6 things to drink when you're not drinking
There are lots of good reasons to cut back on booze.
Maybe you're pregnant ..or just really poor.
Perhaps alcohol makes you cry, kiss the wrong person, vomit half a cheeseboard into a plastic bag or try to climb up tall, non-consenting strangers.
Maybe you've realised you're the 'Fun Bobby' of your social circle: making all your coffees Irish, 'cheers'-ing at the zoo and nursing an impressive beer-baby where your abs could have been.
Or maybe you've seen that (chilling) new Australian TV ad where the red wine spills and turns into a river of blood, which then becomes a tidal wave of cancer and everyone dies. (If you haven't, I do not recommend googling this.)
Whatever your reasons, it can be hard to think of non-boozy options to pick when all your pals are high-fiving over jagerbombs or pouring champagne down themselves in the jacuzzi.
Here are some alcohol-free treats I have been choosing in order to avoid disaster:
Mosto is fruity, delicious and popular in Spain. It's made of grapes, so is basically wine without the Sunday headache or interpretive lap-dancing.
The sugar content is really high, but you've got to get your kicks somewhere.
Grape costume optional.
2) A Virgin Mary
Firstly, any drink named after the purest Mum in the business has my vote.
The fact that it's also endorsed by chain-smoking laundress (and ultimate voice goals) Dot Cotton is simply a bonus.
According to something I read in The Guardian (and have therefore memorised as gospel) tomatoes contain bone-strengthening vitamin K and probably reduce the risk of heart disease.
Even I kind of zoned out there, at the mention of vitamins, but I think they are generally a better quality than 'carcinogenic'. Yes?
A Virgin Mary actually has the spicy depth of flavour you don't get with most sugary soft drinks.
Also the whole 'celery-stick-as-edible-spoon' thing is SO MUCH more fun than a straw.
3) Soda and lime
It's thrifty and everyone thinks you're on the gin. This avoids looks of concern from hammered people who assume you're not drinking because you've got a urine infection/are no longer fun.
If you are at a pub which charges for a soda and lime, it probably also has bare hanging light bulbs and a fixie bike nailed to the wall, so you should leave.
4) A strawberry milkshake
We all know what the song 'Milkshake' by Kelis is really about.
It's about one young woman's journey into the world of non-alcoholic beverages.
Vegan strawberry milkshake = 1 banana, handful of strawberries, oats, almond milk.
Nutri-bullet the mixture to infinity and beyond, then make disapproving eye contact with the nearest drunk person as you suck on a cherry.
5) A mock-jito
As a recovering drunken embarrassment, I have decided to make Sober Julie my new life idol.
Her mock-jito recipe involves apple juice, sparkling water, lime, mint and sugar.
Unfortunately the last time I made mock-jitos, on Halloween, my housemate kept adding secret rum to his glass, and I ended up mopping his sick-puddle with leftover toilet roll from the mummification contest.
6) Shloer!!! <3
Most people's Dads get to 11am on Christmas morning and decide it's a legitimate moment to crack open their stocking-filler bottle of Scotch.
My Dad at this time, begins hovering around people's rapidly emptying glasses of breakfast prosecco, suggesting in earnest that it 'might be sensible' to pause the booze until lunchtime and enjoy some lovely, festive, mood-stabilising, argument-appeasing Shloer.
As I come from a (small) family of shouty drinkers, it's definitely a very good idea.
Actual footage of the Hopkins family Christmas 2016:
I hope you enjoyed this post. If all else fails: Chickpea Fizz.