Drink Alternatives

Finding yummy drinks that aren't alcoholic is very important - especially when we first quit drinking. What do you like to drink in place of alcohol? This Sober Toolbox is a space for sharing recipes and ideas for delicious alternative liquids. If you're looking for more discussion, interactions and feedback, head inside our Members Feed. That's where the real-time conversations take place.

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363 Comments
  1. JoyceA 3 months ago

    Pomegranate juice is a great alternative. Get the unfiltered kind. It has the same kind of mouthfeel as red wine, and is delicious. Plus, it looks like red wine, so nobody asks what you’re drinking.

  2. Ricky Bartlett 11 months ago

    Hi everyone. I’ve read a lot of comments where choice is the problem. I stopped drinking 8 years ago and found that a lack of choice around non alcoholic drinks to be the biggest problem as well as the quality of the options in the market. My wife and I started our ecommerce business, “Clear Head Drinks” in order to offer people non alcoholic & alcohol free beverage choices all under one roof. Please have a look at the website https://www.clearheaddrinks.co.nz/ and feel free to contact me if there are any drinks missing that you would love to find. We are developing the site all of the time an welcome feedback and help! Stopping drinking alcohol does not mean that you have to stop drinking great tasting adult drinks and be removed from the occasion!

    • @nicola 6 months ago

      Hi thanks for sharing the link
      Great idea
      I have yet to find any wine equivalent that I don’t want to tip down the sink ! Will check it out

    • Stephen1968 6 months ago

      Hi Ricky, do you cover the UK? Stephen

      • Ricky Bartlett 6 months ago

        Hi Stephen. Sorry, no we don’t but there are some great options in the UK such as “The Alcohol Free Company” or “Wise Bartender” who stock a fantastic range of non alcoholic beverages. Look them up on the internet and I am sure that you will find something that you will enjoy.

  3. Michael Pickel 1 year ago

    I need to stop my fifty-year love affair with wine due to some health issues. I have tried non-alcoholic beer and dealcoholized wine… NOT! Sparkling water does not have the same “mouth” as a full-bodied red wine and not as satisfying, especially with a good meal. Yes, there are a lot cocktail alternatives, but I have found no replacement for a hearty red wine. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • maguire 8 months ago

      Cranberry juice?

  4. Gill Kenny 1 year ago

    Is it just me, or does anyone feel that non-alcoholic drinks that pretend to be alcoholic are a waste of time? i personally prefer sparkling water with fresh lime juice!

    • Ricky Bartlett 11 months ago

      Hi Gill….I felt exactly the same way and that was why my wife and I started “Clear Head Drinks Limited”. Have a look through the site and see what you think. The wines from Ariel are amazing and if you like craft beer there are some fantastic choices.

    • danny 11 months ago

      right?!..it’s like let’s play drinking ..

      • Ricky Bartlett 6 months ago

        H Danny. I guess it’s how you look at it! I’ve been sober for 8 years and have used non alcoholic drinks to allow me to enjoy the occasion without any of the nasty side effects and after effects. Everyone is different and must do what’s safe for them.

  5. Isobel 1 year ago

    Hi there! Getting very bored with water but finding the substitute drinks too sweet!
    Isobel0204@gmail.com

  6. helpmewakeupclear 1 year ago

    I enjoy infused water. But don’t think to make it often enough. I’ll add these ingredients to my shopping list today. Rosemary and lemon. or cut up strawberries and oranges in the bottom of the pitcher, crushed. So many combinations. I am not much on sparkling water, so any other suggestions without that are greatly appreciated!

    • Frank 1 year ago

      Mint is easy to grow anywhere and is super infused in water with lemon and cucumber slices

  7. Nettie 1 year ago

    Last night was my first night out for dinner as a non drinker. I had viewed the drinks menu beforehand so I knew what I was going to order. I ordered a virgin lychee mojito. It was delicious and when I’d finished I couldn’t let all that yummy mint, lime and lychee go to waste, so I topped up my glass twice with the bottled water from the table.

  8. Angel1 1 year ago

    I have found some real nice alternatives to alcohol that I enjoy. I love the Jacobs Creek Unvined alcohol removed Sparkling Sav, it tastes just like the real thing and super low in calories, not too sweet either. I also enjoy the DB Export and Heineken 0% on a hot Summers day, tastes just like beer! Other alternatives are Fever Tree Tonics with lemon and lime, just on their own or the East Emperial Grapefruit Tonic is a favourite, love that bitter taste to sip on during social events or just at home relaxing. Lastly I really enjoy a simple Soda, Lemon & Lime. Hope this is helpful to anyone looking for an alternative go to for booze x

    • Gerrilee 1 year ago

      Hi
      Where did you purchase the Kacobs Creek one? I hope you are doing well! It’s my first day!

