15+ Alcohol Alternatives to Enjoy Life Without the Hangover
Having a nice glass of wine at the end of the day, meeting for happy hour with friends, or bringing drinks to most of our activities is a big part of our culture. Thus, it is not surprising to find ourselves drinking more than healthy for our bodies and minds.
If you are ready to enjoy life with alcohol free-alternatives to create a better balance, this blog post is for you.
Alcohol Alternatives to Order at Any Bar
If you want to drink less or quit drinking altogether but you love sitting in a bar or restaurant and having a drink, choosing a non-alcoholic beverage might be tricky.
Here are a few ideas on non-alcoholic choices at a bar or restaurant that still feel like a drink to make it easier for you.
Making a mojito virgin is an easy task for the bartender and a tasty treat for you. It’s a fresh and refreshing twist on the original cocktail, without the hangover!
Lemonade and iced tea, it’s as simple as that! It’s a delicious option that may give you some energy if the tea is caffeinated!
Muddled Fruit and Club Soda
For a sober twist on a summer spritz, ask the bartender if they can muddle some berries at the bottom of your glass and top with club soda. A twist of some lemon on top will complete the entire drink.
Orange Juice & Cranberry Juice
A classic! The original combination uses vodka and it is known as madras. However, the combination is so delicious that it is easy to skip the alcohol! Plus, it looks and feels like a real cocktail.
Ask your bartender to mix soda, cranberry juice, and lime. The combination of cranberry with lime is a refreshing take on the alcoholic version.
A glass of ginger beer over ice with lime will give you the feel of a Moscow mule but without the alcohol content.
Virgin Tom Collins
A virgin Tom Collins is basically an adult lemonade. It contains lemon juice, simple syrup, and carbonated soda. It just has a more fun name!
Water with Lemon or Lime
It’s as simple as it sounds! This drink will also keep you hydrated all day (or night) long.
For all you wine lovers, there are a ton of options that mimic the taste, aroma, and flavors of a great bottle of wine without the alcohol.
Non-alcoholic beers have been around for some time now, but they’ve gotten better and better each year. So, if you tried them before and didn’t like them, give them another try.
Check the Mocktails Available
We now see more and more mocktails in the bars and restaurants. So check the bar menu to see if you see anything you like, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Alcohol Alternatives at Home
If taco Tuesday isn’t complete unless you have a margarita in your hand, check out this non-alcoholic version of a margarita that the whole family can enjoy. This recipe makes enough for an entire pitcher!
Ginger Beer Mocktail
If you love the ginger and lime found in a Moscow Mule, this mocktail might be an excellent option for you. This bubbly drink is refreshing and has a little kick to it! This recipe makes two servings of this delicious mocktail.
Strawberry Mojito Mocktail
This mojito recipe is the perfect drink for a hot summer day. The strawberry and lime provide a tasty treat after a long day.
Non-alcoholic mimosas may be one of the easiest mocktails to make. This traditional drink is typical at brunches and special occasions. Luckily for us, non-alcoholic mimosas taste basically the same as the original cocktail! Simply mix non-alcoholic sparkling wine with orange juice, and you are ready for a perfect fun girl’s day!
Pina Colada Mocktail
Sometimes when you’re laying out in the sun, you crave a creamy pineapple drink. This piña colada mocktail is the perfect summer drink, so call your friends and have a fun day in the sun with this delicious drink!
Healthy Alcohol Alternatives
There is nothing like the bubbly, tangy, and slightly sweet kombucha to enjoy on a hot day or while relaxing poolside. Kombucha is definitely a unique experience and a flavor you love or hate.
This drink is made from fermented tea and can have different flavors depending on the fruit herbs and spices added during the fermentation process. Because it is fermented, kombucha can have between 1-2% of alcohol.
Like other fermented foods, Kombucha is a potential source of probiotics and, if made from green tea, can have the same well-known benefits. In addition, it can also have antibacterial properties (1).
So cheers for a tasty drink that is also good for you! It is perfect served cold and served in a beer glass.
Tepache is a fermented drink made from the rind and peel of pineapples typical from Mexico. It is usually sweetened with brown sugar and served with cinnamon. It doesn’t contain much alcohol; however, it does contain a small amount from the fermentation process.
Now popular in the United States, you can find it in many health stores.
Other Alcohol Alternatives
There are plenty of other options to alcoholic drinks that can provide either the soothing effects you may feel from alcohol or the same taste. For example, CBD, Kava, and adaptogens are great options if you want to feel more relaxed after a stressful day, and they also contain great health benefits.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most prevalent ingredient in marijuana. However, CBD by itself cannot cause a typical “high” as marijuana does. It does provide a relaxing feeling to the mind and body.
Research has shown that CBD can reduce anxiety, promote healthy sleep patterns, reduce chronic pain and inflammation, and can help manage addiction. Cannabidiol comes in the form of oils, extracts, patches, vapes, and topical creams (2).
Kava is a beverage made from a plant, specifically the piper methysticum plant. Like alcohol, Kava is also a depressant drug. It can be consumed in different forms, such as a brownish-colored drink, a brown powder, capsules, extracts, and drops. Kava is used in many countries, mostly islands, as a drink for rituals and cultural practices due to its relaxing effects (3).
Adaptogens are either herbs or mushrooms that are considered to have great health benefits and are known to help decrease stress by stimulating the body’s stress-protection response, which helps get your body into a balanced state, called “homeostasis” (4).
Activity Alternatives to Drinking With Friends
There are so many activities you can do with friends other than drinking, for example:
- Go for a walk
- Cook dinner together
- Movie night
- Workout classes
- Check out an art gallery
- Tour a museum
- Go to a concert
- Watch a sporting event
- Volunteer in your community together
- Try out karaoke
Health Benefits of Cutting Down on Alcohol Intake
There are many benefits when it comes to cutting down on alcohol intake, including developing a stronger immune system, healing your organs, lowering blood pressure and triglyceride levels, and potentially decreasing the risk of developing certain cancer types (5).
Furthermore, if you’re trying to lose weight, drinking less will help you lose some pounds. For example, imagine this: one 5-oz glass of one a night can add 44,895 calories in a year!
Other health benefits of decreasing your alcoholic drink intake are an improved sex life, better sleep, a more robust immune system, and less brain fog (5).
Last, it can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars every year.
Risks of Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Excessive drinking can lead to health risks that are almost always avoidable. Long-term alcohol usage can lead to a ton of damage to your body. Specifically, it can damage organs like your liver, brain, pancreas, kidneys, heart, and stomach (6).
Another adverse health effect is a weakened immune system (6). We especially don’t want a weakened immune system during the current state of the pandemic. Chronic drinkers are more likely to get sick than those who drink occasionally.
The Sober Curious Movement
The Sober Curious Movement is a wellness trend to be sober or cut back on drinking alcohol for the physical and mental health benefits and is different from being sober because of alcoholism.
This global trend incorporates mindful drinking and starts by asking yourself these questions:
- It is a good idea for me to pick up this drink?
- Why is it expected for me to drink?
- How this drink is going to impact my wellbeing?
Hopefully, after reading this blog post, you have more choices for alcohol alternatives. Drink less or stop drinking and see how you feel!
“The Mind Diet Pros and Cons” was written by Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN, FAND, and Registered Dietitian Meagan Murphy.
Dr. Su-Nui Escobar is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in Miami, FL. She is passionate about helping women over 40 live their best lives through healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. Su-Nui is a doctor in clinical nutrition, able to translate complicated evidence-based science into practical advice. Su-Nui is the former spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.