Nothing beats a perfectly salted margie

It turns out the quest to find the "best" mocktail in the Hastings was a little ambitious. Who knew there were so many mocktail options out there! Hell, I didn't even really know what a mocktail was 31 days ago and neither does my computer which constantly wants to change the word mocktail for cocktail (I hear you MacBook). Originally on my mocktail quest I was searching for a non alcoholic drink that tasted and felt like I was having a real drink. I wanted to be sober, but drink. Turns out that's not going to happen, ever. Sorry to break this news to you if mocktails are as foreign as an AFD for you! Nothing will beat an ice cold perfectly salted margie drank on a deserted Mexican beach, NOTHING! But don't switch off yet as I have found a few pearls of sobriety wisdom to share with you.

Firstly, The worst hangover of my life (give or take Coffs Cup 1996)...

I'll rewind a bit and let you know how I ended up publicly declaring my sobriety for the month of January 2023. There are standard run of the mill hangovers, right. You know the ones where you waste a day and you are ready to saddle up in a day or two or you might even 'cure it' with a hair of the dog that evening. Then there are hangovers that change your life. This was the latter.

To be honest I blame my sister for putting her post pubescent son in charge of cocktails on Christmas Day. Joe's 'cocktails' consisted of a bottle of vodka & a bottle of spiced rum. No mixers. Turns out Joe is very persuasive and somehow managed to get his 'cocktails' across the line. In hindsight I have never been good at holding back when someone is singing a beautiful rugby melody such as "drink it down, drink it down" - music to my ears! By the time I'd finished my first lunchtime Xmas bevy I had also shot a small coffee cup of spiced rum. The same mug 5 other victims had already fallen for, AND all before the prawns were served! I'll leave out the minor details from our sombre 2022 family Christmas luncheon, mainly because I can't remember them and I'll cut to the end, the bit I clearly remember. Waking up the next morning with my contacts in, drier than the Simpson Desert, fully dressed in my Christmas finery, face glued to my sisters couch with no memory of anything past 6pm (ok maybe even 4pm). I snuck home, drank a Berocca, threw up a Berocca. Went to bed, threw up. Drank a Berocca, threw up and went to bed...No hair of the dog and certainly no saddling up for round two. And that my friends is how I got to this point in my life. Sobriety.

The Family Mixologist, Joe!

Mocktails an alien concept

After publicly declaring my one woman inaugural Mocktail of the Hastings showdown I realised I could count my prior experience with mocktails on one hand. I do however have three decades of experience with alcoholic beverages. So my plan was to find the mocktail that tasted the most like its equivalent cocktail and declare it the winner. Simple, yet genius, right! The problem I'd overlooked is that mocktails taste like mocktails. Cocktails taste like cocktails. There is no mistaking a margie without tequila. In fact I may have said when tasting my mocktail margie, "it's good but it needs tequila"! So instead of declaring an outright winner I will share what I now know about mocktails. Bar owners take note.

Hello Sailor - I can confirm the Margarita with tequila was my favourite of the two!

What is a mocktail worth

The mocktails I tried ranged from $7.50 to $17.00. On average expect to pay around $10-12 for a mocktail in the local area. You tend to pay a little more when a non-alcoholic spirit is in the mocktail. Yep it's a bit confusing but sobriety isn't meant to be straight forward. How can a spirit be non-alcoholic? And if it has no booze, can it still be a spirit? This slippery slope is for another time.

Not all venues have mocktails on the drinks menu but if you ask for a mocktail they will usually make one, but you never know how much it is going to cost you or what's in it. This is a bit of a bug bear of mine. More than once I have been charged the normal cocktail price for a mocktail. When this happens I question it and the price is usually lowered. Put mocktails on your menu please! I've yet to see a mocktail included in the happy hour prices so this would be a nice welcome change for non-drinkers. Hint, hint bar owners.

Sexy mocktails

I'm convinced a sexy looking mocktail tastes better. Anything with a dried pineapple is a winner in my eyes. When you walk across a crowded bar turning heads with a mocktail in your hand you feel like a Cheshire cat. Listening to the sounds of "OMG look at that drink" from your none the wiser drunken comrades, you honestly feel like you have made it in life. Like you are somewhat more noble and wiser. Of course after a few more rounds you are much more noble and wiser.

Jimmys Bar - Bahama Rhumba

The Stunned Mullet - Dark & Stormy

Moo & Bean - Tidal Wave


Most mocktails are super sweet and laden with calories. Usually some sort of fruit juice is the base. Personally I'd like to see local bar's offering more mocktails that have soda water or diet ginger beer as the base. Lots of people are not drinking for health reasons as opposed to giant F off Boxing Day hangovers! But no matter what has lead you to sobriety when you are not drinking you tend to be more careful with your diet as your body starts to crave healthier food choices.

Tacking Point Tavern - Nojito (Mojito with no go go juice). Super refreshing and made with soda water so a lighter calorie option.

What I have learned to love about sobriety

Sleep. Hours of blissful unbroken dreamy sleep and waking up fresh as a daisy (a 44 year old daisy that is). I have so much time in my days now. So much time that I'm bloody blogging! Who am I even? Actually, sometimes I just want to have a drink to pass the time I've got so much of it these days! Anyway I'm pretty sure the only person still reading is Mum so I'm signing off. For now my sobriety journey continues but I have no doubt Aunty Kris will come unstuck sooner or later. "She's a legend, she's true blue..."


Kris x

If only I'd ate more ham that day and less "cocktails"!