      • Stevie 7 months ago

        Hi did you ever fined out there to get the Jacobs Creek Sparkling Sav?
        Cheers
        Stevie

      • Dryzabone 9 months ago

        Day five for me G. How are you going?

  9. Ali123 2 years ago

    Have found Vista naturally flavoured sparkling water to be an amazing alternate drink for the difficult 5pm cooking dinner time. It comes in cans (12 pack) from the supermarket (Countdown here in NZ). Zero sugar and 1 calorie per can. Lots of different flavours. I’ve been having 3 or 4 a day in these early days but figure it’s still way better than the usual bottle of wine!

    • Anonymous 1 year ago

      Thanks can’t wait to try them

  10. logank 2 years ago

    look up malt carribean latin – oh and for smoking mint rosemary and jasmin

  11. KJMB 2 years ago

    I found some 100% natural Apple Juice in Countdown but its Sparkling. I have never seen this before the brand is Parkers. I mix 1/2 and 1/2 with Tonic. I think I have found my drink of choice.

  12. Soleil Roth 2 years ago

    I think the best product for the most whole body and natural drink alternatives is AMMA Healing which brings balance and healing through organic, hemp-extract products and hemp oils for a balanced mind, body, and soul including an alcohol alternative elixir for the sober curious and health oriented. They have zero thc, additives, and organic sourcing to make you feel a healthy buzz with no booze.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      Where do you find this in Nz?

  13. Tassie 2 years ago

    I have not long come across Peroni Libera 0.0% beer. Unfortunately it’s not cheap but for former lager-type beer drinkers I think it’s a great choice. It tastes like a beer and is not too ‘hoppy’ and or bitter like some of the other alcohol free beer options.
    Many alcohol-free drinks are so sweet. I also now enjoy soda water with slices of lemon. It’s cheap, refreshing and hydrating and best of all, I can drink as much as I like!

  14. Aggles 2 years ago

    My current fave mocktail is crush ice in Nutri bullet with juice of half a lime and mint leaves. Put in a tall glass add decent dash of Barkers rhubarb, raspberry and rosehip cordial and top up with sparkling water. Stunning. Also can’t beat a spicy Virgin Mary with a stick of celery.

    Also McGuigans AF sparkling wine is the best I’ve had yet. Followed by Edendale, then cloudy and lastly Lindaur.

    Other than those it’s black adder liquorice tea.

    • wildandprecious 1 year ago

      Ooh definitely going to try that mocktail.. sounds delicious!!

  15. healthyhabits 2 years ago

    Not really a fan of sweet drinks so having difficulty finding good substitutes. My favorite NA beer is Clausthaler and Heineken 0%. Also found Gruvi AF Prosecco which is a nice treat but pricey. Cant find any decent AF wine though. There seems to be less of a range here in the US than in Europe. (Azanti looks great, I just looked them up.)

    • DoofyMum 2 years ago

      Hi Healthyhabits,
      I’m keen to learn where you find Gruvi prosecco. Thanks 🙂

    • KJMB 2 years ago

      Is the Prosecco sweet or dry? Like many I don’t like sweet and alot of the AF wines are very sweet.

      • USAAnn 1 year ago

        I like the Gruvi and don’t find it too sweet. I ordered it off of Facebook and now guess what? Facebook ads popping up all over for AF drinks. Big brother out there watching!

  16. andrea 2 years ago

    I came across Azanti Sober lifestyle a few weeks ago and they have an amazing range of wine.
    Their Espora red wine and Sparkling wine is the best i have ever tried. Its also vegan and Halal for those interested in sharing with a diverse crowd

  17. helenlamb 2 years ago

    The Edenvale red wine (merlot) is pretty good on a cool evening made up as a mulled wine – add cinnamon stick, a whole anise star, a bit of honey, sliced orange and warm it up. It seems to me that is is still a bit of an alcoholic type of behaviour -as I put it in a stemless wine glass and sip away as I watch TV. But I am over tea and coffee and soft drinks at that time of night, and don’t want to get a chocolate habit!

  18. sophiedl 2 years ago

    Heineken 0% beer if you want something at the bars when everyone else is drinking and hold a real bottle. I need to work on getting comfortable socializing without a “substitution” though like another beer because that isn’t saving me any money. Anxiety is real and I get very quiet and irate without it in group settings

    Purchased Seedlip non alcoholic gin to try for drinks at home. Will write back with a review!

