Summertime is party time! It’s a season for festivals, weddings, reunions, and much, much more. Holidays and vacation days multiply the opportunities to make memories together. To make time for summer fun, many individuals are especially industrious the rest of the year.

For a long, long time, alcohol was a given at many a gathering. In today’s more health-conscious society, individuals are turning to another way to party. It’s one that is safe and just as much fun—the alcohol-free get-together. Think of it as an extension of a healthier lifestyle emphasizing nutrition and exercise over drinking.

The Sober Curious Movement

More and more Americans are shunning alcohol and embracing the sober curious movement.  This emerging social trend questions common assumptions about alcohol consumption. Reasons to participate vary, making the movement very inclusive.

There’s a large audience for the sober curious lifestyle. According to Nielsen, 47% of Americans (21+) want to reduce their alcohol consumption. Among Millennials, the percentage is even higher: around 66% want to focus more on non-alcoholic (NA) beverages. In America, per capita alcohol consumption has remained flat for decades. It was actually higher in the 70s and 80s. Above all else, alcohol-free partying leaves you with a clear head and a more productive tomorrow. Seize the day—carpe diem!

Beverages Without the Alcohol

Purging your party of alcohol is easier than ever. Mocktails, spritzers, and smoothies join a vast selection of NA beers.

Skillfully Crafted Mocktails

Quench the thirst and titillate the palate of your party-goers. Check out Marie Claire‘s recipes for 23 colorful and refreshing mocktails. Learn how to make a whiskey sour without the whiskey. Or, make an “herb and tonic.” The cranberry-mint mojito mocktail is another refreshing possibility.

Wirecutter rates a variety of premixed mocktails. Consider those that mix bitters and soda, like Casamara Club Alta. Hella Bitters and Soda Bittersweet Spritz are also options. Or, try hops-flavored concoctions like Aurora Elixers Pomelo Sage. Curious No. 1 is a lightly carbonated NA negroni with pomegranate, Rhodiola, and fennel. For a dramatic change of pace, consider Curious No. 5. It is like a smoked cherry chocolate old-fashioned. Serve it over ice with a twist of orange peel. Curious No. 6 features pineapple, lime, coconut milk, nutmeg, and more. Molasses and oak extract invoke a sense of rum without the alcohol.


Spritzers are oh-so-refreshing on a warm summer day. They range from fruity to sweet and from tart to aromatic. Check out these colorful, delectable recipes from Taste of Home. Try an ice-filled watermelon spritzer, or add layers of fruit to a rainbow spritzer. Frozen lemonade concentrate, strawberries, and lemon-lime soda make for another delectable combination.

Non-Alcoholic Beers

First of all, keep in mind that some NA beers contain up to 0.5% alcohol by volume. Always check the label to make sure you get what you prefer. All the major brewers offer NA beers. Beck’s offering is well-rated. Check out Heineken 0.0 for a truly alcohol-free experience. There’s also an endless array of craft beers without the alcohol. Choose among a wide variety of NA IPAs, pale ales, pilsners, stouts, ambers and reds. The NA Beer Club offers a long list of recommended NA beers and ales.

Smoothies offers endless ideas for smoothies. They are sure to energize and excite your attendees. Consider kale banana, avocado, almond berry, or mango – the list goes on. Yum! Turmeric smoothies are another possibility. Turmeric is an ancient spice with a vibrant golden hue that makes for a visually appealing drink. They’re easy to customize to taste. Combine raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries in a berry turmeric smoothie. Add yogurt, oatmeal, and spinach as desired. Coffee lovers will welcome a turmeric smoothie featuring coffee, ginger, oats, and chia seeds.A group of four friends sit around an outdoor café table laughing and smiling. A quote reads: "More and more Americans are shunning alcohol and embracing the sober curious movement. This emerging social trend questions common assumptions about alcohol consumption."

Tips for Alcohol-Free Get-Togethers

Planning for an alcohol-free gathering is much like other party planning. Will your event be indoors or out? How many attendees will you plan for? Will there be a theme or special decorating?

Party concepts

In an alcohol-free environment, entertainment is at a premium. A creative party theme is a great conversation starter. Costume parties are always popular. Use games and rewards to encourage mingling. Run a trivia contest, for example. If you think your party-goers will embrace it, you could even try a meditation masterclass. Consider creating a backdrop perfect for selfies, and add a party-exclusive hashtag. Encourage your guests to share pics and stay in touch.

Light the Night, and Beyond

The right lighting sets the mood, indoors or at night. Avoid harsh, direct lighting when possible. Diffused, subdued lighting is much more flattering. Embrace the use of dimmers, candles, and string lights.

Appealing Food Spreads

There are vegetarians, carnivores, and gluten-free folks to consider, among others. Lighter fare served chilled is often popular in the summer. Easy-to-make Hawaiian poke bowls are delicious, versatile, and healthy. Acai bowls are another possibility.

Taste of Home lists 70 dishes you can whip up in 30 minutes or less. Check out the zucchini pasta, grilled lime chicken, buffalo chicken deviled eggs. Consider the sliced tomato salad, melon berry salad, or colorful quinoa salad. Of course, juicy burgers and tasty brats are standard fare that many guests will appreciate.

About Draper and Kramer

Draper and Kramer is a full-service real estate firm founded in 1893. Draper and Kramer’s amenity-rich luxury apartment properties offer well-designed outdoor spaces that make for memorable summer get-togethers. In Chicago, gather on a roof deck at Wrigleyville Lofts or Hubbard221. Take advantage of the outdoor kitchen at North 680 in suburban Schaumburg. It is adjacent to the resort-style pool. At Crest at Las Colinas Station in Irving, TX, take advantage of the kitchen and grilling station. Both are conveniently located near the pool. And at St. Louis’ new Moda at the Hill, the large pool courtyard also includes grilling stations and fire pits.

Visit our website to browse our entire selection of luxury apartment properties today.

A close-up of a man pouring water into someone's glass at a dining table that salads and bread on it.

In today’s more health-conscious society, individuals are turning to another way to party. It's one that is safe and just as much fun—the alcohol-free get-together. Think of it as an extension of a healthier lifestyle emphasizing nutrition and exercise over drinking.

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