What's Your Lunch/Dinner Beverage That Isn't Soda?
February 9, 2005 8:58 AM   Subscribe

What do you drink with your lunch/dinner? I'm trying to cut Pepsi out of my life (again) and serving dinner with water seems too bland.
posted by unsupervised to Food & Drink (83 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sparkling water, with lime. Tricks the taste buds into thinking you're drinking something bad.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:01 AM on February 9, 2005

Beer with lunch, beer with dinner.

Who needs anything else?
posted by cmonkey at 9:01 AM on February 9, 2005

It's mainly for my health, so pretty much anything would be better than Pepsi. I've come to find that Apple Cider goes with pretty much anything, but my fiancee claims it's no better than soda.

I like me some wine, but I know next to nothing about it, and matching it up to the meals seems like it would require me to have a stock of the stuff. Plus, it's probably better than Pepsi, but not by much.
posted by unsupervised at 9:02 AM on February 9, 2005

Orange juice, smoothies, apple juice, freshly made lemonade are my choices. Other people I know also like iced tea, lassi (yogurt shake), and water with a sliver of lemon.
posted by riffola at 9:02 AM on February 9, 2005

Often with dinner I'll have juice. Typically one of the cran-based flavors.
posted by claxton6 at 9:02 AM on February 9, 2005

Unsweetened iced tea with lunch, beer with dinner.
posted by greasy_skillet at 9:02 AM on February 9, 2005

I've never been able to make a good smoothie at home. Got a recipe that might help?
posted by unsupervised at 9:03 AM on February 9, 2005

Oh and sometimes I really love having pineapple juice with Sunday brunch. Also real juice blends are good too.
posted by riffola at 9:03 AM on February 9, 2005

It's funny but I've never understood the need for a beverage accompaniement with dinner. Unless it's a wine or beer, I feel like any other beverage takes away from my meal enjoyment. Of course, if it's very spicy food, I need water, but other than that, I drink nothing with dinner.

Growing up my mom always served iced tea mixed with lemonade. This was good because it was mild tasting - more flavor than water but not overpowering, like cola generally is. I think if you need something with dinner that has a bit of flava, this might be the way to go.

Oh, one other thought..how about seltzer?? You get the fizz without the sugar so it still feels like a treat and it comes in flavors. It's also mild and not overpowering.
posted by spicynuts at 9:04 AM on February 9, 2005

Caffine-Free Diet Coke ;)

My wife flavors her water with various types of Crystal Light.

But mostly..I've been drinking plain water.
posted by bkdelong at 9:05 AM on February 9, 2005

Diet generic soda for the caffeine during the day, seltzer with dinner.
posted by plinth at 9:06 AM on February 9, 2005

To make a really simple smoothie, use some orange juice, a banana, some strawberries, and blend it all. You can blend fruit sorbets with fruit juices and fruits to make smoothies too. As for recipes, it's just a mix it and learn system, you blend different fruits together and see what combinations you like and what you hate. Either way the stuff is good for you, esp if you only use fruits.
posted by riffola at 9:07 AM on February 9, 2005

Fruit juices, especially the ones you buy in the store, tend to be just as sweet as sodas. Look at the labels. They sweeten the things with concentrated grape and apple juice.

Water is something that you get used to quickly, I suggest using a filter and keeping it in the fridge. Somehow cold, crisp water is a lot more interesting than room temperature tap water. Sometimes I'll have sparkling water or a glass of 1/4 juice, 3/4s water. I've been way cutting down on my sugar intake recently and now many prepared foods taste way too sweet. Sugar is like salt, you build up a tolerance and always crave a bit more than you are used to.
posted by aspo at 9:10 AM on February 9, 2005

orange-pineapple juice is good at lunch. Beer is good with dinner. Or for dinner.
posted by jonmc at 9:10 AM on February 9, 2005

Water, tea, wine or milk are my beverages of choice. Once in a while, I'll have a beer. I gave up coffee and soda years ago.
posted by onhazier at 9:11 AM on February 9, 2005

sparkling water. wine. coffee. unsweetened tea with lemon. i splurge and buy glaceau smart water (not the vitamin water which tastes too much like kool-aid for adults).

