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  #1  
Old 10-17-2006, 08:58 AM
taxi78cab taxi78cab is offline
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Non alcoholic drink ideas for a wedding?

I'm getting married in a little over a month, and I need some fun/interesting/different non-alcoholic drink ideas. Neither the groom nor I drink alcohol, and a bunch of our friends don't either. There will be people at the wedding who do drink, and we're having an open bar for them, but I don't want the only option for the rest of us to be water!

Both for dinner and for the toasts, what can we offer for everyone who doesn't drink alcohol?
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:04 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxi78cab
I'm getting married in a little over a month, and I need some fun/interesting/different non-alcoholic drink ideas. Neither the groom nor I drink alcohol, and a bunch of our friends don't either. There will be people at the wedding who do drink, and we're having an open bar for them, but I don't want the only option for the rest of us to be water!

Both for dinner and for the toasts, what can we offer for everyone who doesn't drink alcohol?
My alcoholic cousin drank n/a "wine" all the time. You can buy it in white or red. I believe Welch's makes it. Also, Virgin Marys and Shirley Temples are standard drinks that any bartender knows how to make.

Sprite or Coke with a slice of lemon or lime, orange juice with grenadine...lots of non-drinkers drink these.

You may want to let the hall know that you'll have a lot of non-drinkers there so the bartender is armed with plenty of options.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:06 AM
Eureka Eureka is offline
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Sparkling grape juice or apple juice can be a lot of fun--and is perfect for toasts, since if you pick the right kind it looks like champagne.

Obviously, sparkling red grape juice doesn't look much like champagne.
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:10 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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Sparkling cider is very festive.
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:12 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Ginger beer!
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:52 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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I don't know about the rest of the non-alcohol drinkers out there, but I consider offering alcohol-lookalikes to be incredibly offensive. The AA-type people would go ballistic. Think twice before ordering any of those.

A huge number of people out there have gotten married without any alcohol being involved at all. What makes people think that wandering around a reception with something that is or looks like champagne is at all required?

Stick to sodas and juices. Make sure you have sugar-free/caffiene-free choices. A lot of people who avoid alcohol do so for health reasons.
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:01 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg
I don't know about the rest of the non-alcohol drinkers out there, but I consider offering alcohol-lookalikes to be incredibly offensive. The AA-type people would go ballistic. Think twice before ordering any of those.

A huge number of people out there have gotten married without any alcohol being involved at all. What makes people think that wandering around a reception with something that is or looks like champagne is at all required?

Stick to sodas and juices. Make sure you have sugar-free/caffiene-free choices. A lot of people who avoid alcohol do so for health reasons.
Some people don't like the attention that is drawn from the drinkers in a predominantly drinking crowd. Lots of people prefer to remain anonymous. For those who don't care, the other options are there. Also, some people like the festive flavors of mixed drinks once in a while.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:02 AM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is offline
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[Simpsons]Beeeah?

B...e..e..e...e..a..a..h..?[/Simpsons]
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:21 AM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is offline
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How about some non-sweet drinks? Are you Down South enough to offer Iced Tea? (Of course, you might live in the Sweet Tea Belt.) Iced coffee?

Hot coffee or tea? Are there any rental coffee/espresso dealies available? Pots of real tea--or a selection of teabags with REALLY hot water? (Decaf options offered.)

I'm not just thinking of the non-drinkers. Those of us who like a cocktail (beer, wine) or two often like to switch to something more conducive to staying awake and/or driving home safely.

I've been to non-drinking receptions with many sweets offered, perhaps to compensate for the lack of booze. No problem--but I would have killed for something less cloying than fruit punch as an accompaniment.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:24 AM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget Burke
How about some non-sweet drinks? Are you Down South enough to offer Iced Tea? (Of course, you might live in the Sweet Tea Belt.) Iced coffee?
Adding to my own post: For toasting, sparkling cider is hard to beat.
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  #11  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:41 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Lots of non-alcohol cocktails out there. Is a "San Francisco" non-alky in English too? Actually, does a cocktail called a "San Francisco" exist in English at all? Or course, sodas and fruit juices and tea (iced and hot).


Be careful with regards to "sparkly cider". The sparkly ciders I know are fermented and therefore alcoholic (low alky, but it's not the same as no alky). Back when I was in college in Florida, the cuban AAs would thwart the non-alky policy by using Sidra el Gaitero: when the anglos asked "isn't champagne forbidden?" the cubans would grow a Hialeah-sized halo and answer "oh, it's just cider".
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2006, 11:00 AM
Beadalin Beadalin is offline
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Ginger ale mixed with cranberry juice is very, very yummy.
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  #13  
Old 10-17-2006, 12:21 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Lime juice and cranberry juice mixed together make a good non-alcoholic cocktail. Adding a drop or two of bitters can add an extra dimension to the flavor. (Bitters are usually alcoholic, and similar in taste to Jaegermeister, but a drop or two of alcohol may be acceptable depending on the situation). You could also try LOTS of lime juice mixed with selzter.

