With great friends, fun activities, and delicious snacks, you can have the time of your life and throw a sober party everyone will remember! To help you plan, we’ve got some great tips.
1. Be Gracious About Declined Invitations
After you go to all of the trouble of planning and prepping a sober party, you expect your recovering friends to show up and be enthusiastic. However, if they say no because the party might be a relapse trigger or go against their treatment plan, be gracious and understanding.
2. Serve Plenty of Delicious, Non-Alcoholic Beverages
While your non-alcoholic party includes no beer, wine, or liquor, nix the mocktails and non-alcoholic beer and wine, too. They’re too similar in taste and appearance to the real thing and might cause your recovering friends to feel uncomfortable or tempted to relapse.
Click here for delicious non-alcoholic drink recipes.
3. Focus on the Food
Who says drinks have to be the party’s focus? Ask everyone to bring their favorite appetizer or picnic food, and eat on a big blanket in the backyard under the stars. Or prep a taco, soup, baked potato, or ice cream sundae bar to give everyone a chance to mix up a unique creation without focusing on beer.
4. Don’t Cook With Alcohol
Cooking with alcohol adds flavor to your dishes, but use broth, juice, or extracts instead. If someone brings a dish that’s been cooked with alcohol, quietly point it out so that your guests can choose if they’ll eat it or not.
5. Serve Exotic Coffees or Teas
Countries around the world produce exotic, fair-trade coffees and teas that tempt anyone’s taste buds. Serve a few different varieties as you respect your recovering friends
6. Respect Their Decision Not to Drink
Would you pop a cocktail shrimp onto the plate of a friend who’s allergic to shellfish? Of course not, so I challenge you to treat recovering addicts with the same respect. Without sarcasm or guilt, include your recovering friends in the fun even if they choose not to drink.
7. Don’t Pry Into Their Recovery Journey
An addict’s recovery journey is unique and personal. Prying into it at the party could make your recovering friend feel like an outcast. I suggest you simply treat your recovering friends like anyone else and include them as a normal person.
8. Don’t Make a Big Deal About Not Drinking
Maybe one or two of your guests will wonder when the alcohol will start flowing. Instead of announcing that you’re not serving alcohol because some of your guests are recovering addicts, laugh it off and hand them a soda or juice.
9. Save Alcoholic Host Gifts for Later
Host gifts are customary courtesies, and one of your guests might give you a bottle of wine. Thank your guest for the thoughtful gift, and save the booze to enjoy after the party.
10. Play Fun Games
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need alcohol to have fun. If you don’t believe me, pull out Twister and watch your sober guests have a blast. A costume party, flashlight tag, and dancing to old records is so much fun they won’t even miss the alcohol.
Click here for the full infographic.
11. Understand if Your Recovering Guests Leave Early
Maybe your recovering friends eagerly show up to party but suddenly decide to leave. Thank them for coming, and don’t make a big fuss about their early departure. Despite your best efforts, your recovering guests may be experiencing a craving, have flashbacks to the past, or simply not be ready for even a dry party just yet.
I hope you do make an effort to host a sober party soon. With these 11 etiquette tips, all of your guests, including recovering addicts, will have fun and stay sober.