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Drink Alternatives

July 24, 2014 230 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. For those that are brave, Zero-alcohol beer. It doesn’t matter how much you drink, you will just find yourself going to relieve the bladder often.

  2. I hosted a German themed dinner last weekend. To go with the sort of winter-y comfort food I mixed up a pot of mulled cranberry juice, and it was super-good:

    1.8 litres of cranberry drink
    2 cinnamon quills
    12 whole cloves
    Rind and juice of two oranges
    a teaspoon of vanilla
    half a cup or so of honey

    If I hadn’t been using the crockpot already I would have put it in there but I just simmered it away on the stove. It did need straining as I poured it for serving.

  3. I like to take a glass, put ice in it, sprinkle on powdered Ginger, then fill with Ginger Ale. Sometimes I also add Blackberry Ginger dark balsamic vinegar (about a teaspoon) to it. It is delicious, and festive, especially when it is hot outside!

  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. I like Freshly Squeezed orange juice with a good splash of Barkers Lime and Elderflower concentrate and a sprig of mint – really quick and easy. And the Saxbys Ginger Beer with Lemon is pretty damn nice.

  6. I have to watch my sugar so I made iced tea with splenda, filled a wine glass full of ice and added half iced tea and have raspberry sugar free sparkling water and added a very thin slice of lemon. Simple but refreshing.

  7. Hopt Soda’s are delicious…. Salted Lychee is my favourite and Pear and Basil nice. I also love Edendale sparkling alcohol removed cuvee. Lovely.

  8. Blended watermelon

    Totally yummy! Just put the peeled watermelon flesh into the blender and whizz. It can take a bit of adjusting of the pieces to get the blades humming, but once they are, it’s all go. So refreshing!

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Have just discovered the most product by red seal. Its a blood orange hot or cold brew which has zero calories, is gluten free and simply divine to boot :)

  12. I drink Tea, My hubby is a real ale drinker and the only way i will go out with him now is if i know they sell a pot of tea as drinking cold drinks all the time bore me x

  13. I have found a grapefruit flavored water that I drink when I want white wine, and a black raspberry flavored one for those red wine days. They are sparkling, very flavorful and have B vitamins and green tea flavonoids.
    I haven’t been to a bar yet in my 49 days, but when I go I plan on ordering a virgin mary. (Never really went to bars except to listen to Irish music. May need to try O’Douls)

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  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. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!