Alcohol-Free Cocktails from the Sanford Kitchen

alcohol-free cocktails fruit and juices

Take responsibility for friends in recovery, designated drivers, or those who are alcohol-free for the New Year. Serve mocktails in fancy glasses!


Sober friends and recovery partiers, we are at the tail-end of the 2021 festivities. Anybody else getting a little club soda logged? Even with the parred down events of the last couple years, you might want to toast a better New Year. There is something unnerving about a proffered champagne tray, especially when you are in recovery and empty-handed. So, we say, “Bring Your Own.” Or if you’re mixing drinks at home, get creative with your sober cocktails. There is more to life than diet soda! (Hosts take note and take responsibility.)


Responsible Hosts have mocktails on hand!

I think it’s very important to make all of our friends and family as comfortable as possible when we get together over the holidays (and any day).  If you know someone who is in recovery, it’s okay to ask how they are doing.  Maybe it is too great a temptation to be around others with alcohol.  If not, make sure to have a variety of “mocktails” available that are alcohol free. I’ve found that this can make someone feel a little more included when others are socializing with a fancy cocktail in hand.

Peter Claus, Sanford Executive Chef 

Sober Cocktails and Sanford Specialties…

Sanford has cooked up some delicious alcohol-free cocktails for you. We guarantee they will make you feel as special as you are! And we’ve added a cleanse for everyone, from The Sober Kitchen author, Liz Scott’s, Zero-Proof Cocktails to try when the holiday hoopla is over!


Cheers to You!


Sanford Sober Cocktails

sober cocktails tropical  

The Islander (without the rum to make you numb)

½ cup mango

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Add ½ cup pineapple

And ¼ cup ice

¼ cup of coconut juice

2 teaspoons agave nectar

Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Garnish with a pineapple slice.


sober cocktails lemonaide


The Sparkler (all is bright – including your memory of last night)

1 cup of mixed berries

2 – 3 tablespoons agave nectar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup of sparkling water

Combine all ingredients in blender and add a splash of sparkling water to bubble it up!




The Stand-By (you’re not a wallflower – you’re filled with sober power!)

Fill your glass ¾ with Club Soda over crushed ice

Add a splash of Italian Volcano Organic Lemon Juice

Garnish with lemons and limes.


hot lemonaide


Warm Winter Lemonade (cozy by the fire – no wine desired)

Fill mug with hot steeping hot water (or microwave it)

Slice whole fresh lemon, skewering 3 lemon slices with cinnamon stick

Stir agave nectar or honey into hot water

Drop the cinnamon stick and lemon into teacup and let it steep!

(There is so much flavor, this can be re-enjoyed throughout the day by pouring hot water over the lemon skewer. Or use some orange slices on their own or with the lemon.)




Liz Scott’s “herbal cleanse infusion” apres holiday!

From Zero-Proof Cocktails

1 liter bottle purified water

6 thin slices unpeeled cucumber

½ lemon, thinly sliced and seeded (2-inch) sprigs of mint

1 sprig basil

Splash of grenadine

2 lemon slices, for garnish

Pour the water into a large pitcher and add the cucumber, lemon, and herbs. Chill for at least 2 hours. Strain. Pour into glasses, add a splash of grenadine, and serve garnished with the lemon slices.


Have a joy filled 2022!

Our favorite holiday drink in the Sanford residential houses is a “mistletoe martini” that we have made with club soda and cranberry juice. We also rim the glass with crushed candy cane to make it extra fancy!

Peter Claus, Sanford Executive Chef


No matter what you do to celebrate a fresh new year, relish the fact you are clear-headed. And even if you don’t have the fancy ingredients for a full-fledged sober cocktail, treat yourself. Put your soda/gassy water in a special glass or toss in a few maraschino cherries or a sprig of fresh mint. Light a fire or a candle, count your blessings, and sip on something that makes you feel special. You deserve it any time of year!



Founded in 2015, Sanford Behavioral Health is licensed and accredited as a substance use disorder, eating disorder, and co-occurring mental health treatment facility, serving the state of Michigan and beyond. Each of Sanford’s five facilities in Greater Grand Rapids, is carefully and diligently crafted to create a welcoming and comforting environment. Sanford is led by a growing team of medical, clinical, and support personnel providing medication-assisted, evidenced-based treatment to residential, outpatient and telehealth patients. For more information, visit