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Drink Alternatives

July 24, 2014 162 comments

What do you like to drink in place of alcohol? Ideas will be drawn from this page to feature in our ‘Drink of The Week’ section.

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  1. You can keep whole lemons or limes in the freezer and grate them from frozen into icy cold soda water, using a micro grater. You can use the whole fruit – zest, pulp, even the pips – just grate it all in and they last for ages. Easier than using fresh fruit all the time :-)

    1. That sounds like a great idea, the frozen citrus, thanks.
      Also, Mrs D if you read this the apple cider vinegar in a glass of soda has real zing, I love it.

  2. Hi All,

    Fantastic website.

    This might not sound very orthodox – but I would highly recommended weed as an alternative to alcohol. I suffer from depression and alcohol, even in the smallest amounts, doesn’t agree with me.

    However the occasional smoke I find very relaxing and nice to know I have an alternative.

    I’m also a Dad to 2 , and working in a successful and highly paid job (so don’t draw any stereotypes please!).


    1. I am all pro natural drugs if it helps you sort stuff out, like ayahuasca, that is a trip that can save you a year on bills to your psychiatrist. But the quality of the weed has changed and the learning part has been cultivated out of it and the contents that get you high has been bred in. The weed that is available e.g. in The Netherlands (where else) currently has the strenght to reclassify as hard drugs. So I am not sure I would recommend weed as a alternative. Only 12 days out here so…. But…. Jason Vale says very clearly: do NOT go look for alternatives. You do not need alternatives to something as bad as booze. You have come out of jail. Why would you need an alternative? Smoking weed to me is like coming out of jail and then locking yourself up in the basement.

      1. Yes I agree, i thought about smoking dope as an alternative but that is crazy , its another demon ! starts of all friendly then bang your right it locks you up in jail again! not a good idear

      2. Cannibis is an illegal drug in NZ It is a criminal offence to obtain and use Why would any intelligent person risk their personal and professional lives to break the law?

      3. I’ve been smoking a little and have found it really beneficial. It’s not my poison like alcohol so I don’t get too attached to it. At least I don’t wake up feeling like I want to bloody slit my wrists which is how alcohol made me feel!

    2. Yeah..but then what about the weight gain, lol. I agree it’s not as dangerous as alcohol..but it has its own draw backs. In the U.S. lately it’s being touted as a cure all for everything from PTSD to cancer. I came of age in the 70s..I didnt buy all the horror stories then..and likewise don’t buy all the savior stories now. But..if helps you get thru social situations might otherwise drink..Well, it’s a thought.

    3. @Feelingmywaybackintolife…..One thing I want to do before I die is experience ayahuasca.. I follow Dr. Gabor Mate and have watched a few docs on it.
      As for the weed. My son smokes medical grade pot but one draw and I am a zombie, seeing and hearing things, wanting to sleep..can’t move..horrible. I have always had that reaction so I have avoided it, even though with my chronic pain I could probably get a prescrip. I don’t want to be “out of my mind” anymore..I got rid of the anti depressants, the pain meds now the booze…..and the cigs…
      Anonymous I won’t stereotype. My son feels he functions better when smoking. He is highly intelligent and hard working. It works like ritilin on his ADHD brain. I believe it is how our receptors deal with it, or not…:)

      1. I too would like a something else on occasion, I used to smoke a lot in my early teens then lost that ability mostly after too much acid. I’m not judging either, I think it is and can be a great herb for some, I’m just really sensitive to anything. Im might give it a try again. My husband smokes a lot, which kind of drives me crazy, as well as all the new fangled “dabs” and oils and vaping and what not. I don’t know about all that. I also have a tincture that is mild. If it can benefit and expand the mind and relax, that sounds good. Not so much the paranoia and anxiety, I’ll pass on those, thanks!

