Say I got stranded and all I had to drink were alcoholic beverages. I know that you shouldn’t drink alcohol in that situation since it can be dehydrating. But would there be a way to remove the alcohol from the beverages thus making them safe to drink? Assume this is a survival situation like being lost in the woods so I don’t have any scientific aparatus available.
Boil it. The alcohol will come off, and probably make a nice flame over your pot. Taking down the volume by 20% should do the job on beer. With hard spirits boil off ~60%. The resulting sludge will probably taste awful, but be pretty much alcohol free. Creme de Menthe and similar sugary drinks are not good candidates for this process, as you’ll likely end up with carmel syrup, rather than water.
You could boil the liquid. The alcohol would evaporate first.
I would wager a guess that a boiled down alcoholic beverage would be quite a concentrated solution of salt and sugar and would probably not be a good thing to drink if you were wishing to avoid dehydration. A two step process of desalination and then boiling off the alcohol would probably lead to a more satisfying beverage.
The other alternative is not so pleasant. Drink the alcholic beverage, and recycle your urine with a desalinator
If you’ve ever seen those methods for extracting water from plant material in hot areas - dig a shallow hole, and place a cup or tin in the centre of it, surround that with the leaves etc, then cover it with a sheet of plastic, weighted directly over the cup with a stone - then I’ve heard that works equally well if you replace the leaves with open containers of beer, etc.
First “boil” is technically wrong. One doesn’t boil the whole solution. Ethanol evaporates out at a much lower temperature than water boils.
Here is an online set of instructions for making non-alcoholic homebrew beer: http://hbd.org/brewery/library/JS_NA.html
It does not eliminate all the alcohol, but it does reduce it a good deal.