8 Sober Drink Ideas for the Holiday Season

Visiting your in-laws may stress you out, but you don’t need alcohol to get through the holidays. Several nonalcoholic drinks can bring joy to your life during the fall and winter seasons.

Holding a virgin cocktail can also ease pressure to drink alcohol if you’re at a social drinking event. Whether you’re in recovery from alcohol addiction or simply looking for a sweet treat, these nonalcoholic beverages can meet your desires.

1. Pecan Pie Milkshake

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 2


  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/8 slice cold pecan pie
  • Whipped cream
  • Toasted or chopped pecans

Blend ice cream and milk in a blender until the mixture is creamy. Add chunks of pecan pie to the blender and blend until it reaches your desired consistency.

Divide the milkshake into 2 glasses and garnish with whipped cream and chopped pecans.

2. Candy Cane Hot Chocolate

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 1


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 candy cane
  • 3 tablespoons sipping chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee (regular or decaf)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Whipped cream

Mix instant coffee into water.

In a sauce pan, mix milk and heavy cream and warm over low heat. Stir in a candy cane until melted. Add sipping chocolate and pure vanilla extract and stir.

Remove from heat and add the sauce pan contents to the instant coffee mixture. Garnish with whipped cream.

3. Cinnamon Coffee

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 3/4 cup ground coffee (regular or decaf)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 cups water
  • Whipped cream

Add ground coffee, brown sugar and ground cinnamon to the basket of your coffee maker. Add water to the coffee maker. Add pure vanilla extract to an empty coffee pot.

Brew coffee. Divide into 6 cups and garnish with whipped cream.

4. Moscow Mule Mocktail

Start to finish: 2 minutes

Servings: 1


  • 1 lime
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • Ginger beer (nonalcoholic)
  • Ice

Pour lime juice, ginger syrup and pineapple juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake until the mixture is chilled.

Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a slice of lime.

5. Virgin Mojito

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
  • 4 tablespoons simple syrup
  • 2 limes
  • Sparkling water
  • Ice

Cut the limes into slices.

Muddle lime and mint leaves in each glass.

Add simple syrup to each glass and fill them with ice. Fill each glass with sparkling water and stir. Garnish each glass with a mint leaf.

6. Virgin White Margaritas

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Servings: 3–4


  • 2 1/2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Sliced limes
Add ice, coconut milk, lime juice and granulated sugar to a blender. Blend until the mixture reaches your desired consistency.

Divide into three to four cups and garnish with sliced limes.

7. Nonalcoholic Apple Cider

Start to finish: 3 hours and 15 minutes

Servings: 6–8


  • 8–10 apples (mix of types)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons allspice
  • Water

Cut apples into quarters.

Add apple quarters to a large pot. Fill the pot with water high enough to cover the apples. Add sugar to the pot.

Wrap cinnamon and allspice in a doubled-up cheesecloth and tie it. Add to it the pot.

Boil uncovered for one hour.

Lower heat, cover and let simmer for two hours

Remove spices. Mash apples. Remove from heat.

Once cool, strain the mixture into a large bowl. Place the apple pulp in a doubled-up cheesecloth and squeeze the juice from the cheesecloth into a bowl. Reheat the cider in a microwave or on a stovetop before serving.

8. Nonalcoholic Eggnog

Start to finish: 3 hours and 10 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Whipped cream

Add milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract in a saucepan. Slowly bring the mixture to low boil over low heat.

Whisk egg yolks with sugar in a bowl.

Slowly add the saucepan mixture to the egg yolk bowl and whisk until the ingredients are combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook on medium heat until it thickens.

Remove from heat. Add heavy cream and stir.

Refrigerate until chilled. Divide into cups and garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon (optional).

For people in recovery from alcohol addiction, tasting a mocktail or virgin cocktail can remind them of alcoholic beverages and trigger cravings. These people should avoid drinking refreshments that are similar to alcoholic beverages that they consumed during active addiction.

Medical Disclaimer: DrugRehab.com aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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