actually, i really like cucumber water. the reservoir around here often has a taste i don't like. so i put it in a pitcher with a thinly sliced cucumber. no idea why, but it makes the water much more crisp and refreshing.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:11 AM on February 9, 2005

When I cut down on my soda intake, I substituted water at work and Turkey Hill green tea or water at home.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:11 AM on February 9, 2005

Water with lunch, beer or wine with dinner (sometimes water with dinner if I'm not in the mood for a drink).
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 9:13 AM on February 9, 2005

This really isn't an answer to your question, but try to learn to appreciate plain water. It's good for what ails you.
posted by sid at 9:18 AM on February 9, 2005

I usually drink one of the cran-something juices [one of the kinds without sugar] with a little seltzer and lime/lemon juice. Otherwise it's aple juice and water -- I'm doing the same "less sugar" thing that aspo talks about -- or sometimes, if I can plan ahead, fruity iced tea.
posted by jessamyn at 9:20 AM on February 9, 2005

if the food is really good, i always get water.

i like to believe that im not distracting myself from how awesome the food is with a soda or juice.
posted by lotsofno at 9:26 AM on February 9, 2005

Growing up my mom always served iced tea mixed with lemonade.

I've heard this referred to as an "Arnold Palmer."
posted by greasy_skillet at 9:26 AM on February 9, 2005

I don't understand drinking sweet things with a meal at all, unless maybe iced tea at a barbecue or something.
Wine with dinner and ice water or sparkling water at workweek lunches do me fine.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:28 AM on February 9, 2005

I drink water with breakfast, lunch (when I eat it) and supper.
The trick is repeating it until it becomes a lifestyle.
posted by mischief at 9:28 AM on February 9, 2005

posted by Pattie at 9:29 AM on February 9, 2005

We've done a similar thing, trying to cut Pepsi out of our lives. Iced green tea, limeade, more beer and wine have done the trick for us, along with plenty of ice cold Brita-filtered water.
posted by kickerofelves at 9:31 AM on February 9, 2005

My favorite drink of late (with meals or alone):

A can of Fresca with a splash (1-2 oz. or so) of orange juice. Tastes like an Orangina, if you like those. Refreshing and fizzy, not too sweet, doesn't taste diet 'cause the OJ helps hide the nutrasweet taste, low calorie, no caffeine, and a smidge of nutrients from the OJ.
posted by jalexei at 9:32 AM on February 9, 2005

Other summer favourites are banana milkshake (banana, cold milk, and cardomom) and homemade watermelon juice (put the watermelon in the fridge for an hour before blending). No sugars added, no ice needed.
posted by riffola at 9:39 AM on February 9, 2005

I have a Nalgene bottle that I bought from a local outdoor store. I keep that filled with water at all times, and drink out of it constantly throughout the day, during lunch, dinner, breakfast - whatever.

The trick is repeating it until it becomes a lifestyle. Aye, aye, Cap'n.

The Nalgene works great. It makes water taste good, and keep tasting good throughout the day. I think they use some sort of special plastic. I'm not really sure.
posted by nitsuj at 9:47 AM on February 9, 2005

Well, I'm not a nutritionist, but I (as someone who drinks a lot of cider) would say that even though fruit juices do have a lot of sugars, cider is still better than soda as it has a lot of fiber and NATURAL sugars and whatnot as compared to soda, which is chemicals and corn syrup. Which is not to say that I don't like a root beer now and then...
posted by stefnet at 9:47 AM on February 9, 2005

Have you tried Pepsi Edge? It's 1/2 the calories, but 90% of the taste. I am a Pepsi addict and I hate all diet colas, but I like Pepsi Edge. It's a good way to go if you can't give it up.
posted by probablysteve at 9:48 AM on February 9, 2005

I've been doing the same thing since Thanksgiving, but for me it was the Dew. What's replaced it? Cold water, fresh-squeezed juice, fruit.

