St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest drinking holidays in the United States… so how do you celebrate when you’re not drinking? It can be hard to enjoy yourself when you feel social pressure to drink. Luckily, we’ve got some helpful tips to navigate those feelings and celebrate the day to its fullest.
If you’re going out to a bar or restaurant, check the drinks menu ahead of time to see if there is something you can enjoy. Plenty of places are beginning to offer zero-proof cocktails and beer alongside more traditional options. If they don’t have NA options listed, come up with an easy zero-proof drink that can be made with standard bar ingredients so you can still feel like you’re part of the fun.
Don’t be afraid to tell your friends you’re sitting out of drinking for the day’s festivities. Contrary to popular belief, getting drunk isn’t a prerequisite for celebrating St. Patrick’s day, and you can still have plenty of fun sober. If your friends are supportive, they’ll understand. And if they’re not, then you could probably find someone better to spend your day with anyway.
If you’re going somewhere that encourages bringing your own bottles, don’t be shy about showing up with alcohol-free drinks. Chances are, there will be other people there who want a break from alcohol, too. It can be a great conversation starter, and you might end up saving someone from a nasty hangover the next day.
The St. Patrick’s Day tradition of green beer is still an option – just add a few drops of food coloring to your fave NA brew and get into the St. Patty’s Day spirit without the actual spirits. It’s a great way to make your drink feel festive and normalize going alcohol-free. Or you can even enjoy your Guinness – without the ABV!
Most importantly, don’t let FOMO get to you. If being around people drinking at a party or parade could be a potential trigger to you, then it might be best just to sit this out. Mix up your own zero-proof drinks at home, or just kick back and enjoy how relaxing it is to not spend the day around a crowd of drunk people.