Will the wedding be in the daytime? Virgin Marys are another good option--basically a Bloody without the the vodka. In general, I recommend providing non-alcoholic alternatives that go beyond overly sweet drinks that people tend to gulp. It's a wedding, not a barn raising, and people will want things they can sip, not gulp down.
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  #14  
Old 10-17-2006, 12:28 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg
I don't know about the rest of the non-alcohol drinkers out there, but I consider offering alcohol-lookalikes to be incredibly offensive. The AA-type people would go ballistic. Think twice before ordering any of those.

.
Well that's your choice. Just because a person doesn't drink alcohol doesn't mean they always want cloyingly sweet sodas, punches, and juices. I've been to a few Mormon events in my time, and what I found most unpleasant, being an alcohol drinker, was not that they didn't offer any alcohol, but rather that they didn't offer anything to drink that wasn't tantamount to liquid candy.
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  #15  
Old 10-17-2006, 01:07 PM
taxi78cab taxi78cab is offline
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'm writing down a list that I can talk over with the caterer.

The wedding is in December in Massachusetts and will be in the late afternoon/evening. It's going to be in a little inn, and everyone's spending the night (It's a small wedding.) so drinking and driving won't be an issue for those who do choose to drink.

None of us are in AA, so it's not that we can't drink, we just choose not to for various reasons. I'm probably the one with the least dislike of alcohol. As long as I can't really taste it, I'll drink it. (Some Godiva chocolate liqueur in hot chocolate is really good.) Some of the others can't stand the taste at all and don't want any in anything they drink. Some of the same people also don't like coffee, which makes it even tougher. But I definitely like some of the suggestions above.
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  #16  
Old 10-17-2006, 03:41 PM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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Among my circle of friends Martinelli's sparkling cider is the favorite. Not as sweet as some of the others and quite tasty.

Any javaheads might appreciate the services of a barista. Double points if they can make me a chai latte, which can be hard to find at a less-than-full-service java joint, and I don't do coffee either.
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  #17  
Old 10-17-2006, 05:13 PM
earthstationvideo earthstationvideo is offline
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Prune juice mixed with Ginger ale
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  #18  
Old 10-17-2006, 05:30 PM
ratatoskK ratatoskK is online now
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Epicurious has an entire category of non-alchoholic drinks which you should enjoy browsing...
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  #19  
Old 10-17-2006, 06:59 PM
WishIHadACoolName WishIHadACoolName is offline
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Mix lemon-lime soda with white grape juice. Simply yummy. I'd think any "clear" juice with lemon-lime soda would be nice...cranberry, apple, pear.....
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  #20  
Old 10-17-2006, 08:30 PM
gfloyd gfloyd is offline
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Hot apple cider, with spices. It can be individually spiked, or not. It smells great, too.
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  #21  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:17 PM
psycat90 psycat90 is offline
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My suggestions:

Sonoma Sparkler sparkling juices These are excellent. Sparkling juices like apple, pear, raspberry and peach.

Grown Up Soda - I love, love, love these. Especially the Dry Meyer Lemon and Dry Cranberry Lime.
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  #22  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:45 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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This is such a weird thread. Maybe I should post in that "things I don't get" thread.

Somehow sparkling beverages are more "festive" than non-sparkling ones? People drinking plain juices, water, etc. are not having as much fun as the ones that drink themselves blotto? (My observation is the exact opposite.) Egad.
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  #23  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:14 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg
This is such a weird thread. Maybe I should post in that "things I don't get" thread.

Somehow sparkling beverages are more "festive" than non-sparkling ones? People drinking plain juices, water, etc. are not having as much fun as the ones that drink themselves blotto? (My observation is the exact opposite.) Egad.
Well, I don't get why you have a problem with people enjoying something out of the ordinary during an out of the ordinary event. I don't usually have oysters, prime rib or wedding cake, either, but I might enjoy them on a special occasion. It's not a matter of trying to fool anyone that we're drinking alcohol when we're not, it's about enjoying something special (ie, something I don't have in my fridge) on a special occasion.

I don't get why your attitude around alcohol is so rabidly negative that even juice with carbonation has your panties in a twist. No one's suggesting that people who don't want to drink alcohol should "drink themselves blotto", we're suggesting that maybe ginger ale and pomegranate juice are yummy and different than the same ol' Coca Cola.

And I really don't get why someone who is so adamantly against soda pop and fruit punch (which is really what most of these suggestions are) would be devoting time to reading a thread about it, and submitting multiple replies which aren't helpful.
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  #24  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:49 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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That n/a wine actually does have some alcohol in it, albeit quite a small percentage (0.5% IIRC).

Anyway, Here is a link to a bunch of nonalcoholic drink recipes.
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  #25  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:55 PM
Nightsong Nightsong is offline
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For something that can be done hot or cold: tea mixed with fruit juice. When iced, it is very refreshing after being in a too-warm room. When hot, it is similar to mulled hot cider.