If it's just the caffeine or carbonation that's being avoided, juice is a good alternative. But like others pointed out, it's often artificially sweetened and just as high calorie. To resolve this, I started either squeezing my own (tastes better, but the work required for a large serving isn't worth it) or eating the fruit whole along with dinner.
posted by whatzit at 9:50 AM on February 9, 2005

I drink diet sodas (mostly ginger ale and cola, Hansen's is great brand-wise) for most of the day. Fruit juice is good for you as long as it's 100% real juice with no added sugar (I can't have much of it since I'm diabetic, hence the diet soda). V8 is good and it adds a serving of vegetables to the meal. I love real iced tea (none of that powdered shit) with lemon (I don't like it sweet) but I'm too lazy to make it. Water (plain, mineral or "fuzzy") with a slice of lime or lemon is nice. Oddly enough, I like milk with Italian food (probably because that's what I grew up with).
posted by deborah at 9:53 AM on February 9, 2005

Lunch: 50% Pepsi, 50% Diet Pepsi (I'm trying to reduce the sugar, but I don't really care for straight diet)

Dinner: Milk, then iced tea
posted by pmurray63 at 9:55 AM on February 9, 2005

Tea or water.

To each gallon of either, I add:

The juice of one lime
The juice of one lemon
The juice of one orange
(grapefruit is nice if you like it in place of lime or lemon)

I then cut up and place in the pitcher with ice:
Another lime
Another lemon
Another orange

If it's summer and I have it growing, some fresh mint.

I'm a big citrus freak anyway, but this is tangy, refreshing, no calorie (apart from the bit of orange juice), and the fresh orange juice lends just a touch of sweetness.
posted by ebarker at 9:56 AM on February 9, 2005

I come from the dairy state, so I can't imagine a meal without milk (though I know some people are lactose intolerant). The added benefit of drinking about 8 oz. of skim milk is that you're working extra calcium into your diet (which is very important for the health of your bones and teeth). You might even try low-fat chocolate milk and gradually make the switch to non-flavored milk.

I also carry a nalgene bottle of water with me everywhere--my husband and I have three in the fridge, always filled and cold and ready to go.

I enjoy iced tea, and often drink it in the afternoons on the weekends or when we go to a restaurance. It's easy to flavor with lemon, fresh peach slices, strawberries, mint--you name it.
posted by handful of rain at 9:57 AM on February 9, 2005

Seltzer, sometimes plain, sometimes with lime or chemically-flavored by the manufacturer. Once in a while, a large glass of low-sodium V8 (I love that stuff). It took me a while to get used to selzer, but it's quite refreshing.

Your fiancee is right; cider is just as bad as soda. Pepsi has 3.25g of sugar per ounce, cider has ~3.8g of sugar per ounce. Cider is marginally healthy and caffeine free, but that's still a lot of calories.
posted by Plutor at 9:58 AM on February 9, 2005

Fruit juice has started to feel like too much sugar to me, so I've started drinking half juice and half seltzer water and that works. Otherwise iced tea. Fresh-squeezed orange juice occasionally. I am the total opposite of those who can't imagine having a drink with meals; I always do and when I go out I have probably three or four glasses of tea or water.
posted by furiousthought at 10:13 AM on February 9, 2005

My latest beverage indulgence is ginger beer. I find it a good substitute for cola etc. especially with food. I will only accept 'proper' brewed ginger beer with real ginger and not some lab concocted frankenstein flavouring. Yeah, it has quite a lot of sugar too but the ginger is good for your digestion.
posted by isthisthingon at 10:15 AM on February 9, 2005

Sparkling water (Ramlösa being my favorite), plain water with lemon or lime slices in it, or Lorina Pink Lemonade. Unless I'm having a juicy/spicy steak like greenpepper steak or peppersteak, in which case I will treat myself to a bishops finger or spitfire ale because to me, steak and ale just goes together.
posted by dabitch at 10:18 AM on February 9, 2005

Having had a kidney stone, I had to adapt to water.

When I crave something with some taste, I use gatorade (or propel) and cut it with 1/2 water. The bottles go twice as far, the flavor is there, and you get closer to water.
posted by filmgeek at 10:20 AM on February 9, 2005

I'm on nothing but water (and beer) for the next 40 days. Adding citrus to water does help fool the tastebuds, and i may also cheat with a little Ribena from time to time. The plan was to actually drink only water, but beer is like 90-something percent water anyways, and I just bought a 30 pack of High Life Light for the superbowl. about 25 of which are left... and if I don't drink them, they will go bad!
posted by indiebass at 10:22 AM on February 9, 2005

Breakfast: Coffee or Tea + Water
Lunch: Water
Dinner: Water + beer or wine or spirit on occasion
In-between times: Water + very rarely a hot cocoa or soda (about 1 per month)
After dinner: Beer or wine or spirit on occasion + Water
(And, I still don't think I drink enough water.)
posted by safetyfork at 10:25 AM on February 9, 2005

posted by NortonDC at 10:33 AM on February 9, 2005

With breakfast: tea, or maybe coffee.