    Purchased Lindauer Free Brut champagne which has less than 0.5% alcohol – it’s an “alcohol removed” beverage so it has trace amount. I had a few glasses so far and it’s yum.

    These don’t all save money but for someone who is working on just trying to not have alcohol at first, this is a step for me. I hope eventually to save my money and not have to waste cash on even the fake spirits one day.

    • JohnMLD 1 year ago

      I tried DB Export Citrus 0.0% I liked it but it is quite sweet.

    • DoofyMum 2 years ago

      Hi Sophiedl,
      How was the Seedlip non-alcoholic gin? I’m considering giving it a go.
      Thanks 🙂

      • TFleur 1 year ago

        Highly recommend! I’m on day 9 sobriety and have loved the Seedlip citrus flavour with tonic and lemon. Tastes just like a G&T.

  19. straightedge 2 years ago

    My friend and I made up the drink ‘grapefruit spritzer’. Fresh grapefruit juice (now is the season), topped up with soda water with a splash of lime and some of the barkers ginger beer cordial. Over ice. So refreshing 🙂

  20. Tassie 2 years ago

    Half a lime squeezed over a third (or half) full glass of ice and topped up with coke.

  21. rampant 2 years ago

    I like Kombucha. Lots of flavour but low sugar and is fermented so good for you too.

  22. MMBSober 2 years ago

    I’m enjoying ginger beer mixed with cran-cherry juice! I put it in a pretty, glass tumbler with lots of crushed ice. The ginger beer adds the little ‘zing’ and makes my lips tingle a bit, and it’s so refreshing at the end of a hot summer day!

    • Peacewm 2 years ago

      I never heard of Ginger Beer.I use to pulsate ginger with water and then add it to seltzer.

  23. nevertooold 2 years ago

    I’m probably substituting one addiction for another, but have found having a special “mocktail” in the evening gives me something to look forward to. My latest favorite is an ounce of ginger syrup with a generous squeeze of lime topped off with seltzer water (tangerine works well) and ice. I overdid it last night by having three but at least I didn’t have alcohol!

  24. victoria.b 2 years ago

    I find cranberry juice and tonic water good – in a big glass with ice, it’s quite punchy, so you know you’re having a drink. 1/3 cranberry to 2/3 tonic is how I have it, but you can adjust it to taste.

  25. tyna 2 years ago

    Big fan of Kin Euphorics 🙂 No alch, doesn’t get u drunk, but has a mix of ingredients that make u feel good & balanced… its pretty subtle so don’t expect something crazy. But its definitely more exciting than sparkling water or soda!

    • smiley 2 years ago

      Hey, have looked at Kin Euphorics online and can’t see where to buy it in New Zealand! Did you buy it in NZ? It looks delish!

  26. Tammy 2 years ago

    It has become a habit of after work while cooking dinner I pour that first glass of wine (sometimes don’t even want it) and then continue the rest of the evening until bedtime. There is something addictive. I would rather have more wine than eat. I would really like to stop drinking so much. I do feel like it takes some of my stress away after work, but would love to find and alternative…and don’t say exercise. I only drink water or unsweet tea so in the evening I want something different. I have also put on weight which sucks.

    • Rob 2 years ago

      Sounds good. How do I do it..I hear u Tammy. Food, booze first. But trying to find something to replace

    • sophiedl 2 years ago

      I Have found non alcohol wines and gins/whiskeys/vodkas. I actually enjoy wine/champagne as well as the flavor of gin. I have purchased non alcoholic Heineken beer and a non alcohol champagne. So far, I like them! I have yet to try to Seedlip gin I purchased.

      The other night I made myself an espresso martini with a double shot of espresso, water, vanilla syrup, and a pinch of salt. I chilled the espresso and the glass before mixing and did the proper garneshing. It made me feel like I was actually having a real treat!

      We also have a soda stream and some cordials to make juices/waters.

    • tigger 2 years ago

      This resonates hugely. Cold sparkly water in a wine glass has worked for me in the past. We have a soda stream which makes this easy. The last few days I have not cooked just to avoid the “one wine while cooking” that leads to a bottle.

