How to cut back on drinking: 100 recipes
Originally published December 2015; updated with even more awesomeness December 2018.
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.
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 Click To Tweet
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 Click To Tweet
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.
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 Glow.co
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
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 Nutritionista.ca
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
(my new love, rekindled from a reminder of the scientific evidence of its health benefits)(6)
Buy Matcha on Amazon.ca (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
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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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.