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Non-drinkers—what do you order?

For a number of reasons, I'd like to cut back my alcohol intake. I'm not a heavy drinker by anyone's measuring stick, but it's just something I'd like to cut back on.

I do like to go out, but I feel awkward sometimes ordering a non-alcoholic beverage. I feel a little silly and like I look a little unsophisticated ordering an iced tea while my friend orders a glass of wine or a martini. It just doesn't feel that festive.

For a while, I would go with half-cranberry/half-orange, but I'm a little tired of that. Also, I've noticed that a lot of virgin drinks also tend to be sugar bombs that seem unappealing to me.

What do non-drinkers drink? Am I basically limited to club soda with lime? Any other ideas? Am I just being too difficult here?

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  1. My SO doesn't drink alcohol and has become very passionate about coffee, ginger beer/ale and root beer.

    I'm not so into the sweet stuff. If I am not interested in alcohol I like seltzer with bitters and lime or seltzer with a touch of flavored syrup or juice. I'm very comfortable with just a glass of water too. If it is chilly mulled cider or a mug of tea. A festive occasion sparkling cider is nice.

    You don't appear silly or unsophisticated - you look like someone who knows what they want and is comfortable enough to choose a different path.

    After the first years of drinking experiences most people come to realise that there are many reasons someone may decide not to imbide. Those with maturity respect that choice.

    1. I don't drink often. My usual order is a (homemade) iced tea or lemonade. At a party or wedding, I'll ask the bartender for sparkling water in a wine glass instead of a larger water glass.

      5 Replies
      1. re: cheesecake17

        When I am the DD at wedding and such...I do cherry sprites....love them!

        1. re: LaLa

          Interesting drink.. last night we were at a wedding and my husband was driving home so he asked the bartender for vodka shots.. but his was water.

        2. re: cheesecake17

          why sparkling water in a wine glass? To appear like it's a alcoholic drink?

          1. re: Jacey

            Cocktail glasses are so fun and just make things feel more special/festive like using the fine china. When my kids were little I would get them those plastic champagne glasses to go with their sparkling cider of course now the get to use the crystal. Now that I think about it sparkling water would be great in a champagne flute (tiny bubbles)!

            1. re: Jacey

              More dainty and elegant to hold than a clunky water glass. Also, at a dark party, it does look like white wine, so no one asks why I'm not drinking.

          2. I never drink and you don't have to drink to be a foodie. I order good ole H2O with my meals. Juices and mocktails and such are too filling and IMHO take away from the taste of the food, especially because they are sweet.

            1 Reply
            1. Ask for an "Arnold Palmer" you'll love it

              1. I try to do one non-alcoholic for every alcoholic drink I order. So I've come to like:

                Ginger ale & lime juice
                Soda & Cranberry w/ a wedge of lime
                Orange Juice & 7up
                Pineapple Juice & Soda

                3 Replies
                1. re: soypower

                  Love the cranberry diluted with wedge of lime...those flavors really go nicely together! I drink that at home even, not just when I'm out--always have cranberry juice in fridge and keep a supply of lemons and limes too!

                  1. re: soypower

                    Oooo, the ginger ale and lime juice sounds perfect for me....is it fresh lime juice or something like Rose's? Soda and Cranberry with lime sounds great, too! I think you have just given me the drinks to order when I'm out and not just wanting water. Thanks Soypower!

                    1. re: grouper

                      Ideally, you want ginger ale muddled with real limes, but if I'm trying to be easy, I just go for the rose's lime...

                      I'm glad you like the drinks, I've had a lot of time to figure out the perfect in-betweeners when I'm hanging out with my heavier-drinking buddies. :o)