Did you know your browser is out of date?

To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser. IE8 is no longer supported. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below. Click on the links to get to the download page.

Drink Alternatives

July 24, 2014 204 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.

Add Comment Register

Share your ideas

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. Well amazingly to me, yesterday I celebrated 3 full years since becoming alcohol free.
    I can honestly say alcohol rarely crosses my radar these days…(well apart from other people’s problem drinking that is!).
    .I spent most of yesterday returning home from beautiful Cape Verde where I had been on holiday with my husband
    .Sounds idyllic & it was for the first half of the holiday, then, emboldened by the ‘all inclusive’ bar,he turned into Mr Hyde.
    He has had a drink problem for as long as I have known him so this is nothing new ..but still shocking when verbal abuse is thrown at you. We had enjoyed a lovely meal to celebrate Father’s Day ( & incidentally 51 years to the day since we met as 17 year olds). I am unable to make him stop drinking I know but it was certainly a holiday of 2 halves

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. Make a triple strength herbal tea, let it cool, and serve half and half with soda water. Fancy it up with a sprig of mint and a slice of lemon or lime.

    1. That’s one of my favourites, too. And I even get creative and make my own tea blends. Lemongrass and lemon balm and mint is a good one, but more or less any herbal combination is worth a try. I really appreciate having a refreshing drink without having the extra sugar that most alcohol-free drinks seem to have.

    2. Now that sounds nice Sue K – I find a lot of drinks a bit syrupy – I’m gonna give that a go. I looked for the Hopt drinks at my local Countdown – was gutted they weren’t there – I’m going to go in at a quieter time of day and ask if they will get them in

    3. Good idea. Am going to go make myself a very strong herbal tea right now. On its own though without the extras, oh might have honey with it.

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. i bought a juicer and my fav is low sodium V8 or tomato to start then juice carrots, celery, cucumber, spinach, mild mini sweet peppers and ginger. mix it all together and add key lime juice or lemon. i love leaving work and saying ” I’m going home to get juiced.”. the work it takes to juice distracts me when i first walk thru the door, which was when i grabbed my glass of wine.