community members shared this with the LifeRing Convenors group io. Responses were plentiful ranging from NA and mocktail condemnation to tolerance as a tool to support sustainable recovery. No convenor suggested they recommend Zero products in their meetings, but they all agreed that informing meeting participants to use extreme caution. Many said they remind the group that NA beers do contain alcohol as do many common household products and pantry staples.

Lecklitner's article inspired an exciting exchange of ideas and gave a new twist on Dry January: An opportunity to explore our relationship with no-alcohol beverages.

What do you think?

Dear Readers,

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  1. Jud on January 13, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    Non alcoholic drinks are great for people wanting to work on their recovery. Often those in recovery feel left out in social situations where others are celebrating with alcohol. Mocktails and non alcoholic drinks allows sober people to enjoy the celebration too.