Summer Days – A Drinks Recipe To Help Keep You on the Straight and Narrow

So here comes the summer, probably one of the hardest times of the year for anyone thinking or already given up drinking. It’s the time of year when opening a cold beer is was probably one of the most satisfying feelings. Advert upon advert on the TV reminds us of this feeling. Getting home from work on a hot summers day, I’d almost be reaching for the cold beer cooling in the fridge without really thinking about it. I’d be on autopilot and would have probably just drunk that one quite quickly before settling into the next one.

But, those days are long gone and now summer is here I’ve poured myself a new favourite (Mocktails & Other Non-Alcoholic Drinks ) and this is it. Reach for a cold glass, a really cold one. The Spanish keep their glasses in the freezer- great tip! Now get a lime and cut in half, squeeze half of the juice into the glass and slice the rest up and also put in the glass. Now top up with cold sparkling water. You’ve got yourself a great, cold, refreshing drink that is not just healthy but so much better than a beer as you’ll have a clear head and none of that tipsy & drowsy feeling that comes with drinking. It even looks like a gin + tonic, so if people give you a hard time because you’re not drinking (as they tend to do), you can have them believe that this is a G+T.

Life’s too short to spend it recovering from hangovers. This is the one thing that I came to realise about 6 months into giving up the drink. I’d found that once I’d got past the 6 month stage I’d begun to find new things to do in life, new reasons to live and new hopes for the future. I think this is the one thing that you don’t really appreciate if you drink from weekend to weekend – in fact you could argue that your system is never really empty of alcohol and really what you’re doing is just topping it up. But once it’s out, you think differently. It’s refreshing and it’ll feel like someones taken the blinkers off you and you start to see the world around you. You could think of it as seeing the world in colour for the first time – it really felt like that for me.

I’m now in my 8th year of sobriety and now have a family of my own and the thought of life with drink again just makes me shudder, I’d be giving up so much new freedom and it’s this thought that keeps me on the straight and narrow.


Author: James

Sharing stories of recovery and strategies to help you keep sober. Visit my blog today -

6 thoughts on “Summer Days – A Drinks Recipe To Help Keep You on the Straight and Narrow”

  1. Hi James,

    Just wanted to say I’m 21 days sober and the cravings have really eased down. I want to say a heart felt thank you for being here and giving folk like me hope and encouragement that we’re not alone. That we can and should listen to the doubts inside telling us that drink adds nothing to our lives.
    I started and have kept up the diary. Some days are harder than others, and I’ve found my self getting frustrated. I went swimming today for the first time in I can’t remember when, and I feel good.
    Next to deciding to go back to Uni, it’s the best and most important thing I’ve decided to do for myself. And I’m not afraid to tell people exactly why I have given up and I’m not ashamed or scared of what people will think.
    🙂 The doubts creep in, and what people will think if I slip up, but that kind of worry isn’t the way I am choosing to live my life now. Again, thank you so much.
    All the best,


    1. That’s really great to hear Helen and I’m glad you found my blog and got inspiration from it, it’s why I wrote it! You’re right in that you’re now ‘choosing’ your way of life and this is the most important thing that you’re now able to make these decisions and the change needed to point your life in a new, wholesome direction. Keep in touch though, and let us know how you get on. James


  2. Dear James, I have been struggling with damaging binge drinking patterns for years and for some reason today stumbled on your site. Your honesty and simplicity has really affected me, and today feels like a proper day 1. The posts here are refreshingly absent of cliche or self pity or exceptionalism or pseudo-psychology. What you and others on this site seem to be saying is that drinking too much is drinking too much, it is what it is, if you want to deal with it then do, it’s in your hands. Which feels original and appealing to me, so I’m going to have a go. Wish me luck. If it’s ok I might use your comments pages as my mini journal at first, I know you’re not a counsellor, nor should you be, but I think I might find a daily check-in to your site supportive. Thank you so far.


    1. HI Claudia,
      So glad you found my blog – help yourself and come back daily to get all the help you need. Write any comments you have and I’ll do my best to respond, I know there are others who are signed up for comments and will probably also chip in to offer support.

      It continues to be my best decision, to give up drinking :o)


  3. “The world in colour for the first time.” What a perfect description. How do you explain color to someone that sees black and white? Sobriety is truly a thing to be experienced. And once you give it a fair shot, it is unlikely you will want to throw it away.

    I am sober awhile, like you, and the last thing I want is to remove my freedom by taking a drink.


    1. Great to hear from you Lisa. Yes, seeing the world in colour for the first time is exactly how it felt. Like you, I’ve no plans to throw away that wonderful feeling by going back to drink. 🙂


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