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“Mocktails” — those fizzy, fun stand-ins for cocktails sans alcohol — have become essential to my social-time happiness.

No, our group doesn’t have to drink alcohol when we get together, but enjoying a tasty beer or great glass of wine is fairly commonplace. Early on in my weight-loss journey, when I’d refrain, I’d usually be met by a puzzled look and sometimes the question, “Are you pregnant?” Drinking alcohol had just been the norm.

The more I’d choose the club soda with lime wedges instead of the vodka and club soda, the more I saw my friends opt to do the same. It almost felt refreshing, like we had all given each other permission to imbibe sporadically now.

But, I still associate wine or cocktails with taking time to relax or celebrate (similar to desserts in my mind).

The effects of alcohol on the body and metabolism are a bit complicated — wine is good, but not too much, experts say, for the polyphenols. Trainer Shane tells us the body treats alcohol as a poison, and that it confuses the metabolism and lowers it temporarily. (We’ve explored alcohol’s effects in Expert Answers.) If you want to drink, he says, keep it to once a week, just a glass or two, at the most.

After the detox, I’ll likely go back to enjoying a glass of wine on occasion. When I’m not drinking alcohol, I’ve found this fun mocktail to be a terrific festive substitute.


Festive Mocktail Recipe

  • Fill a wine or martini shaker with ½ cup sparkling juice or club soda. I liked this Q orange sparkling juice — and it even comes in a fancy bottle.
  • Add a liberal splash of pomegranate or cranberry juice.
  • Fill out with plain club soda, if you’d prefer less juice and more beverage.
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves, lime or lemon wedges, or slices of orange.
  • Stir and sip slowly. Enjoy!

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