During the morning at work: coffee and bottled water.

With lunch: Fountain Coke or bottled water or horchata during the week, tap water at home on weekends.

During the afternoon at work: water and maybe coffee.

With dinner: tap water or mineral water (Pellegrino, preferably with lime) at home (sometimes beer or wine), draft beer at a restaurant.

I also like mixing orange juice with Calestoga mineral water. It's tasty and fizzy.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:34 AM on February 9, 2005

I don't normally drink with meals, but when I do, it's sparkling water or regular water.
posted by iconomy at 10:34 AM on February 9, 2005

Either sparkling water (usually Perrier; they all have slightly different flavors) or coffee in the morning (giving up caffeine and sugar at the same time is basically kicking two addictions at once.)

I was a big fan of Aloe Splash until the local supermarket discontinued it. Although I remain skeptical of artificial sweeteners, it really helped get me over the initial hump of elminating sugared drinks from my diet.
posted by malocchio at 10:34 AM on February 9, 2005

Unsupervised, you should reconsider wine. You don't have to get complicated with it unless you want to. Most non-fancy restarants in Rome, for example, (at least, in my experience) have one wine that they serve almost like water.

You could just find one, or one one red and one white, that you really like.

And wine, in moderation, is good for you. Lowers your risk of heart attack (though it does have calories). Pepsi is most certainly not good for you, being made of corn syrup and artificial stuff.

Seltzer or sparkling water are great too, for lunch. I'll very occasionally have a coke on a hot afternoon. But wine belongs with dinner.

[Note: I am a wine nut, but when on budget know of reliable cheap bottles that go with almost anything]
posted by lackutrol at 10:40 AM on February 9, 2005

I was once exactly like you. But then I made myself drink water. Hated it. Ruined the meal, etc. But I kept doing it. A month later or so, water is all I can drink. Two liters a day. With every meal. Feels great.

Try it!
posted by xmutex at 10:46 AM on February 9, 2005

I have to second sparkling water: pellegrino with a slice of lime is my favorite zero-calorie beverage. I can't do the artifiically-sweetened thing but I don't miss it.

Smoothie recipe, as requested:

4 large ice cubes
4 frozen strawberries
2 tsp honey
4 tbsp plain nonfat yogurt
a banana

Blend on highest setting until smooth. Note that there's quite a bit of nutritional value here and if you just add this on, drinking one of these every night, as I did for about 6 months, you'll gain weight because of it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:50 AM on February 9, 2005 [1 favorite]

Ideally, I like to enjoy one of those expensive, organic teas by Honest Tea. They're very, very lightly sweetened, and a huge bottle of it only has 25 calories and most are low-to-no caffine.

After that, seltzer water with lime flavor or real limes, if I have them

Beyond that, just water. Usually when I eat out I drink the sparkling water with lime.
posted by mathowie at 10:51 AM on February 9, 2005

I used to drink a lot of Crystal Light, diluted half strength with extra water. Not as cloyingly sweet as regular fruit flavored drinks, but less boring than water. I also drink a lot of cranberry juice (similarly diluted).
posted by amber_dale at 10:53 AM on February 9, 2005

Breakfast: Coffee

Lunch: Coffee or Diet Coke

All afternoon: Tea

Dinner: Coffee
posted by pieoverdone at 11:02 AM on February 9, 2005

This make your own soda and seltzer at home is saving me money and making me very happy. I like to drink 2 liters of sparkling water during the day and now I can make it at home (costing about 30 cents/daily for the use of the CO2 tank. And the sodas have a third the calories as pepsi (about 30 cal. per 8 oz.) but taste pretty good. You can also add a little soda syrup to make a slightly flavored seltzer.

Also, my favorite smoothie recipe:
plain or vanilla soy milk
3-5 frozen strawberries (depending on their size)
1 frozen mango, chopped
posted by sophie at 11:07 AM on February 9, 2005

Lots of nice, cold water worked for me.

