What do you drink instead of booze?

When I gave up smoking there was a plethora of widely available and nationally promoted advice and support guidelines and a raft of nicotine replacement therapies that I could choose from to help me stop. Patches, gum, microtabs, lozenges, inhalator, nasal spray and drugs.

As for replacements for alcohol you find your own through trial and error.  These are the things that have helped me:

Tea, coffee, herbal teas – particularly Twinings, Pukka and Clipper brands.

Soft drinks  and cordials – particularly San Pellegrino, Belvoir and Bottlegreen.  Elderflower cordial is really popular and delicious.

Mixers – if you liked a G&T like I did, then just have the tonic water, ice and a slice.

Alcohol-free beers and wines – now this is a contentious subject and I can only speak for myself but I like the option of these.  Others are understandably cautious about drinking these and I completely respect that.  You should do what is right for you and err on the side of caution if unsure.   I have tried Becks Blue, and some supermarket own brand de-alcoholised wines, either in red, rose, white or sparkling.  The drinks industry are waking up to the fact that there is a growing alcohol free market and are beginning to cater for it.  Good websites for a wide selection of beers, ciders, wines, spirit and cocktail substitutes can be found here and here.

I have also tried kava, which is a drink made from the roots of a plant of the Western Pacific and is consumed by the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia.  It has a sedating effect and is primarily consumed to relax without disrupting mental clarity.  This can be bought online via stores like this one.

These are not recommendations just alternatives that I have tried and this list is by no means exhaustive!  I’m interested to hear any other suggestions that I might try 🙂

Edited to add: 14th March 2016

Kava and the Rise of Healthy New York

In an increasingly health-conscious New York, some would-be boozehounds are turning to kava, made from a South Pacific-originated plant, as a substitute for alcohol | New Yorker, USA

15 thoughts on “What do you drink instead of booze?

  1. I’m as dull as dishwater. Water. And coffee. That’s about it. I like sparkling water on it’s own. Maybe a lime if I am fancy. I don’t drink pop – too sweet (even for a sugar head like me) and it makes me thirstier.

    As for the alcohol-free beer and wines – I am in the camp that it’s fraught with danger, in terms of drinking vicariously. To each their own of course, but I see it as a bit dodgy. For me, it’s about intentions. With all the beverages out there, it’s curious that one would choose one that is very similar to the ones that left unchecked, would kill them. But that’s not a judgement – just an opinion. (The one time I stopped on my own many years ago, I drank that stuff too. I lasted 6 months before starting up on the real stuff).

    Anyway, fizzy water and strong java for this cat!


    1. I hear ya on the alcohol free variations. If I’m at a party where everyone else is boozing then an AF beer is fine. Not really a coffee cat here so tea by the bucket load is my preference 🙂

  2. I’m in love with your Elderflower Cordial and seltzer and lime. I’m also big into tonic and lime. Because we’re buried in snow and ice I’ve turned to lots of different teas. Our Trader Joes carries lots of yummy herbal teas, I’m particularly fond of roobios teas. We have pizza, maybe once a month and I’ll have an AF beer with that. The AF wine in the states tastes like sh.. so I don’t partake. I read your link to Kava, sounds like that could be a little scary. And like Paul, I love my coffee.

    1. The Kava is nice and quite soporific so if you want to feel relaxed without feeling dis-inhibited I found it ok and not scary 🙂

  3. I can’t find elderflower cordial in my area but trusty Amazon sells it. I have a bottle on the way. Until then, coffee, tea and water. Good Earth sells a sweet & spicy tea that I love either hot or iced. I

    t’s too early for me to even think about AF drinks. I believe it would be quite easy for me to slide right into the real stuff. I’ve got so many Day 1’s in my past that I don’t want to set myself up for another.


  4. I drink a ton of mint green tea throughout the day, coffee in the morning, and seltzer with lemon or a cordial at night. I am trying to cut out diet soda, so I only have those once a week or so. I am also trying to work towards cutting down my sugar intake, so I am watching what I put in my tea, coffee, and seltzer drinks. I am finding that I just feel better when I consume less sugar, but it’s so hard to do! 🙂

  5. I don’t do it often but if I’m in the mood for something other than coffee, tea or water, I will make a soda out of juice, especially grapefruit juice, and sparkling water. I think plain fruit juices are usually too sweet, so cutting them with sparkly water makes them less sweet and more fun. I feel like the tart bite of grapefruit, cranberry and other citrus juices, plus the fizz, makes a healthy, hydrating alternative to wine.

  6. I haven’t found a new favourite tipple yet. Can’t beat good old-fashioned ginger beer, which goes really well with fish and chips. Enjoying the elderflower cordial too. Occasionally, I’ll have rose lemonade – it’s a very pretty colour, so I save this for a special occasion. I’m working through the soft drinks aisles of M&S and Sainsburys. There seems to be new drinks coming out all the time. A lot of it is too sweet to have more than one glass though. Will let you know if I come across anything fantastic.

  7. I gave up fifteen weeks ago and found it hard to begin with until I discovered the many alcohol free alternatives there are out there.
    I particularly like the sparkling flavoured water from the major supermarkets, becks blue and sainsburys red wine!.

    1. Hi RevReese Thanks for reading and commenting. Congratulations on 15 weeks! As you say lots of good alternatives out there and I’m also partial to Becks Blue and the Sainsbury’s alcohol-free red wine 🙂

      1. Thank you! it surprised me no end to find so many alternatives! even our local shop sometimes has some Becks Blue in! we even tried alcohol free wine out on a friend and she quite liked it until she found out it had no alcohol in it! 🙂

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