  27. Sparky 2 years ago

    Thanks

  28. Anita Schwarzweller 2 years ago

    1 month sober had to quit cause of heart failure miss my strawberrittas with strawberry rum need a non alcohol drink any body got any suggestion scant have any wine either

    • SusanneMaree 2 years ago

      Maybe google Mojito recipes, non alcoholic cocktails. When I was working on hospitality we occasionally used to have to make enough for 2-3 hundred people so I would find simple but delicious recipes on line…..actually that sounds nice, might do it myself lol

  29. Anonymous 2 years ago

    drink milk its high in calcium and also taste great.

  30. Richard C. 3 years ago

    I love Spindrift sparkling waters which have real fruit juice. 9 calories, taste great and they seem to help.

  31. James Lewis 3 years ago

    Eight Vines or Danesh – a non-alcoholic alternative to wine. Super low calories and very low sugar plus packed with anti oxidants. Great mixer too for popular drinks.

  32. Julie Raine 3 years ago

    I mix apple juice with lightly sparkling water, and drink it from a wine glass. It looks like wine and tastes great. I make a bottle of this and have the option to add one small glass of wine to it. If you really want to sell have that wine experience, use an empty wine bottles, fill will apple juice and sparkling water, one glass of wine…… and use your favourite wine glass. You can drink a full bottle, with the pleasure of knowing you have only consumed one glass of alcohol. Even better if you can manage without adding the glass of wine!!

    • A. E. Dorn 2 years ago

      I think mixing wine with non-alcoholic wine is a great idea. The wine improves the taste of the non-alcoholic wine, while the non-alcoholic wine cuts the calories for the regular wine. Slight buzz, but wears off.

    • drgnflyz 3 years ago

      Cutting down on alcohol consumption, even wayyyy down, is not “living sober”. The brain can find all sorts of ways to justify feeding an addiction, even if it is just a tiny bit. Gotta keep it real.

      • Mandy787 2 years ago

        I agree. For me, cutting down just spiralled back into full-on evening drinking again. The only way for me was to eliminate it entirely and try and change my mindset. Day 10, I think I am making progress.

  33. Herve 3 years ago

    I’ve relied on red wine in the evenings for years. The amount I drink has increased drastically. I now need 1.5 bottles per night. I know this is bad. I am 53. Tried everything. Including useless Kava! Can anyone help me by asking me not to go to the doctor for help? I am a strong willed person but when it comes to alcohol I’m a weakling.

    • Kat 2 years ago

      Change to cider or beer. Then find something you love which is incompatible with alcohol like weight training and tell yourself if you don’t drop the alcohol you can’t do the thing. It’s what I’m doing. I’ve ditched wine and vodka and am down to around 4 ciders a night. Getting it under that is the hard thing. I could do it quite easily if my environment wasn’t so bloody stressful! Still I’m going to try cut it down to two a day. Then zero.

    • Whos-The-Lush 3 years ago

      Hi, I am 53 too and was drinking about the same, plus finishing any leftovers from bottles or glasses in the morning. I am on day 8 sober and starting to feel a lot better. At night I have been drinking alcohol-free beer and wine which has helped take my mind off wine. For some reason something clicked, I listened to the book The sober diaries which really helped me also.

  34. Tyr 3 years ago

    I’ve always enjoyed Coke with raspberry.

    • thehungryfox 2 years ago

      cokes my go to and a cup of tea. I cant do non alcoholic drinks its too close to home to have a alcohol free cider or beer, that does my head in, id rather drink the real thing!

  35. OT Miller 3 years ago

    Camomile and Spiced Apple and Lemon and Ginger.

    • Jakob 3 years ago

      Whoa! This I’m trying tonight for my Oscar’s party. Thank you! Do you make the tea first, then add the rest?

  36. regretfulgardener 3 years ago

    Has anyone tried seedlip? I read some reviews and they said it was the most expensive bottle of flavoured water. So i have been experimenting with gin botanicals trying to make a non alcoholic spirit.

    • JollyHolly 3 years ago

      I got a bottle to get me through my sober 40th! Was expensive yes, but I like it with soda as not sickeningly sweet. Well worth the investment, as this was my first party with friends who I have previously all drunk with. I totally felt the need to “drink” but still got to wake up with only a sugar hangover from eating too much birthday cake. Go on, treat yourself it is Christmas!!!

  37. alilat 3 years ago

    Love Nosecco – which is the alcohol free version of Prosecco and is great for parties

  38. AndyMack 3 years ago

    Been drinking 0% beers for the last ten years .
    It’s a great alternative if it doesn’t trigger you off .
    A while ago someone asked me why bother ?
    My response was a question ..
    Why do you drink coke? His answer ..it tastes nice , so I said well there’s your answer .

