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Non-alcoholic Drinks

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A woman with fruit on her head holding up a fruity drink

Sometimes we just don't want to drink alcohol. In fact, some of us don't bother with the stuff in the first place. And of course, children don't really have much choice in the matter. So, here you'll find ideas for a nice alcohol-free drink that isn't just water.

Coffee for those not Counting the Calories

This is a favourite coffee drink when it's cool outside and you need a charge to get you moving. It is definitely not for people who are counting their calories, unless you just want to see how high you can go. There are no exact measures, just pour it into a giant cup until it's full. Alternatively, you could mix a double batch and take it to work in a thermos flask.


  • Approximately 1 cup of espresso
  • Equal parts of egg-nog1 and milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Rum flavouring
  • Sugar or sweetener


  1. Mix all the above in a big glass.

If it's still not sweet enough for your taste, add a dollop of whipped cream on top, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Thames Water

When given the opportunity, do you smoke to fantastic excess? Then you'll need a drink that cuts through all the bad odours in your mouth. This particular drink is named after London's river because of its colour.

Making it couldn't be simpler. Fill a pint glass halfway with chilled grapefruit juice and top it off with a cold cola drink. This tastes absolutely awful if it is served tepid.

Milk-free, Sugar-free Smoothie

This is basically a blend of any fruit and fruit juices that take your fancy - bananas, orange juice and strawberries are the most popular. If you are worried about the lack of calcium, add calcium powder to the mix. It doesn't alter the taste in any discernible way.

The drink is also very easy to make, just keep frozen fruit on hand. A great drink usually requires 2 bananas, a large glass of apple or orange juice and up to 8oz of any fruit that you happen to have lying around.


Below is one Researcher's experience of just how easy it is to be creative when trying to produce that perfect fruit smoothie.

One day, a friend and I wanted chocolate shakes, but didn't have the chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Finding a box of Friendly's Watermelon Sherbet, we dumped a load of that in a blender, and raided the fridge and cabinet for anything we could find. Soon we had a mix of the sherbet, canned pineapple, canned mandarin oranges, apple juice, and juice from a jar of maraschino cherries. We blended it up, and it tasted great. Most fruits and fruit juices mix well like this, so most combinations will work. However, pineapple and orange juice tend to be overpowering, so don't use too much.

Raspberry and Lavender Tea

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add pre-cut and sifted raspberry leaf and lavender (heavy on the raspberry leaf). These can be found in many health food stores. Bring to a rapid boil, keep boiling until your desired strength is reached. Filter out the herbs and sweeten with honey (not sugar). The great thing with this is that it can be served hot or cold and can be stored in bottle for one or two weeks.

Well, that's just Peachy


  • 400ml full-fat milk
  • 30ml peach drink mix (the chemical crystals laden with sugar)
  • 30ml frozen orange juice concentrate


  1. Toss all the above in a jar with a tight lid and shake it till the orange ice is dissolved.

  2. Drink immediately.

You can stick this in a blender but a recycled pickle jar works fine.

Shirley Temple

This drink is named after the archetypal child star of the 1930s. Sweet but not saccharine, this is a true gem - a bit like the eponymous lady herself.

Pour some lemonade into a glass, add enough grenadine or cherry juice type liquid to turn it red. Once your liquid is satisfactorily red, add many, many maraschino cherries.

Quick Drinks

Below is a list of drinks that you can make quickly, thus avoiding the ubiquitous cans of fizzy pop that often contain copious amounts of sugar.

  • Orange juice with sparkling mineral water is quick and easy. Mix the liquids to a 50-50 ratio, or to your own personal taste. A nice long cold drink on a hot day.

  • Orange juice and grapefruit juice, mixed. Again, experiment to find your ideal proportions.

  • A 'St Clements' is a non-alcoholic cocktail of orange juice and bitter lemon, mixed 50-50.

  • Lucozade (a UK energy drink) and still mineral water (not tap-water unless you don't have anything else). This is great for those who are unwell or who are off to the gym.

  • Any kind of squash made with sparkling water and lots of ice.

  • For cold days, what's wrong with tea or coffee? They're quick and easy to make. Alternatively, good old hot chocolate, either the kind made with milk for a real comfort fix, or the kind made with hot water for speed.

For Health

Here's a little recipe that is a great comforter if you have the signs of a cold. It is great for cold nights and a fantastic energy booster too.

Into a mug pour some Ribena, or other thick blackcurrant cordial. Top up with boiling water and stir in a bit of honey. Take a slice of lemon and pierce cloves into it, then float this in the drink.

It's nicer than it sounds. Honest.

Indian Soft Drinks


The quantities for this drink are entirely up to you but basically you blend together natural yoghurt, sugar and ice cubes. You can also make savoury lassi by substituting the sugar for a little salt.

You can add flavours such as fruit or rose water too.

Nimbu Pani (Lemon Water)

At its most basic, this is freshly squeezed lemon, sugar and cold water.

In India they keep a small bottle of lemon juice and sugar mix in the fridge and add this to cold water, like a cordial. Storing the juice and sugar together seems to fortify the taste.

Coke Floats

Basically a coke float is coke (Coca-Cola works best) and vanilla ice cream. There's a café on the Scilly Isles which produces fantastic Coke Floats in cocktail glasses.

The best recipe seems to be to mix half of the coke with half of the ice cream in a food mixer, then pour it over the other half of the coke, and put the rest of the ice cream on top.

It's best to bear in mind that fizzy drinks and ice cream are a potent combination and froth up very effectively so experiment before making them in your best shirt.


This is basically just cola with a splash of Vimto cordial (Vimto is a mixed fruit cordial). A refreshing alternative to some of the soft drinks available.

Belvoir Ginger Cordial

Belvoir (pronounced 'beaver') Ginger Cordial is available from most of the major supermarkets in the UK and the States. Just put a small amount in orange juice: it spices it up and makes it really tasty. It also works well in hot orange squash (if you're feeling cold) and Vimto.

Macau Fruit Cocktails

This little concoction is inspired by the fruit cocktails that you can find in Macau2. The basic tenet is to get lots of different fruits and chop them into little bits then add the juice of a different fruit. So, for an orange fruit cocktail (serves one) chop up one quarter honeydew melon, a slice of water melon, bits of papaya, a mango and then pour the juice of four oranges over the top.


1This is a traditional winter drink made of egg and milk, topped with nutmeg. It has alcoholic and non-alcoholic variants.2Macau is the former Portuguese territory near Hong Kong. It was handed back to the Chinese at the turn of the millennium.

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