Tips for Entertaining Alcoholics in Recovery for Thoughtful Hosts

Don’t worry about entertaining an alcoholic who’s in recovery. Here are some tips for entertaining alcoholics in recovery.

There’s no reason to be self-conscious about entertainment plans that include a guest who is an alcoholic in recovery. The Caron Foundation offers some “recovery etiquette” tips for thoughtful hosts.


  • Feel free to serve alcohol beverages 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 Caron Foundation. “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 beverages. 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. However, 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. 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 technically OK. Most, but not all recovering alcoholics feel comfortable eating them, so let guests know what’s cooled with alcohol.
  • Foods with uncooked alcohol are another matter. If you include them on your buffet table, label them so the recovering alcoholic can steer clear.
  • The same goes for punch. Let guests know if it contains alcohol.

Bon appetit!

The Caron Foundation is an addiction treatment center. It kindly provided these tips for entertaining alcoholics in recovery.