I’m not sure about you, but the arrival of BBQ season, patio parties and later sunsets leading to steamy nights  can be a mixed blessing.

As a self-professed lover of summer, I’d often get a little too excited to let down my hair and kick off my shoes, and by excited I mean summer was full of opportunities to celebrate with too much booze.

That pitcher of mojitos or sangria at 5 pm seemed like a great idea, and so did the second, until the next thing I knew, I was waking up the next day with no memory of the party I’d ended up at.

Insert a similar outcome to barbeques, days at the beach, festivals and outdoor shows, the list goes on and on…

Not too mention, getting super dehydrated – (we all know by now that alcohol is a diuretic, right people!?! and no, the ice in the drinks isn’t enough water to counteract the copious amounts of alcohol). This of course led to waking up feeling like absolute s**t until the obvious solution presented itself … brunch, heavy on the cocktails please!

Problem was, my summers started passing in a blur and pretty soon the season ended, the weather shifted and I was left feeling worse for wear: my body felt crappy, my mind fuzzy and my bank account was in a sorry state.

I decided that I was finally going to leave the blackouts and hangovers behind.

But creating new patterns and a healthy relationship to alcohol, to my body, and to life was not easy or fast.

I needed to find new ways to celebrate booze-free, and feel like I was still getting the maximum out of the summer season I cherish so much.

That’s why these tips are extra important. Share and support one another to find fun and meaningful ways to celebrate summer, sans alcohol.

These are a few of my favourite tips, I’m looking forward to hearing yours …

  1. Make it bubbly. I don’t know about you, but having something bubbly in a fancy glass (or even in a plastic cup) feels way more celebratory than ermmm water. Try scented or naturally flavoured mineral waters and infusions, make virgin mimosas or any variation of juice + bubbly water, or spritzers (fruit + bubbly water + juice). Or try kombucha. I totally dig the bubbles and buzz.

    Non-alcoholic spritzers or mojitos are the perfect drink to bring to a patio party or barbeque. With lots of mint (or other herbs) and fruit, they are really refreshing and delicious. People will be peeking at your glass and asking for some in no time flat. The great thing is that others can add alcohol if they wish.

  2. Enrol your friends for support. Let them know how important it is for you to focus on your health and wellness this summer. (I find that putting the focus on health shifts any discussion and/or judgement as to whether alcohol was a problem for you.) If you are going to a dinner or house party, ask the host if you can contribute a delicious n/a alternative.

  3. Enrol the bartender. Most mixologists or drink alchemists or whatever bartenders are calling themselves these days will be pleased to get creative to make you something tasty. My standard is this, “What’s the most delicious drink that you can make me, that’s not too sweet and doesn’t include alcohol?” I’ve been able to try some amazing creations this way, and usually for a fraction of the cost of an alcoholic cocktail.

  4. Dance! In your bedroom, in the kitchen, wherever you may be. Getting groovy with great music is a wonderful way to celebrate summer, and it will get your comfortable for dancing sober when the opportunity strikes.

  5. Treat yourself to a massage, facial, mani/pedi, new haircut or whatever will help you feel spoiled, celebrated and sassy for summer.

  6. Buy a new outfit or accessory. I don’t usually advocate retail therapy, however, when you are getting used to the different experience of celebrating without alcohol, it’s important that you feel as ravishing as possible. If buying something new and pretty for summer helps with this, then go for it! (ps, think of all the money you are saving by not drinking alcohol. You deserve a treat!)

  7. Indulge your senses. Try a new restaurant or sumptuous new culinary experience (and of course don’t forget to ask for that custom made n/a cocktail), or treat yourself to a delicious dessert. I’m a big big fan of cold treats as a substitute for alcohol … try gelatos, frozen yogurt, or making your own “nana-cream” (google image search nana-cream if you don’t know what it is) which is an easy and healthy way to make non-dairy ice cream.

  8. Go on an adventure. Summer is the perfect time to get out of your regular routine, explore a new neighbourhood, consult your local “what’s happening” guide for events that you might not normally go to, be a tourist in your own town. The key is to have as much fun as possible, of course! Invite your friends, family or whoever you want to celebrate, get outside and go play!!

Cheers to your summer celebrations!! Can’t wait to hear what you get up to!!

Have other favourite tips to celebrate without alcohol – let us know in the comments!