How to cut back on drinking – 100 recipes

Done for you pre-written health content


How to cut back on drinking: 100 recipes

Originally published December 2015; updated with even more awesomeness December 2018.

how cut back on drinking

I’m not opposed to small-to-moderate alcohol intake.  I’ll share a glass of wine with my husband a couple of nights a week, and often have a beer with my Friday night pizza (Gasp!  Yes, we have a weekly pizza night with our girls). 😉

But, we all know that alcohol is not particularly healthy.  A moderate amount can have some health benefits for some people, but overdoing it is not good for anyone.  Right?

There is A LOT of information on the (not-so-good) effects of alcohol consumption on your health, e.g. its link with cancer – Eeek! In fact, references 1, 2, 3 & 4 listed below are great reads if you’d like to “geek out” on the health effects of alcohol.

At the end of the day, the health effects of alcohol range from “probably good” to “absolutely disastrous.”(1)

And there are many reasons why you might want to reduce (or eliminate) your alcohol intake this holiday season.  Or any time.

Any alcohol consumption above low to moderate levels can displace nutrients, increase health risks, and make you act like a degenerate at parties.(2)

For me, growing up with an Eastern European heritage, alcohol was part of every celebration.  Yup, EVERY celebration.  And as soon as we were adults we were allowed to participate.

As an example, the receiving line at my wedding was basically to invite every guest to do a “shot” with one of the bridal party members.

Receiving line of shots

Why cut back on drinking?


Having said that, there were lots of times in my life when I chose not to drink.

The most obvious is when I was (or thought I might be) pregnant.  There were also times when I wanted to keep my wits about me, especially when in unfamiliar circumstances or with people who I didn’t really know that well.  Of course, when it was my turn to be the DD (“designated driver”) I wouldn’t drink either.

PERSONAL (CRAZY STRESSFUL) STORY: Not drinking because I was the DD saved my life once!  I was at a club downtown Toronto with a friend and I was the DD.  We were heading home around 2:00 a.m. on the QEW.  As I entered the highway in the right-hand lane the car that was driving in the middle lane swerved left for no apparent reason and plowed right into the concrete median!

Right in front of our eyes, a car essentially made a left turn on a straight highway. The collision flattened the front of their car with a mini-fireworks of sparks before the car bounced off the concrete median!  All 4 people in that car got out, so they are lucky they weren’t seriously injured, but when the cops got there to question my friend and I they basically took our statements and said that the other car was at fault because the driver had been drinking!!!  We weren’t ever called to testify, so I have no idea what actually happened to them.

CRAZY stressful memory, and really hit home why DDs should NOT drink!

Bottom line: DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE! #alcohol #booze #drive Share on X


I’m lucky that I’m healthy and my liver can take a bit of alcohol once in a while.  But some people have medical conditions that preclude them from drinking alcohol.  Maybe they’re on critical daily medications that interact with alcohol.

FUN FACT: Did you know that of the 80 most prescribed medications, 24 interact with alcohol?  Yup!  I looked them up myself!  If you are taking meds, you should really check with your doctor or pharmacist to confirm if there are interactions with alcohol.  Basically, an interaction is a potential side effect.  Some of these “drug-alcohol” interactions can affect your blood sugar or blood pressure, they can make you dizzy & drowsy, or even cause liver problems.

FUN FACT: Of the 80 most prescribed medications, 24 interact with alcohol? #meds #drugs #alcohol #interaction Share on X


Either way, there are lots of reason why you may want to not drink at all, or drink less.

If you want to cut back on drinking I have 100 drink recipes to try instead!


Here are over 100 drinks that look like (and might even taste better than) alcoholic drinks.

Yup! 100+ ways to drink less alcohol


Don’t be fooled that these are all healthy drinks, they’re not.  Many contain uber amounts of sugary ingredients and are decadent and full of calories. But, ALL of these recipes can be made without alcohol.

These are ideas how to cut back on drinking without advertising to everyone that you are.

Enjoy! 🙂


Recipes & Tips to cut back on drinking



  • When making drinks, keep the alcohol separate from any “mixes” so you can either add less or skip it altogether
  • Measure your alcohol using 1 oz shot glasses, don’t “free pour”
  • Carry around a beer bottle or other half-filled glass all night, so people don’t offer you more to drink
  • Top up with alcohol-free mixes all night (sparkling water, juice, etc.)
  • A few more tips for drinking less without your friends knowing in this post from Summer Tomato(5)

Punch & Cocktails


Slow Cooker Festive Cider – Mipstick Yvette

Elderflower Lemonade – Jamie Oliver

Hot Punch – Holistic Squid

Pomegranate Cocktail – Paleo Newbie

The ‘Stay Gold’ Holiday Mocktail – Yum Universe

Tropical Raspberry Lime Zinger – Oh She Glows

Ginger Lime Mocktail – Elana’s Pantry

Maria’s Virgin Martini – Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen


Egg Nog – No rum required


Egg Nog – Elana’s Pantry

Vegan Egg Nog – Joyous Health

Paleo Egg Nog – My Heart Beets

Nut-MEG Nog – Your Health is on Your Plate

Light Dairy-Free Eggnog – Healthful Pursuit

Vegan Nog (Classic and Peppermint) – Oh She Glows

Raw Vegan Egg Nog – My New Roots

Dairy-Free Egg Nog – Healthful Pursuit

Egg-less Egg Nog – Julie Daniluk

Creamy Vegan Egg Nog – Kimberly Snyder


Apple Cider, Pumpkin, Cranberry & Pomegranate Drinks


Apple Cider Vinegar Holiday Spritz – Flora Healthy

Sassy Hot Apple Cider – Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen

Fresh Mulled Apple Cider – Meghan Telpner

Superfoods Hot Apple Cider – Healthful Pursuit

Cranberry Juice Made In a Crockpot – My Heart Beets

Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Spice “Latte” – Paleo Parents

Homemade Apple Cider – My Heart Beets

Homestyle Apple Cider with a Pumpkin Chai Infusion – Inspired Edibles

Creamy Pumpkin Pie Warmer – Just Making Noise

Organic Renewal Cider – Kimberly Snyder

Festive Holiday Kombucha – Real Food RN

Hot Spiced Lemon Appleade – Leslie Beck

Hot Apple Cider – Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen


Beer – Tried kombucha?