To get a hint of flavour in that, you could try a lime slice. If you want something more assertive, I suggest you get some ginger syrup and use a quarter of the recommended dose with one glass of water. It will add a little extra to the taste without giving you a serious sugar rush.

And for stefnet:

cider is still better than soda as it has a lot of fiber

Er, no. The fibre is all in the apple. If you want the fibre, eat the apple whole (it's one of the healthiest fruits), but when it was pulverised and the juice extracted from it, the fibre disappeared too. And if you eat it without the skin, there goes most of the fibre again.

and NATURAL sugars and whatnot as compared to soda, which is chemicals and corn syrup.

What on earth are "natural" sugars? Apples for instance contain fructose, glucose and sucrose. A Coke uses corn syrup, which is mostly glucose. The body doesn't make a distinction between one glucose and the other, just as it doesn't see a difference between alcohol in vodka and rum. :)
posted by madman at 11:23 AM on February 9, 2005

The Milk of Human Kindness or the Nectar of the Gods.

When I can't get those:
weak, unsweetened iced tea; water; bubbly water. diluted fruit juice (e.g 1/2 OJ + 1/2 H2O); green tea with Japanese food; Champagne; Wine; Beer.

Never: soda, Tang, milk, Gatorade.
posted by TimeFactor at 11:42 AM on February 9, 2005

Congrats, unsupervised, on your decision. I stopped drinking sodas of any type when I was 20 (although I sometimes cheat and have some coke in my rum.)

Cold water is good. I have one of those 5 gallon water dispensers that spits out cold or hot water, very convenient, tastes way better than the tap. I go through 3-4 quarts a day. Bottled water is expensive in the states, so maybe filtered water would be good enough - Brita's okay if you keep the filters fresh.

Other things - fresh fruit or vegetable juices, crystal light, ice tea (real tea, not the stuff that's just high fructose corn syrup with added brown flavoring), green tea, cappucinos, wine, and some spirits are all I ever drink these days - except the aforementioned cheating at the bar.

And I don't ever knowingly eat or drink anything that contains high fructose corn syrup.
posted by cactus at 11:42 AM on February 9, 2005

I drink a lot of water, but prefer it at room temperature. Very cold water is good for making the transition to more water in general, but once you are used to it, try drinking some at room temperature. Though not always as refreshing, it's easier for the body to digest.
posted by j3s at 11:44 AM on February 9, 2005

If you want something more assertive, I suggest you get some ginger syrup and use a quarter of the recommended dose with one glass of water. It will add a little extra to the taste without giving you a serious sugar rush.

Yes, I wholeheartedly second this. I can no longer drink most fruit juices, and I don't like relying on soft drinks, so I've had to find alternatives - I usually drink a lot of tea (hot or iced) and I've been upping my water intake. Adding a bit of ginger flavoring makes it delicious.

I've also been known to drop a small sugar free mint into the water, it gives it a nice cool kick. Or you could buy it, but I don't find it to be regularly available anywhere (e.g. MetroMint, which must be ordered and is a wee bit pricey).
posted by angeline at 11:48 AM on February 9, 2005

I drink water, coffee, and vodka. Some wine or fruit juice on occasion. I gave up soft drinks many years ago.

Try to find a sparkling water you like. I like San Pelligrino, but only when it is ice cold, preferably with lemon/lime. Gerolsteiner is usually cheaper than that Dasani/Aquafina crap that Coke/Pepsi sell, and is even better than Pelligrino. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, try just about anything. They even have a unsweetened cranberry juice (not for the faint of heart) that mixes well with Gerolsteiner (which they also sell).

If you want to turn yourself off from Pepsi forever (and if you are in the US), look up high fructose corn syrup, which is used in place of sugar in almost all soft drinks. You won't want to go back.
posted by bh at 12:05 PM on February 9, 2005

On preview (but after I posted, unfortunately), beer is a good choice, and probably better for you than Pepsi.
posted by bh at 12:07 PM on February 9, 2005

Take heart, I just read a survey that suggested taste was largely habit. According to this study (which I can't find), your body learns to like things in a few weeks if you keep eating/drinking them in small amounts. I am sure there are limits, but you will like water once you are used to it.

