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Drink Alternatives

July 24, 2014 226 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. 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. @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. 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.

    4. Mom to 2 here, in a successful and highly paid job as well – and couldn’t agree more. I only toke occasionally, but find that it really helps in a lot of ways, including calming my hyper-active brain down and allowing me to be in the moment more. In this quitting process, it’s definitely been nice to know I have an alternative! Cheers.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


  4. 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 :(

  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. 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

  7. Kia ora all
    I have just joined your online community because I decided that I can not stop drinking without support. My counselor put me on to you and I am pleased that I was finally able to join after initial registration hassles. Thanks Lotta for sorting this out for me. Today is my first day of trying to stay sober. I realise this is a hard journey but it is the only journey I want to take at this stage in my life. I live with my partner, two cats and a rooftop beehive (currently hibernating), soon to be joined by a dog by the name of Lotti.
    I have been drinking for a few years now but this has recently snowballed after the death of my mother last year. Family feuds drove me nearly bananas and hence my drinking snowballed. I added whiskey to my daily wine intake and my doctors have commented on my raced Triglycerides. Scary!
    Well here I am and I am hoping to make many new friends who can help me to achieve my goal.
    Looking forward to go together on this journey.
    Kia kaha

    1. Tena koe Floyd, I hope you have stayed strong to the cause, just wanted to say that I am also new to the roopu and think it is great that we are all on this hikoi together.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. I’m Alcohol free 10 months.
    I don’t do mocktails or AF beer very often anymore.
    Sometimes a treat on the weekend.
    I don’t even wish I could drink real stuff that infrequently.
    However, I found a brand of AF spirits that I bought for curiosity sake.
    ArKay. I’ve tried the AF tequila, kinda odd, but ok w mixer.
    The rum is tasty in a tropical drink.
    The gin is ok, I like it better then Seedlip.
    I’ll probably buy the rum again , I like the flavor.
    Be careful when drinking substitutes like this, they could be a trigger.

  12. I came here looking for mocktails, etc. and it’s about weed??? I was hooked on weed for 6 years and I ain’t going back. It messed me up and those years were a blur. Not jumping from one addiction to another! Plus it’s illegal in Oz and I’m too old to go to jail.

  13. In a wine glass, mix Cran-Grape juice & Coke. I used diet versions of both. It makes a deep, red wine color and tastes great (in my opinion). I watched a show (Real Housewives of New Jersey) where they mixed red wine & Coke. I got the idea from there.

  14. 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!

  15. I named my fave drink a “Pink Flamingo”….. Ice in a glass, shot of lite Cranberrry juice, top up with soda water and a glug of lite lime juice….Delicious and so refreshing and best of all – low sugar as the juices are sweetened with Stevia.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. I avoid any mixer drinks such as coke, L&P, lemonade etc because if the strong connnations to active drinking. Also I can almost “taste” the booze. Cold water & lemons may favourite & no sugar!

  19. I drink ginger beer at party settings and people think it’s beer so it eliminates the questions. It feels less awkward than a water bottle. I am surprised how many people don’t notice my not drinking because it felt like who I was.

    1. I have recently been introduced to ginger beer, I really like it! I should keep some in the house.

      I get the feeling eating Reese’s Piece instead of drinking is a bad bad idea.

  20. It’s all about switchel. It’s a drinking vinegar mixed with raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, distilled water, raw, unfiltered honey, and a massive amount of fresh grated ginger. Shake it up, let it sit overnight, strain it, and serve it with a bit of fizzy water over ice. Soooo refreshing!

    1. YES! I just discovered vinegar drinks a few nights ago and as nasty as it sounds, it’s so worth a try if you are sick of lemonade and ginger beer.

      Note 1: It takes some experimenting to find your preferred portions.
      Note 2: there are lots of recipes online; drinking vinegars are often called “shrubs.”
      Note 3: there is some evidence that small amounts of vinegar may slow digestion and make you feel full longer. (in a good way)

      Many recipes call for grating and soaking and stirring and filtering, etc, and if you’re into that, awesome! I’m lazy though, so I just mix a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar in an 8oz of cold fizzy water, with sugar or syrup to taste (try specialty syrups like rose cardamom, or hibiscus). For me, it almost exactly replicates the refreshing zing of a cold glass of white wine on a warm summer evening. Balsamic vinegar with sugar/syrup comes sorta close to a bad red wine. :) I’ve yet to try champagne vinegar or any wine vinegar, but I’m optimistic…I think the only type that’s too strong to use in drinks is straight white vinegar.

      Have fun experimenting!

  21. 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.

  22. Try getting Rosa de Jamaica (or Hibuscus) leaves – they sell it as “tea” in the states – but in Latin countries it’s mixed with juice or other things at times – find it in bulk on amazon and put it in one those pitchers that has a storage tube to make flavored waters. It’s tart and delicious and I make a strong red batch and drink it in a wine glass and it’s a great substitute for red wine for me. You could make it weaker and lighter and it could mimic rose’.

  23. Ginger beer!! Becks Blue and some radlers are AF alternatives if you like beer! Powell & Mahoney craft cocktail mixers are great for mocktails. The have a sparkling Mojito that is really good. I’ll mix it with a little ginger ale or a flavored sparkling water. Good Luck!! You won’t regret giving up the booze!

  24. 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!