Do religious teetotalers avoid "mocktails" and mixers on principle?

I’m mainly concerned about Christian teetotalers, but feel free to chime in regarding Muslims or any other religion or sect that preaches abstinence from alcohol.

If I were a Mormon having a barbeque party, and I served things like Tom Collins mix, tonic water, Bloody Mary mix, de-alcoholized wine or beer, and so on, would my coreligionists frown on this? Do religious teetotalers avoid such items because they are associated with alcoholic drinks even though they do not themselves contain it? It’s my understanding that adults generally have less taste for sweets than children, so how do religiously teetotaling adults deal with this situation? Or, do adults who never drink alcohol retain more of a taste for sweet drinks?

Do different sects differ in how they approach this situation?

I’m a Mormon, and I go to barbeques! I think we wouldn’t really know what to do with all that stuff. It’s kind of like going into the liquor aisle of the grocery store or reading about what wine goes with fish–alien territory. (Or, for that matter, the intricacies of coffee-brewing. Never ask a Mormon to fix you a cup of coffee; it will probably be terrible through sheer ignorance.)

We will generally have a cooler full of sodas and bottles of water, and probably an Igloo full of lemonade. I like Calistoga fizzy water. Mormons like root beer a lot. We just about all love sugar, it being the only vice available. :stuck_out_tongue: And while I have known a few Mormons who drank near beer, most of us haven’t developed a taste for the stuff and think it tastes horrible (like Germans and root beer, maybe…).

I guess it would be a little like asking a vegetarian to BBQ ribs or something; leaving possible offence out of it, they probably aren’t going to know how to produce great ribs and will do better with a nice couscous salad.

This is just a personal, anecdotal answer, but it has been my experience that people who shun alcohol on moral grounds want to make sure that everyone knows that they are shunning it. They don’t go around drinking non-alcoholic beverages that look like the real deal. They drink soda from the can, or something that is obviously non-alcoholic.

In spite of my comments in the OP, I will confess to having developed a liking for a pastry or something with my first cup of coffee on the weekends. And I never thought that would happen. :slight_smile:

Like dangermom said, for Mormons there is no religious prohibition on non-alcoholic mixers, but we generally don’t use or serve them because we’re not familiar with them.

While there may be people like Smitty describes, most that I know are not like this. If I’m at an event where there is a bar, I will usually just get a glass of Sprite and try to blend in with others without being obnoxious about it.

Mostly what you would do with it is pour it into a glass and drink it.

IMO virtually all mixers, sans booze, taste fine. I do drink gin-and-tonics, for example, but about as often I’ll have just plain tonic. One doesn’t want to break out the gin bottle in the early afternoon, and that’s just the time when being outside can make you especially thirsty.

BTW I forgot to thank you for replying. It’s always good to get a first-hand answer on a topic, though I’m sure other non-drinkers will have different things to say about this subject.

Really? I actually have no idea what all those things you listed up there are except the de-alcoholized wines and beers. Tom Collins? I know Bloody Marys have tomato juice, but I don’t like tomato juice. I’m not at all familiar with mixers. I was thinking of them as kind of like juice concentrate.

I agree with FBG about people who don’t drink. Who am I going to show off for, exactly? This whole drinking thing just isn’t on our radar, for the most part; we don’t think about it unless someone actually offers us a beer–which for me is increasingly rare now that I’m a suburban SAHM! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m sure there are such people as Smitty mentions, but I don’t think it’s a big part of the culture out here.

I think this really boils down to what you acquire a taste for. As a lifelong Mormon, I’ve never really been exposed to mixed drinks and mixers (other than things like ginger ale and club soda), so I don’t really have a need for them.

For someone who converts later in life, things like these may fill a void for the taste that they are missing, but frankly I haven’t met any who really feel this way.

I do know of many converts who have had a hard time giving up coffee and turned to substitutes such as Postum or Pero, but I never cared for these because the taste of coffee just doesn’t appeal to me.

My wife is a teetotaller – partially out of religious conviction but also due to a history of alcohol abuse in her family. At parties she normally drinks water, iced tea or sodas, but occasionally will order a virgin cocktail. I’ve only known her to make a big deal out of not drinking one time, and that’s when we started dating seriously… she wanted to make sure it didn’t bother me.

Some people likely would avoid anything that looked like an alcoholic drink for the same reason that a good Mormon kid might avoid spending a lot of time alone in a bedroom with their boyfriend/girlfriend. They might want to avoid even the appearance of questionable behavior. As dangermom says if you’re dealing with people who have spent their whole life within this religious tradition they won’t know what the mixers you’ve listed are. I’m an ex-Mormon and I don’t know what they are just because it’s something that I was never exposed to growing up. But there’s nothing specifically against non-alcoholic mixed type drinks. As kids we used to order Shirley Temples anyplace we could get them and they look superficially like a normal mixed drink. The non-alcoholic beer and wine is a bit stickier. Plenty of Mormons would consider them out-of-bounds even without the alcohol.

I should also add that in restaurants I will occasionally order a virgin daiquiri or margarita and not feel badly about it at all. I know of other Mormons who would freak out over this, and say that we should “avoid the very appearance of evil.”

As in any other group, you will find those who are very strict, letter-of-the-law types and those who are extremely lax in their interpretation of the rules, with most falling somewhere in between.

The official stand of the Church is that any form of alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee or illegal drugs are definite no-nos. Members are expected to use their own judgment in deciding how to handle other substances, such as non-alcoholic mixers, caffeinated sodas and the like.

Some Jews who keep kosher will avoid things like veggie burgers with cheese for the same reason.

Why is that?

Regarding non-alcoholic beers and wines, isn’t it the case that they generally have some alcohol in them? A tiny amount, yes, but if alcohol is absolutely forbidden by one’s religion, perhaps this would make a difference.

Is even decaffeinated coffee considered wrong because of the appearance?

See my post # 11 above. This is one of the “gray areas” that the Church leaves to your own judgment. Most Mormons will not drink decaf (especially if they are lifelong members) because either [list=a]
[li]They never acquired a taste for it.[/li][li]Even decaf has some caffeine in it.[/li][li]The whole “appearance of evil” thing.[/li][/list]
ETA: Or (d) even when you order decaf, you can’t always be sure that’s what you’ll get.

In addition to the issue of whether they still contain some residual alcohol some people feel like it’s kind of cheating. Trying to get around the rules without actually breaking the letter of the law. Now this is this is individual interpretation rather than official church policy but I guarantee you would never see non-alcholic wine or bear at an official church BBQ.

Or beer, either.

I agree root beer tastes horrible, but have never tasted a German. Thanks for the heads up, I will avoid licking Fräuleins.

I’d never be at an LDS church BBQ unless I was good and alcoholed up. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think that’s actually my first unintentionally funny typo in a post. At least the first time I’ve been called on it.