I recommend adding things to water to make it more palatable. (My doctor claims drinking water is the most painless way to improve your health, digestion and skin).

Some things I like: elderflower syrup, rose water, mint,
slices of ginger root, and the old favorites, citrus fruit. Mineral water is good, but can be high in sodium.

Juice is very good for you in moderation, but even natural juices are high in sugar and low in roughage. One or two glasses a day though, is great.

Most nutritionalists, and most Europeans, will encourage you to drink after you eat. This takes getting used to, but saliva begins the digestion process.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 12:09 PM on February 9, 2005

I grew up (in the South) drinking sweet iced tea for every meal.
posted by Zosia Blue at 12:36 PM on February 9, 2005

I'll add my voice to those singing the praises of the Nalgene water bottles--they're great. I have mine filled most of the time and I remember to drink a lot more water because of it. I just keep it on my desk all the time and end up drinking it throughout the day instead of going and getting another soda. I'll usually have Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi with lunch and often C2 (the Coke equivalent of Pepsi Edge) with dinner, because of the aforementioned 1/2 cals 1/2 sugar angle. I myself can't get my head around having water with food; I can't stand the way it feels for some reason. I'm happy with the arrangement I've got currently, though I drink too much soda now out of the vending machines at school between classes when I have nothing to do... bad for both the gut and the wallet; need to kick that habit.
posted by Kosh at 12:41 PM on February 9, 2005

It's been said a jillion times, but water is actually a really great drink. We're just so used to it we find it boring, but it's clean and smooth; you get to really enjoy the feeling of drinking rather than tasting (save the tasting for the food part). And different waters will have slightly different tastes or "feels" to them, too. Plus, as others have noted, you can always add a light flavor (lemon slice, ginger root, cranberry juice).

I find when I'm not feeling well (like today) that drinks I normally like but that aren't that good for me, are less appealing - like coffee & alcohol. Is that true of soda too? I don't often drink soda but it seems especially unappealing from behind an achey/tired flu-ish veil. (Although on the other hand, the one time I still like coke is when I have a tummy ache.)

Re: natural vs. processed sugars, I'd be surprised if that reductionist view of different sugars held up in the end, but even if it did, at least fruit juices have vitamins & minerals.

Besides water, & coffee when I'm feeling well, I drink ginger tea (or other 'spicy' herbal teas, like the ones Yogi Tea sells), orange juice, and those overpriced fruit juices like Naked, except that I dilute them so each one is at least two bottles worth. I also sometimes have a gatorade after working out because they sell them at my dojo and they do seem to sort of work. I usually dilute them a bit, too, though, because they taste kinda nasty (they're impossible to drink if you haven't just sweated for an hour; if you have they go down a lot easier)
posted by mdn at 12:58 PM on February 9, 2005


Rose water in your tea is pretty good, too.
posted by atchafalaya at 1:20 PM on February 9, 2005

I used to drink soda all day long, but gave it up about two months ago (cold turkey). I've never been a milk person and I don't drink, so I'm pretty much exclusively 100% fruit juice all the time. I really need to get more water in and less juice though — for the sugar content, it's pretty much the same. But I find juices (apple feels like a lunch drink, so concord or white grape, usually) to be quite good with dinner. And stay away from concentrate.
posted by rafter at 1:39 PM on February 9, 2005

To my tasted buds, all diet drinks are NOT created equal. I love the taste of Pepsi and Coke (especially the latter), but the diet versions are pretty nasty. On the other hand, I LOVE Diet Sierra Mist. So much so, that I can't tell it from the original. In general, I find that the diet versions of the lemony-limey drinks are good, i.e. Diet Sprite or Diet 7-UP.
posted by grumblebee at 1:44 PM on February 9, 2005

I find that any soda pops end up making me feeling thirstier than before I drank them. I find most fruit juices leave my mouth feeling thick and icky.

So I drink mostly water and tea. Plus my one cuppa espresso-brewed coffee each day. And wine perhaps thrice weekly.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:11 PM on February 9, 2005

Seltzer and any kind of juice - love it.
posted by xammerboy at 2:47 PM on February 9, 2005

I tend toward Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice, made with Splenda. There's also cran-raspberry and cran-grape. It's about 30 calories a glass. Mostly I just go with water though.
posted by abcde at 2:54 PM on February 9, 2005

abcde, that makes a mean lower-carb cosmopolitan.

