Dear Lifehacker, I'm in my forties and have drunk alcohol all my adult life. I've decided to quit drinking after starting a relationship with a teetoller whose ex was an alcoholic. I would like to replace the drinks I enjoyed in the evenings with non-alcoholic alternatives. Can you suggest healthy drinks for me to try? Thanks, Ex-Beer Belly
Milk image from Shutterstock
Props for putting your partner's feelings above your own enjoyment. She's lucky to have you.
Refraining from alcohol in the evening has a range of health benefits, including getting a better night's sleep. Science has shown that drinking alcohol an hour or two before bed results in less deep sleep, which increases the likelihood of waking up tired and grumpy. So you're doing the right thing!
The answer to your question is obviously dependent on your palate and personal preference when it comes to alcohol. If you're a wine or beer drinker, there are plenty of non-alcoholic brands on the market that provide a similar taste and texture without the after-effects. They also come in identical receptacles, which may make the clean break less painful.
In the case of wine, you could also try a natural substitute such as grape, pomegranate, or cranberry juice. Just be aware that fruit-based beverages tend to be quite high in sugars — diluting with water might be the way to go.
Another option is to make your own signature beverage. As you're doubtlessly aware, most cocktails come in "virgin" varieties which you can find recipes for online. Indian tonic water with a twist of lime is one of my personal favourites. (If you're watching your weight, go for the diet variety.)
Adopting a DIY approach and tweaking your creation can be a highly satisfying way to stay hydrated. We recommend picking up a self-carbonation solution such as the Sodastream. Just ignore this guide to mouth-watering Sodastream cocktails.
We're also going to throw this one over to our readers. What's your favourite non-alcoholic beverage to enjoy in the evening? Let EBB know in the comments section below.
Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our contact form.