Possible variations:
Cranberry juice + tea (good hot or cold: I prefer hot)
Pomegranate juice + tea (good hot or cold: again, I prefer hot)
Pineapple juice + orange juice + tea (better iced)
Orange juice + mango juice + tea (better iced: go easy on the mango else it's too thick)
Etc.

Nice thing about this is that it's easy to make and easy to make a lot of it so you can have a punch bowl that people can 'graze' off of instead them having to ask whoever's manning the drinks to get them another glass.

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  #26  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:58 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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When I'm flying I drink Sprite with a lime wedge. I second the ginger beer as a snappy drink.
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  #27  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:59 PM
psycat90 psycat90 is offline
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There are some non-alcoholic grape juices made from wine grapes. I've had a few of them and they are pretty good.

They are not anything at all like wine though. Super sweet, they are absolutely juices. Some are slightly sparkling, some are still. The Navarro Gewurtz juice is probably my favorite of all of them.

Check out Navarro Vineyards and Evergreen Vineyards
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  #28  
Old 10-17-2006, 11:27 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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It still drives me batty that most of the time here when I go to a party, the only nonalcoholic choices are coffe and tea. So I echo the recommendation above to also have non-caffinated choices.
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  #29  
Old 10-17-2006, 11:34 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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How about you get mediaeval on them?

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  #30  
Old 10-17-2006, 11:35 PM
Runs With Scissors Runs With Scissors is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxi78cab
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'm writing down a list that I can talk over with the caterer.
The caterer should have some good ideas, especially some cool, unusual drinks.
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  #31  
Old 10-18-2006, 01:00 AM
Lucky 13 Lucky 13 is offline
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At my wedding reception, we offered a choice of champagne or Martinelli's sparkling apple cider for the toast. Also, Mom insisted that we rent the hall's punch fountain: a silver, cherub-adorned monstrosity spewing red fruit punch. Hopefully your venue offers a less hideous (but no less useful) option.

Mulled cider would be festive. You can also serve cocoa, or Mexican-style hot chocolate for an exotic touch.

Is it possible to make non-alcoholic wassail?
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  #32  
Old 10-18-2006, 08:01 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky 13
Is it possible to make non-alcoholic wassail?
Depends how you define wassail. Historically, it was spiced beer, but most folks today use the term to refer to mulled cider, which is certainly possible to do non-alcoholic in the US (where we have cloudy cider that's non-alcoholic; in the UK, they'd use apple juice). Ginger, cloves, cinnamon, mace and black pepper simmered in a few gallons of cloudy cider until your kitchen smells like heaven.

Unorthodox, but I made an incredible wassail last year with something like two parts cloudy cider to one part orange juice and then added the spices. The orange juice gave it more body, almost like a beer, although of course it didn't taste like beer.
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  #33  
Old 10-18-2006, 08:26 AM
Athena Athena is offline
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What about a whole bunch of those small boutique type soft drinks? I'm thinking Jones Soda and other smaller brands. I'm an alcohol drinker, but even so, when I see these types of sodas in the store I'm always intrigued by them. It could be fun at a wedding to have ice buckets full of these for people to try out.

Another thought: Italian sodas. If you're going to have a bartender, these could be fun. Just get a whole pile of those syrups and fizzy water and let the guests choose what flavors they want.
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  #34  
Old 10-18-2006, 11:05 AM
taxi78cab taxi78cab is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky 13
Is it possible to make non-alcoholic wassail?
My mother almost always makes her wassail non-alcoholic. Just cider (not hard cider) with spices. If she weren't going to be busy as mother of the bride, I'd have her make that. Well, that and I don't really like it anyway!

Lots more good ideas that I'm adding to my list. Thanks!
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  #35  
Old 10-18-2006, 11:29 AM
Caridwen Caridwen is offline
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I'd just have the standard juices that can be mixed with club soda, maybe some flavored waters and sodas.

When I tended bar at weddings, non-drinkers seemed to be a bit more health conscious and weren't interested syrupy sweet concoctions just because they looked like alcohol. I don't drink and try to avoid sugar so I wouldn't drink any of them.

The Sonoma Sparklers that pyscat suggested would be good for the toast but I wouldn't go through a big expense buying things because they look like alcohol because I doubt if many people would be drinking them.
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  #36  
Old 10-18-2006, 03:59 PM
burundi burundi is offline
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I like the idea of sparkling cider or grape juice for the toast. If you're having an open bar, there should be plenty of mixers on hand, so folks can easily get a coke or a cranberry juice if they want. Just make sure there is enough available. Like Bridget Burke says, lots of folks may want to switch from wine to club soda before the night is through.
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  #37  
Old 10-18-2006, 04:51 PM
ouryL ouryL is offline
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O'Douls, Cold Duck, Ice Cold Water, fizzy water...
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  #38  
Old 10-19-2006, 12:19 PM
Missy2U Missy2U is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ouryL
O'Douls, Cold Duck, Ice Cold Water, fizzy water...
Cold Duck is absolutely alcohol, and D'Doul's has alcohol (although minimal) as well.
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