So I hear.
posted by NortonDC at 3:06 PM on February 9, 2005

How about some good mineral water? Crystal Geyser is the only serious, good-tasting domestic one. Evian is good, but expensive, as is Volvic. Super expensive but yummy: BADOIT.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:36 PM on February 9, 2005

It's not that difficult to match wine with meals (unless you are an overly picky person about it). Most liquor stores will sell "table" wines which usually have a relatively short(er) shelf life than some of the better vintages. These wines are cheaper since the production is usually done in some of the more non-traditional styles (usually non-wood casks etc.) but most are still perfectly drinkable once you know what to look for.

General rules of thumb are as follows:

» Stay away from wines in boxes or, for the most part, screw tops (although, it's not always the case). There is a reason why this wine is a lot cheaper than the others offered.

» Red wines should usually be matched up with larger and/or heavier meals like red meat, heavy pasta etc.

» White wines are good for lighter meals like seafood, salad's, and desserts (if you're so inclined).

Personally, I prefer red wine with just about everything (and I'm a very strict vegetarian that eats a lot of food that is normally considered white wine territory) so, as always, it's entirely subjective and fun to experiment. It's the best way to learn.
posted by purephase at 4:34 PM on February 9, 2005

water or seltzer with a splash of juice. fruit tea in the summer.
posted by whatnot at 5:54 PM on February 9, 2005

Jamaican lemonade.
posted by Quixoticlife at 6:56 PM on February 9, 2005

I'm on South Beach and so sugar is out. I like caffeine-free, diet Dr. Pepper, and diet orange soda for my soda cravings. I've also recently found that Safeway has a line of flavored sugar-free sparkling water. Then there is water. And wine.
posted by Doohickie at 8:20 PM on February 9, 2005

Crystal Light ruby red grapefruit mixed up with a batch of frozen unsweetened grapefruit juice and extra water. Lowered calorie, lots of flavor, not expensive, a bit of vitamin C. Very tasty with bourbon, as well.

Or a batch of frozen lemonade mixed with a pot of tea - 3 tea bags of black tea is my preference. Not too sweet, very refreshing. This will not taste as good now that I've learned the Arnold Palmer label.

Both make large amounts, which helps avoid the tendency to grab a soda just because it's so easy. I keep trying to develop the water habit, but haven't been successful.
posted by theora55 at 8:47 PM on February 9, 2005

theora- In L.A., they call an Arnold Palmer a "teamonade". Does that help?
posted by Doohickie at 8:48 PM on February 9, 2005

I just put a few squirts of concentrated lemon juice in a glass and pour in the water. Tastes great to me, and I like the simplicity. Always do it at home, which does make the water taste strange when I eat out.
posted by jhilton at 10:24 PM on February 9, 2005

Citrus in water will eat the enamel off your teeth. Woops.

I love water. In the States, my favorite water is Poland Springs. No one mentioned this wonderful water. Is it still around? No sparkles, just water. This is from Maine, and I've not seen it in the west. In California, I prefer Arrowhead. Mind, these preferences are for taste. Always possible something wrong has been discovered about these springs to make the water less desireable.

Otherwise, I'm quite fond of plain iced tea. No sugar, no lemon, just tea. But then, nowadays I control my caffeine more carefully. I get so much and no more!
posted by Goofyy at 4:28 AM on February 10, 2005

Sugar-free fruit squashes. They don't leave that sticky gluggy feeling in the mouth that straight juice does, and can make drinking large quantities of water much more palatable. And the calories in them are pretty much negligable. I think it's 3 calories per 100ml before you dilute it or something like that.
posted by talitha_kumi at 9:11 AM on February 10, 2005

Carbonated beverages linked to throat cancer.

Inconclusive so far, but "researchers cited U.S. data that showed per capita consumption of carbonated drinks rose by more than 450 percent from 1974 to 2000, from 10.8 gallons on average to 49.2 gallons in 2000. During that same period, the incidence rates of esophageal cancer rose by more than 570 percent in white American men."
posted by NortonDC at 3:43 PM on February 13, 2005

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