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Drink Alternatives

July 24, 2014 202 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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. Searching for sugar free drinks, what’s your fave? Trying to avoid artificial sweeteners too. At the moment its soda and lemon or soda and apple cider vinegar…any other suggestions welcome.

  4. I put a long list for UK guys yesterday. New drinks I’m exploring all the time ( gotta be sugar free for me too so bit more of a challenge). Stuff you can get from Mr Tesco and Lady Waitrose.

  5. 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!

  6. Blueberry Mojito

    Shake blueberries, lime zest & juice, mint leaves & sugar in a coctail shaker.

    Lightly crush with the back of a spoon and pour into a glass or jug .

    Add soda water & lots of ice !!!! Yum

  7. A few mixes I like (makes two small glasses or one big thirsty one):
    8 oz seltzer or your preferred bubbly water, 3 oz tart cherry juice, 4 oz orange juice. Not too sweet.
    4 oz seltzer, 8 oz apple cider, 4 oz ginger beer (I like the really spicy ones; Reed’s makes some great ginger beer)

    For when you really need to kick the endorphin panel in your head on, and if you have a decent tolerance for spicy:
    8 oz tomato juice or virgin mary mix, 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, dash of pepper (I’m hooked on LoudFoods brand Orange Sunshine Mango Habanero Sauce–hot but fruity, good on eggs too.). This can be modified based on what you have in your fridge: I have used 1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste instead of the hot sauce.

  8. In the states we get a bubbly Fre Brut that is bottled just like sparkling wine, caged cork and all, so you even get that lovely pop when you open it. Has a nice light taste with a hint of apple juice. When I’m thinking Damn, I need a glass of wine. This is my go-to. Heir Chardonnay is pretty good also. Could be triggers but so far my husband, who has also quit, and I seem okay with it.

  9. 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. 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. 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!

    4. 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. 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?

      2. 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!

      3. 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

    1. thank you for that tip – have just joined this site – amazing isn’t it? and saw your 1/2 1/2 treat – not my favourite drink is ginger ale but in this case it just might have the right spark – am def. going to try it and will let you know – i am starting this coming monday – or should that be stopping – anyways thanks!

  10. Virgin Mojito aka: Nojito or Fauxjito!! Sparkling water, simple syrup (add to taste…depending how sweet you like it!) mint, lime. Simple syrup is very easy to make at home. Equal parts sugar and water warmed in a sauce pan until sugar is dissolved. Store in fridge in a jar or bottle. Love all of the suggestions. I’m very afraid of the N/A wines, though. I think they’d be very triggery for me personally. Wine was my BFF! If mixed drinks were your thing I could see this Fauxjito being triggery. Hopefully we can all find something that works for us!

  11. In the states there is a drink called Ice that is sugar free, lightly carbonated and comes in wonderful flavors like peach nectarine and pineapple coconut. Costco and most groceries carry it. No calories and very refreshing.

    1. These have been an amazing help for me too! I bring the pink grapefruit or orange mango to parties or tennis events, and most people think that I’m drinking some kind of wine cooler or something. They are soooo delish!

  12. There are quite a few unusual sugar free squashes available in UK supermarkets that I like either with still or sparkling water. Cranberry & lemon and Coconut & lime are my current favourites. I don’t like wasting calories these days, even though I never begrudged wasting hundreds (thousands?) on alcohol!

    1. Tesco do a nice orange and ginger presse which is like a Spritzer with sparkling water already added, also lemon and mint. Elderflower presse light by Bottle Green ( I think ) keeps calories down x

  13. 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.

  14. My husband and I drive to Geraldine monthly to purchase a case of ” Fre” alcohol removed wine, it tastes great, it comes in a “Classic Red” “Shiraz” and ” Reisling” coast around $12 per bottle in selected supermarkets but works out @ $10 per bottle direct from the supplier. The other great alcohol removed wine is “Edenvale”, it is available from Henry’s bottle stores and selected supermarkets.
    Tastes just like the real stuff, we swear by it, we certainly got a few weird looks turning up to family parties and pouring a glass if Shiraz out!! He he he, good stuff.

    1. I have ordered some of this wine online and am excitedly waiting for it to be delivered. There is no where within miles for me to buy it. Deal is, Buy three bottles. = free postage :) thanks for sharing the info :)

    2. I found Fre in my supermarket today (I’m in California) and remembered your recommendation. Going to try it tomorrow! Have you seen Ariel? I bought the Chardonnay which was kind of awful but when I mixed it about 3 parts Ariel to 1 big part Perrier my
      Husband said it was the closest thing to tasting like wine that we have come up with so far. Maybe a trigger for some but so far no problem. Vigilance, vigilence.

  15. I was so excited when I thought to order a Virgin Bloody Mary at a seaside dinner the other night. Salty and spicy and with 3 olives! love sparkling waters and teas and juices too, have tried some from the posts above, thanks! Whole Foods has a sparkling tea which is yummy.

  16. I googled healthy sodas while I was reading Mrs D’s book (LOVED IT by the way!!!!!!) I found a brand called Hopt, there are four flavours. So far I’ve tried the Pear and Basil, it is delicious!!!!! Lovely and refreshing. I have it in my wineglass and it even looks like wine!

  17. I discovered green tea x50! You get it from the health shop or online, raspberry flavor is my favorite, it’s a sachet you mix with 600ml of water and omg it’s amaze balls! It has the equal value of 25 serves of green tea in one sachet! Super super good for you and you would be amazed how many people I know that I’ve got hooked! Raises energy, metabolism, good for teeth, can’t rave about it enough!
    It’s also help me lose 42kg so I ain’t Givin this stuff up its incredible and tastes delicious, good hot or cold :) ask your local health store for a sample!

  18. Not sure if these are available everywhere, but at Whole Foods here they carry a lovely spiced sparkling tea blend created by a chef with food pairing in mind, they are not meant to taste like wine but are a great treat with a nice meal.
    They are by ’12 NtM’, three types, Blanc, Rouge, and Blush. They are bottled in a pretty frosted bottle and are great to take along to dinner parties and such.

  19. 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.

  20. I used to drink vodka with this but now just leave that out! Diet tonic with Barkers Light Boysenberry mix. A squeeze of lemon gives it a real bite too.

  21. I drink Evendale alcohol removed Chardonnay when I feel like pretending. Even our small town New World stock it.$10.99 and I find I sip it slowly.The alcohol removed sign on the label is tiny.

  22. 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!

  23. When I stopped drinking I used to go into bars and when I was asked what I wanted to drink I would saying, “nothing.” It’s interesting how people expect you to buy a drink when you aren’t even thirsty!

    After quitting drinking I developed a crazy sugar addiction, and since culling that particular problem I drink nothing but water and herbal teas. I find by limiting my choices, and cutting out caffeine and sugar, I feel great and life is so much easier.

    So water for me all the way.