  3. Lemon & Rosemary Water
    A wide-mouth quart mason jar
    1/2 decently large lemon, cut into round slices – squeeze the juice a bit, dump the slices in the jar, peels and all. (A few lemon seeds never hurt anybody, no worries)
    A medium handful of fresh rosemary sprigs.
    Muddle up and crush up the rosemary and lemon a bit.
    Fill the jar 3/4 with water. Top up to the top with ice.
    Drink this from a beautiful glass. (I have a lovely tumbler, but recently decided to up my luxury and ordered a Waterford Crystal glass…(on sale)…I usually drank my vodka from a cheap little jelly jar, so only the best for my lovely, clean lemon/herb water and me, I think!)
    I don’t mind drinking little bits of rosemary and lemon pulp, but just pour through a little strainer if you do.
    This is so clean and refreshing tasting – lemon and herbs, not at all sweet, just fresh, clean and bracing. To kick it up a little, sometimes I add some ginger (juice or micro-planed).
    It would probably also be very good with basil instead of rosemary, I mean to try that soon, when I can bring myself to use the basil for something other than caprese!
    Many heartfelt thanks to you all for being here.

    1. Will do that now as I have been reading about how wonderful rosemary is – for something. And perhaps some lemon balm for relaxation. Have to look up caprese :(

  4. Pineapple juice with sparkling water (not too much), plenty of ice and deseeded long red chilli cut in half.
    It is very good. Bit of a zing.
    I am big on pineapple at present.

  5. Instant Ginger Beer

    4 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
    1 Tbsp grated ginger
    2 Tbsp lime Juice
    2tsp Stevia
    1 L water or soda water

    Nom nom,just like the exploding stuff Mum made.

  6. Honey, lemon & mint soda
    Make 500 ml syrup or about 20 drinks
    6 large lemons, juiced
    400 ml water
    7 Tb bush honey (don’t waste your good manuka on this)
    1 cup mint, crushed lightly stalks and all…
    Combine and the ingredients into a saucepan including the lemon rinds and bring to the boil.
    Remove and cool, after 1 hour strain the ingredients through a sieve. Store in airtight container
    To serve
    Mix the lemonade syrup with soda or sparkling water at a ratio of 1:4
    Garnish with more crushed fresh mint

    1. This is nice with Apple juice too- I had a drink called Honeydew in a Thai place – Apple fresh ginger fresh lime mint leaves ice and a drop of honey . The one I had whilst eating out was amazing.

  7. The Meg Ryan or Bright Bubbly Berry Drink
    (Not sure if the name is any connection to her famous When Harry Met Sally scene but that was surely fun!)
    Yields one drink

    One cup berries(whatever is in season, blackberry and raspberry are perfect)
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    2 tablespoons honey or to taste
    1 cup soda water

    Add berries, lemon juice and honey to a blender and combine until smooth. Add soda water and pulse until combined. If using frozen berries, you may add all ingredients at once, but you might need to add an extra dash of soda water at the end to bubble things back up a bit. Enjoy!

  8. I’m trying to use this phase to visualize my body getting clean. I am going to drink lots of green tea and visualize my body repairing and rejuvenating itself.

  9. Mojito without the rum. I had a lovely one last night, they are called virgin Mojitos ( pronounced Mohito)

    I made a sugar syrup tonite with Palm Sugar which gave a lovely flavour as opposed to using white sugar or raw which works well too. I grated the palm sugar about 1/2 cup and mixed with 1/4 cup of water and just boiled it.
    Take a large glass, a few fresh mint leaves and the juice and skin of a lime. mix up ( its called muddled) using the end of a wooden spoon, add sugar syrup and soda or sparkling water and lots of ice. serve with more lime and mint and add a straw for fun… just experiment with the flavours to suit. No reason why you couldn’t add some apple juice but use less syrup as you don’t want it too sweet.

  10. Kombocha – ancient chinese fermented tea recipe. . It has a tangy zesty flavour and a gentle natural fizz . I make my own with a culture bought from health good shop. A couple of green tea bags, plus some fruit or lemon tea bags, 1/2 cup sugar and the culture are what you need. One week later a gently fizzy, booze free zippy health drink.
    I love all these ideas. Lemon and rosemary are so good for your body on the post booze journey

  11. In the evening I love diet tonic with a big splash of Pom pomegranate juice. Cherry juice is also nice with the tonic and a couple shakes of orange bitters makes it taste very grown up. In fact try the bitters with almost anything!

  12. Discovered this one last night just trying different things- half sparkling water, half cran-raspberry juice and a squeeze of lime. It’ll be one of my go-to recipes!

