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Non-alcoholic drinks that pair nicely with food

I jumped on the wagon yesterday as part of my training for a half-marathon Mother's Day weekend. I *always* have wine with my dinner and it's this issue that's my biggest challenge. I've seen a plethora of recipes for mocktails (virgin daiquiris, mojitos, punches, etc), but I'm looking for something that would be more food friendly. Right now my two best options are iced tea and sparkling water or soda spiked with bitters and lime.

I was wondering if the 'hounds might have some interesting suggestions. TIA!

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  1. I drink orange juice + ginger ale alllllllll the time.

    1. You could do a sparkling juice.

      I prefer plain water with my dinner (unless I'm having wine) most of the time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: boogiebaby

        One of our daughters is pregnant and I've used the French sparkling fruit juices.

      2. Ginger beer is no alcoholic and would taste great with a number of asian dishes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: carrytheone

          Ginger Beer tastes great with West Indian dishes, too.

        2. not an exact answer to your question, but

          regarding tea:
          my current roommate is chinese, and whenever he returns from a trip to china he brings home a package of green tea for me.

          all i have to say is that there is tea and then there is tea.
          i've discovered that there is a HUGE range of flavors in just one type of green tea.

          if all you do is stick to tea, you have a lot of tea discovery in front of you.

          1 Reply
          1. re: westsidegal

            Green tea is wonderful and full of antioxidants.
            However…
            The younger the leaf the more caffeine, and usually the amount is quite high.
            I find the health benefits of NOT drinking caffeine much more desirable these days, especially when exercising the way the OP is describing.

          2. A while back I bought a half ounce of saffron. After a year or so and making only minimal progress on the huge pile, I started using it as a flavoring for mineral water. It's interesting and goes with a fairly wide variety of foods. Definitely a change from fruit flavored water.