  39. brooke 3 years ago

    when I want something fun out with the girls-ginger beer with lime or I ask the bartender to make me a fun mocktail-not too sweet; shirley temple with lime and extra cherries
    when I’m thirsty or just bored at home-regular coffee or tea, sparkling water with lime or a squeeze of fresh grapefruit
    when I want a treat-a fancy coffee drink-I justify the expense and the calories by reminding myself that no matter how much I like the drink I have never wanted to have seven of them in a row the way I used to with my favorite glasses of wine

    • Feisty52 2 years ago

      I hear you! I’ve never wanted 7 non alcoholic drinks in a row like I would would wine either. I’m going to try finger beer with lime. That sound nice. Thanks.

    • Caroline27 3 years ago

      @brooke I love it, no matter how much you like a drink – you will never have 7 in a row – too true. I used to have a bottle of wine in the spa – now I have a glass of peach iced tea, only one glass, not a whole bottle.

  40. PermacultureKiwi 3 years ago

    black friday sales and i just purchased a nutri bullet
    being that every time i make a big purchase i like to have a wine but this time i made a ice coffee and it was better than the brought ones
    cold coffee drink
    favourite ice cream
    and my secret ingredient condensed milk
    ice if you like
    wizz full power
    yum
    enjoy

  41. LizzyMD 3 years ago

    I was really into soda water (DIY) plain but at an arthritis workshop recently heard it depletes bones of calcium and therefore I am avoiding it as much as possibly. Current fav are fruit teas (in particular berry ones (any kind), Having them hot at the moment but also cold on ice when the weather heats up…..maybe with just a little soda water!!

  42. HopeElephante 3 years ago

    Soda water with various cordials. I like mine weaker than most as it’s then not so sweet. Some good cordials are the cucumber/mint and another one is lemon line and bitters. If your not into bubbly, try the peach ice tea cordial. Very thirst quenching.

  43. michelleloveshorsesandoils 3 years ago

    I am enjoying ice water with lemon slices and fresh basil leaves. Also for a mid-morning snack, I make a smoothie with a granny smith apple, a handful of spinach, 1/4 cup greek vanilla yogurt, a dash of cocunut oil and some protein powder. Yum, and it takes my mind off cravings and makes me feel healthy 🙂

  44. manda7080 3 years ago

    Hey all. I have lapsed and now feel guilty at myself. But would really like alternatives to drink at home when I want to reach for the booze, I like cups of tea but anything else would be cool – maybe something more snazzy ?

    • Anonymous 9 months ago

      Hi Manda, just a scan through the comments and I see there is someone who actually has a website selling non alcoholic adult beverages.
      http://www.clearheaddrinks.co.nz
      Looks great 👍

  45. MichaelrpG 3 years ago

    I like black coffee although I know that too much of that can upset my feelings.
    I like many herbal teas. In particular Fennel, Camomile and Spiced Apple and Lemon and Ginger.
    When I am feeling really adventurous I push the boat right out and drink “Boiling Water”. Can’t beat it.

  46. BluemoonBabe 3 years ago

    I like Pimento, a low sugar ginger beer with chilli, it appeals to my like of spicy things, also dealcoholised white or rose wine, half and half with sparkling water. Always in a nice glass of course! ?

  47. DebO 3 years ago

    Tea, Iced Coffee, Seltzer. Unfortunately I have turned to food and am now trying to undo the food addiction.

  48. connilynn 3 years ago

    I’ve been enjoying a few ounces of margarita mix sweetened with agave, lemon ginger kombucha, and a splash of pure cranberry juice. I like it on the less sweet side with a wedge of fresh lime. I think I’m going to buy myself a martini glass to make my drinks feel more adult!

    • Croninlisa 3 years ago

      That sounds like a nice drink.. I might try it.,

  49. Moonwriter 3 years ago

    Has anyone tried Curious Elixirs? https://curiouselixirs.com/ I’m really tempted to try them!

    • connilynn 3 years ago

      They look good, albeit expensive! Please share your opinion if anyone has tried them.

  50. WakingOwl 3 years ago

    A new favorite for me is cucumber, lime and melon water, roll the limes really well and slice them thin to get the pith and pulp, chop the melon in half inch cubes, slice the cukes, refrigerate overnight, you can add a hint of something sweet if you like or something bright like apple cider vinegar.

    • connilynn 3 years ago

      That sounds good @WakingOwl. I’m struggling with sugar and need something that feels special without being sweet.

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