No alcohol? No problem! You can still party in the back with little umbrellas, fancy drinks and a festive atmosphere. Stir up a few “mocktails” (mock cocktails) on the patio.
Spring begins the season for outdoor parties. Easter, high school proms, college graduations, weddings, baby showers and more dot the calendar from April until August. Mocktails are great way to turn up the sophistication level without the complications of serving alcohol. A mocktail party is a great way to honor your guests with new treats and to introduce them to a growing trend of alcohol-free socializing. A mocktail party has all the bells and whistles of a cocktail party, but with more creative drinks and no alcohol.
The “sober event” world is taking off. More and more people, especially Millennials, are becoming “sober curious” in a drive to embrace more health and wellness practices. Mocktail gatherings are becoming more popular in cities across the nation. Thousands of accounts focusing on sober curiosity are popping up on Instagram, like @thesoberkates. The Philadelphia-based IG account is run by a pair of best friends, Kate Crandley and Kate Donnelly, who found sobriety together. The Kates attend “sober ladies happy hours” hosted by other sober ladies and fellow Instragrammers like Annie Baum-Stein and Joy Manning. The gatherings are in the city and attract crowds of all (over 21) ages, backgrounds and levels of sobriety. The happy hours, hosted at bars around Philly, are filled with savory and sweet “virgin cocktails.” The drinks come in fancy glasses with all the regular accoutrements like olives, umbrellas and orange slices, and are served with plates of amazing appetizers. The interesting food and intriguing mocktails cultivate a warm, chatty atmosphere amongst the guests.
The Kates’ taste differ in mocktails. “We both differentiate in mocktail flavors, one liking sweet and the the other liking bitter drinks,” one of the Kates said. “We always prefer to keep things natural with fresh fruit, sparkling water/club soda, kombucha and some herbs, maybe rosemary or mint.” The Kates recommend throwing a little effervescence in your mocktails. “Bubbles always make a drink seem fancier.” You can invent your own drinks or search out some recipes like these:
A refreshing Blueberry-Rosemary Lemon Mocktail (suggested by the Sober Kates).
Offer a range of bitter and sweet drinks for your guests. A good menu consists of three to five drink choices. Post up menus with all drink ingredients. Appetizers can be savory and sweet to complement the mocktails.
Mocktails are meant to be fancy and fun. Splurge on the nice cocktail napkins and toothpicks. Lay out nice linens and use the good plates and glassware. Put together a good playlist. Try out a mocktail party on the patio this year. The focus is on the spirit of the gathering, not the spirits in the glass.