  13. Hi

    I replaced alcohol with a lot of reading, physical exercise, spending time with my family, being present at my workplace, I quit smoking as well I still felt empty even after I quit drinking. I feed my brain with information as i couldn’t learn anything in my drinking and smoking times. I no longer internalise my thoughts and because of that I see things happening around me, I hear people talk, I think and talk less about the past, I am present and continuously improve myself.


  14. Passionfruit and ginger mocktail

    Don’t be put off by the sugar syrup. Not ever being one to follow recipes to a tee I made mine with heaps less sugar and much more passionfruit (there’s a big block of pulp in our freezer so have heaps). The funny thing was that I had a batch of sugar syrup I’d made up months ago when we had a heap of mangos I’d pulped up and froze and that I was using to make MANGO DAIQUIRIS fully laden with rum or cointreau or whatever I used to pour in. What a hoot!

    We’ve been serving ours in lovely martini glasses with either a frozen/thawed berry or a piece of watermelon on a toothpick – kinda cute!

    NB I prefer sugar to honey in these kinds of drinks as honey makes it taste like something that’s meant to be medicinal but honey could be an option. I’m also sure that we could try different fruits pulped up in the blender as well as or instead of passionfruit.

    200g sugar
    500ml water
    1x5cm piece of ginger
    pulp and seeds from 10 passionfruit
    juice and zest of 2 lemons/limes
    to serve – soda water/sparkling water

    To make the syrup bring sugar and water to a gentle boil in a small saucepan. Once sugar has dissolved add the other ingredients (except soda water). Leave to cool.
    To serve, pour a little of the syrup into a glass and top up with soda. Add mint and ice if you like.

  15. I drink water mostly. I treat myself to speciality coffees and teas too! If I go to somewhere other than a restaurant, I usually take a bottled water!

  16. Fill glass with ice, add 2/3 Pellegrino sparkling natural mineral water and add 1/3 Raspberry Lemonade, squeeze a wedge of lime into the drink. Voila…..everyone ends up wanting whatever I am drinking. The process of making it is inviting and it taste yummy.

  17. A new find: I mixed a 750 ml bottle of pink grapefruit flavored Perrier sparkling water with a 355ml can of Guayaki brand Yerba Mate Sparkling Grapefruit/Ginger, added lemon juice for tartness, and a little more than a splash of grapefruit juice for sweetness. Poured it all in a fancy crystal pitcher and drank it from a fancy crystal glass. Yum. perfect.

  18. My partner and I have discovered zero alcohol beers. There are a couple on the market. The nicest is a German one Bitburger ‘Drive’. You can get it at Countdown in Newtown or NW at Thorndon. You get that refreshing lager taste with 0% :-D

  19. I personally am on a smoothie buzz right now. If you have a blender (and if you don’t you can get one for the price of a couple of bottles of wine) you can be as creative as you want any fruits or vegetables and its a bit of fun to experiment and with summer slowly reaching us they are wonderfully refreshing!

  20. I like 1/2 grapefruit juice,1/2 S. Pellegrino sparkling mineral water, and a splash of Pellegrino limonita with a lot of ice.Tart, but tasty. I think it has a similar palate to white wine.

  21. I just love a ginger beer spider. A big scoop of ice cream in a tall glass of ginger beer. Watch out for the fizz and overflow. I had one last night and It was so good I will have another tonight. I am only 7 days and I am looking forward to making other great drinks.

    1. Mmm I like the sound of that, I suppose diet ginger and diet ice cream would be just as good, thanks I’m going to give that a try, it would be good in summer too!

    2. Oh wow, thanks for reminding me about spiders. My mother used to make themas a treat when I was young and I loved them. Must try again.

  22. Actually that Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey with soda has been good for me, because it has that real kick that feels like it might be something else…

    1. you are brave to bring this subject up but I feel the same about the vinegar, it’s a very familiar feeling from the past when it hits your stomach. Some things never are forgotten

  23. Hey, did you know that Angosturos Bitters is about 40% proof alcohol?! A friend of mine thought she was doing well going alcohol free, but was Shaking loads of that into her lime & soda. When I read details on the bottle, we were both shocked. “No wonder I like it so much!” she said.

  24. I’m not sure if this drink is here or not, so forgive me if this is a repeat. I bought and electric juicer (I’m lazy) and made grapefruit juice and mixed is with orange flavored Perrier and a couple of lime wedges. It’s tasty! :)