Entertaining Alcoholics in Recovery: Tips for Hosts

Here are some tips for entertaining alcoholics in recovery.

Entertaining alcoholics in recovery can be fun. There’s no reason to be self-conscious about it. The Caron Foundation (CF) offers some “recovery etiquette” tips for thoughtful hosts. These should set your mind at ease


    • Feel free to serve alcohol at your gathering. You need not plan your party around a guest you know is in recovery. “Alcoholism comes in a person, not in a bottle,” says the CF. “The recovering alcoholic won’t suddenly relapse if alcohol is available.”
    • Don’t make a big deal of it if someone at your party is in recovery. There are plenty of reasons people decline alcohol. It may be preference, dieting, or their meds. They may be serving as designated driver. Or they may be in recovery from alcoholism. There is no reason to differentiate one guest’s reason for abstaining from another’s. If someone declines a drink, don’t ask why. It’s rude to do so!
    • tips for entertaining alcoholics in recoveryInclude non-alcoholic beverages in your offerings. Some non-drinkers will drink non-alcoholic beer and wine. But most recovering alcoholics prefer beverages that don’t look or taste like the real thing. Stock your bar with sparkling water and cider, soft drinks, and juices. There are many options. Here’s a list of delicious non-alcoholic beverage recipes.
    • If you’re serving wine at the table, offer a choice of an alternative as you pour.
    • Foods cooked with wine, brandy, and other spirits long enough to destroy the alcohol content are OK. Most, but not all, recovering alcoholics feel safe eating them. So let guests know what’s cooked with alcohol.
    • Foods with uncooked alcohol are another matter. If you include them on your buffet table, label them. That way, the recovering alcoholic can steer clear. Also, any guests who are non-drinkers will be glad you did.
    • The same goes for punch. Let guests know if it contains alcohol.

Bon appetit!

The CF gave these tips for entertaining alcoholics in recovery.