On today’s show, Nicole and Sandra chat about their relationship with alcohol and celebrating during the holidays. The discuss how growing up molded their view of alcohol and how navigating midlife has changed that perspective. They also offer tips like substituting tea in the evening to change the habit of needing to have a drink in hand. Sandra also shares her recipe for the non-alcoholic shrub drink that she makes for the holidays:

Ingredients Checklist

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring all ingredients to a simmer with 2 cups water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes until most cranberries have burst.

  • Spoon out a few whole cranberries and set aside for garnishing drinks if you like.*

  • Strain mixture, pressing liquid out of pulp using the back of a spoon. Discard pulp. Chill at least 1 hour. Store for up to 3 months.

  • *Roll the berries in sugar, skewer on toothpicks, and set across tops of drinks. Use that day.

Here are a few other links for non-alcoholic beverages to celebrate with:

Curious Elixirs


Mingle Mocktails

We hope you enjoyed this episode of the Messy Middle Road Trip podcast and feel inspired to spend some time thinking about your relationship with alcohol and whether or not choosing to drink is something that continues to serve you. If you believe that you or a loved one has a drinking problem and need help, please reach out to:


First, a word of caution – alcohol hotlines are not meant for emergencies. If you or a loved one is in a life-threatening situation, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. In non-emergency situations, you can call the following alcohol hotlines for information and support:

National Drug Helpline:  1-844-289-0879

The National Drug Helpline is a 24/7 alcohol helpline where you can get information about alcohol use disorder and alcohol rehab. This hotline operates around-the-clock, but your call may occasionally go unanswered due to high call volumes or staff shortage. Please call back another time or call one of the other hotlines listed below.

Alcoholics Anonymous 1-212-870-3400

Find out more about the AA program or fellowship by calling the Alcoholics Anonymous number.

Alcohol Hotline for IAFF Members 1-866-965-3074

The alcohol hotline is in place to support firefighters and paramedics that are having issues with alcohol. It is for IAFF members as well as their family and friends.

SAMHSA: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

The SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) helpline is a US government initiative. This hotline gives you access to nationwide resources for alcohol use disorder treatment, including information and referrals to rehabs near you. The SAMHSA helpline is available 24/7 and offers services in both English and Spanish.

You might also enjoy:

EO26: Making Big Changes In Midlife With Lori Massicot

EO60: Holiday Traditions With Janine and Nicole