You can make your own (weeks in advance to allow for proper fermentation), or pick up a few bottles in the Natural Foods fridge in your local grocery store

Hibiscus and Ginger Kombucha Margarita Mocktail – Sweet Lizzy

Easy Kombucha – Meghan Telpner

Making Kombucha – Holistic Squid

How to Brew Kombucha – Real Food RN


Bloody Mary/Caesar – Feel free to nix the vodka

(or as my grandparents called it, “vudka”)


Bloody Mary Mix – Silly Little Cavegirl

Morning Cocktail – Meghan Telpner

Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail – Oh She Glows

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix – Real Food RN

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix with Turmeric and Black Pepper – Hello

Make Your Own Bloody Mary Mix – Betsy Life

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix – Former Chef

Bloody Mary Mix – Just A Pinch

Bloody Mary Recipe – Glue and Glitter

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix – The Runaway Spoon


Bubbly & Festive Water


Tea Soda – Healthful Pursuit

Naturally Flavored Sparkling Water – The Yummy Life

Strawberry Basil Italian Lemonade – Healthful Pursuit

24 Deliciously Simple Non-Alcoholic Cocktails – Buzzfeed

Cranberry Ginger Water – Healthful Pursuit

Apple Spice Water – Healthful Pursuit

Kevin’s Natural Lemonade – Healthful Pursuit


Hot Chocolate – Feel free to nix the Bailey’s


Creamy Coconut Hot Chocolate – Orgali

Raw Hot Chocolate 3 Ways – The

Mexican Hot Chocolate – Elana’s Pantry

Luxurious Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa – Oh She Glows

Three Ingredient Paleo Hot Chocolate – My Heart Beets

Spicy Hot Chocolate with Creamy Hemp Milk – Joyous Health

Ridiculously Delicious Paleo Hot Chocolate – Oh Snap! Let’s Eat

Peppermint Nocha – The Paleo Mom

Superfood Haute Chocolate – My New Roots

Green Tea Hot Chocolate – Good Girl Gone Green

Vegan Happy Cow Hot Chocolate – Kimberly Snyder

Peppermint Hot Chocolate – Elana’s Pantry


Mochas and Lattes (with and without coffee)


Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk Latte – Flora Healthy

Three Cozy Drinks for the Holidays – Flora Healthy

Mojolicious Pumpkin Chai Shake – Love Plants for Life

Dairy-free Eggnog Rocket Fuel Latte – Healthful Pursuit

Gingerbread Latte (Coffee Free) – Richelle Ludwig

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte – Oh She Glows

Peppermint, Gingerbread or Eggnog Latte – Balanced Bites

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Lattes – Elana’s Pantry

Easy Peppermint Mocha – Paleo Newbie

Paleo Café Mocha – Predominantly Paleo

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Latte – The Yummy Life

Vegan Vanilla Latte – Kimberly Snyder

Dairy-free Pumpkin Spice Rocket Fuel Latte – Healthful Pursuit

Pumpkin Spice Latte and Frappuccino – Richelle Ludwig

Turmeric Golden Milk Recipe – Turmeric Guru

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer – Naughty Nutrition

Matcha Lattes

(my new love, rekindled from a reminder of the scientific evidence of its health benefits)(6)


Buy Matcha on (affiliate link)

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Healthy Matcha Green Tea Latte – The Roasted Root

Vanilla Bean Matcha Latte – Inspired Edibles

Matcha Almond Milk Latte – Port and Fin

Matcha Green Tea Latte – The Vintage Mixer

Matcha Coconut Latte – Love and Lemons




Amazing Winter Mineral Infusion – A Nourished Heart

Lemon Honey & Ginger Tea – The Nutrition Guru and the Chef

Crockpot Hot Toddy – Elana’s Pantry

Rooibos Masala Chai – Healthful Pursuit

Healing Hot Toddy – Inspired Edibles

Pumpkin Spice Earl Grey Latte – With Food and Love

Almond Milk Chai Latte – Love and Lemons

Basic Turmeric Tea Recipe – Turmeric Guru





Lemonade Sports Drink – Real Mom Nutrition

Fruit Infused Water – Pure Traditions

Healthy Flavored Water – Greatist

Simply Infused Water – Nutrition Stripped

10 Fresh Ideas To Do With Your Water – Real Food RN

How to (help your child) drink more water – Orgali

Tips to (help your child) drink more water – Orgali


Did I miss any amazing alcohol-free drink recipes or tips on how to cut back on drinking? Share in the comments below. 🙂












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  1. Tania

    Awesome article. I will def. be using some of these tips. I found this recipe literally the day after I read this article so thought I’d share. It’s from the natural nutrition website (it’s a Canadian online health store I sometimes use).
    This is a bright red cocktail. The activfuel is a rehydration crystals (electrolyte) I believe.

    1 cup sparkling water
    ½ cup coconut water
    ¼ cup cranberry juice
    1 scoop of activfuel+
    Squeeze of lemon

    Simply add all of the ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a festive holiday glass. Garnish with a cherry and enjoy!

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