What to Drink When You’re Not Drinking & No Gin Fizz

Every evening when Alan’s home, which is all the time now since COVID-19 has shut down all of his work travel, we end our work day with something we call Happy Half. We started doing this years ago as a way to end our work-from-home work day and transition into an evening together for a better work-life balance. This gives us a chance to sit down together and visit about our day. It’s not a happy hour, because that’s too long, it’s just 30 minutes to unwind and catch up.

Gram-per-gram, alcohol has almost as many calories as fat! Image by Cindy Thompson, Trimazing.com

But an alcoholic cocktail every day is a lot of calories and not so great for our health. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, a little less than fat but more than carbs or protein. Since a gram is about the weight of a paper clip, a little bit can really pack on the pounds quickly. But more than that, alcohol is dehydrating, can decrease your immunity, impairs your body’s ability to convert necessary folate from green leafy vegetables to a usable form, is generally toxic to your body, and increases estrogen levels. All of these things can increase your risk for cancer and other chronic diseases. In fact, in her book, Breasts: The Owner’s Manual, Breast Cancer doctor, Kristi Funk, MD, shares that a single drink a day increases your risk of breast cancer 10%—two drinks a day raises that to 30%!

What to Drink Instead?

So what can you drink instead that feels special? Maybe you’re trying to lose some weight, perhaps you’re pregnant, the designated driver, wanting to keep your breast cancer risk low, or don’t want all those negative side effects from drinking alcohol. I mean, it’s nice to have a special something at the end of the day, especially if someone else is having a cocktail. Here are some great options that you can have at home or even out:

Sparking Water

Enjoy sparkling water with lemon…and skip the alcohol and straw! Photo from asturia4 from Pixabay

Sparkling or mineral water is a great drink. Not only is it hydrating, but it’s available at any restaurant or bar you go to. And it’s easy to jazz up with some citrus or herbs.

Juice

Green Greyhound is one of my favorite juice sippers! Photo by Cindy Thompson, Trimazing.com

Vegetable and fruit juices are great substitutes as well. And they are inexpensive if you make them at home yourself. Do watch the calorie density of fruit juices, however, as by juicing you are removing the calorie-free fiber and condensing calorie-rich liquid (check out Don’t Be So Dense for more information on this). But you can really keep the calories of fruit juices down by including vegetables in your juice or even diluting it with sparkling/mineral water.

One of my favorite juices is the Green Greyhound, full of kale, celery, cucumber, apple, and grapefruit. You can get this recipe and many others from my post, I Juice! I’ve used a Breville Juice Fountain for years and years—it’s inexpensive, easy to clean, and still running after a decade of use!

Infused Water

You can easily drink the rainbow with infused waters! Photo by Cindy Thompson of Trimazing.com

Infused waters are a great way to make water more tasty and even healthier for you! You can add a variety of fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, and flowers to water for flavor, color, and a boost of antioxidants. It’s a great way to entice yourself to stay hydrated and drink the rainbow as well. They’re easy to make in any glass or canning jar, but I use my infusion pitcher every day.

This infusion pitcher is great! It holds everything in your pitcher when you pour. Find it here. Photo by Cindy Thompson, Trimazing.com

Tea or Coffee

Tea and coffee are great beverages as well! And you can have them hot or cold. Coffee can be dehydrating over 2 cups, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to stay hydrated. But there are some great coffee-free alternatives, like Dandy Blend, made from dandelion root and tastes like coffee.

Enjoy Turmeric Chai with tea, coffee, or Dandy Blend. Photo by Cindy Thompson, Trimazing.com

I like to use Dandy Blend in a Turmeric Chai Spice Latte, but you can use tea as well. It’s very warming and perfect for a chilly fall or winter day. Get the recipe here!

Apple Cider Vinegar

You can use infused water and even chia seeds to enhance your vinegar beverage! Photo by Cindy Thompson, Trimazing.com

This may seem like a strange sipper…but it’s really terrific and has some excellent health benefits as well. I described this in more detail in my post on Apple Cider Vinegar, but vinegar has an amazing effect on visceral body fat, the fat that accumulates around our body organs—it causes that fat to melt away! How cool is that? Word to the wise, don’t just down straight, undiluted vinegar, it’s not delicious and can damage your esophagus. Simply add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 2 cups of water to make your base drink. I like to add some fresh ginger, cinnamon, a splash of maple syrup and serve over ice. And this is another one you can enjoy hot.

Do make sure follow with some plain water to rinse the acid off of your teeth and wait about 30 minutes before eating so you don’t damage your tooth enamel (the high acid can soften the enamel).

Switchel

Switchel is really refreshing on a hot summer’s day! Photo by Cindy Thompson, Trimazing.com

Switchel is an old variation of vinegar water described above, commonly known as Haymaker’s Punch. I went into the history of this drink in detail in my post, Before Gatorade, We Drank Switchel. Instead of using maple syrup, Switchel uses molasses, and has the addition of lemon and ginger with the vinegar. It’s delicious, and reminds me of lemony iced tea. Laura Ingalls Wilder even talked about this drink in one of her Little House on the Prairie books!

A Craft Mocktail!

Why not try a No-Gin Fizz? Photo by Cindy Thompson, Trimazing.com

And last, but certainly not least, you can have a craft mocktail! There are countless mocktail recipes out there and you can just have fun mixing and matching different juices and waters to make your own. But so many mocktails are sweet and full of high-calorie fruit juices. I recently discovered juniper berries, which are what make gin taste like gin! Well, they can give water the taste and aroma of gin as well.

You can find juniper berries in the spices at most grocery stores, or order from Amazon. Photo by Cindy Thompson, Trimazing.com

To make this mocktail, simply crush juniper berries in a mortar and pestle, with a rolling pin on your cutting board, or with a drink muddler in your glass or cocktail shaker.

The juniper berries crush easily with a mortar and pestle. Photo by Cindy Thompson, Trimazing.com

Rub one juniper berry on the rim of your serving glass to release the oils for more taste and aroma.

Add the crushed berries to a pitcher, squeeze some lime over, and top with sparkling or mineral water. Let set about 5 minutes so the juniper berries have a chance to infuse.

Make a pitcher full of this refreshing No Gin Fizz! Photo by Cindy Thompson, Trimazing.com

Serve over ice. It’s remarkable how ginny this tastes!

Hopefully this gave you some ideas on what to drink instead of alcohol. And not only are these great ideas for yourself, but they are great options to have on hand or in mind for others, or even making for a party.

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5 from 2 votes

No Gin Fizz

Juniper berries is what makes gin, well, ginny. This mocktail uses juniper berries to give an aroma and taste of gin without the alcohol. If you want a No Gin and Tonic, substitute tonic water for the sparkling or mineral water.
Course Drinks
Cuisine Happy Hour
Keyword alcohol-free, Juniper Berries, Mocktail
Servings 2
Calories 10.1kcal
Author Cindy Thompson, Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching

Ingredients

  • 8 juniper berries
  • ½ lime plus more for garnish
  • ½ liter sparkling water or mineral water
  • ice

Instructions

  • Take one juniper berry and rub the rim of each serving glass, then add the rubbed berry to the rest of the juniper berries in a mortar. Crush the berries well with a pestle.
  • Add crushed juniper berries to a pitcher. Squeeze half a lime over top and add squeezed lime to the pitcher. Top with sparkling or mineral water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Fill serving glasses with ice and pour drink over. Garnish with lime slice, if desired. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 250g | Calories: 10.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.5g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 0.7mg | Potassium: 43.6mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 0.6g | Vitamin A: 16.8IU | Vitamin C: 9.7mg | Calcium: 34.7mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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