Tasty drinks with no alcohol, citrus, mint, caffeine, carbonation
April 14, 2017 12:25 PM   Subscribe

I'd like some ideas for festive drinks that I can bring to a potluck (ie will appeal to a diverse group) and won't exacerbate my acid reflux. I am supposed to avoid alcohol, citrus, mint, acidic fruits, carbonation, chocolate, anything high in fat, hot spice/chili, vinegar, rooibos, and caffeine. I've been told to avoid even decaf drinks as they still have some caffeine. There were a couple of ok things in this thread but most of the suggestions had citrus or mint or other things I am not supposed to have. I am tired of plain non-acidic juice and don't want anything overly sweet. Thank you for helping me get out of the mulled apple juice rut!!

Prior to my no-fun diet, I enjoyed
  • tart drinks like shrubs
  • juices mixed with sparkling water
  • wine
  • spicy drinks like Bloody Marys and Caesars
  • rich, milky drinks like hot chocolate, mochas and lattes.
Looking for similar flavours while adhering to all my restrictions is probably akin to searching for a unicorn, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a big fan of cucumber water. I've also enjoyed water infused with fruit and herbs. Citrus seems to be common, but you could instead try blueberries, peaches, strawberry, lavender, or rosemary in different combinations.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 12:35 PM on April 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Seconding infused water. My favorite is rosemary and watermelon. Smells great, tastes great and looks beautiful in a clear glass jar!
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 12:42 PM on April 14, 2017

Yes, "spa water" is another search term to try for infused water combinations. Cucumber, mint and raspberry is really nice.

It might be too acidic, but you could try a hibiscus tea or some other fruity herbal tea blend with a little cut fruit added (are apples and/or pears ok? grapes? mango? I'm not sure where the line is on acidic fruit since it all is to some extent).

I don't know how it compares to citrus and your other forbidden foods, but rhubarb is nice and tart but not citrus. Some rhubarb syrup would probably be a nice addition to plain water or herbal iced teas.
posted by snaw at 12:55 PM on April 14, 2017

It's about the season to make rhubarb cordial, my favorite. It's very easy to make, and when you make it yourself, you decide how to flavor it and the amount of sugar. I like it with a bit of vanilla, others like to add star anise or as in the linked recipe, ginger. A basic rhubarb/sugar mix with no other flavoring is fine.
posted by mumimor at 12:57 PM on April 14, 2017

I like flavored stivia drops. You can use as much or as little as you want. I like it best with lots of crushed ice.
posted by BoscosMom at 12:58 PM on April 14, 2017

Water infused with strawberries and basil - or really any fruit + basil.

Hibiscus tea - I like it iced and unsweetened. I'm not sure if it will be too tart for you - I don't think of it as acidic, but it does have a tartness to it.

Decaf drinks do have a bit of caffeine, but even if decaf coffee exacerbates your acid reflex you ou might find that decaf teas (or perhaps just decaf green tea) is fine - it might be worth some experimenting.
posted by insectosaurus at 12:58 PM on April 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

(I use much less sugar than in the recipe I linked to)
posted by mumimor at 1:00 PM on April 14, 2017

Thinned non-fat yogurt with dill is delicious.
posted by effluvia at 1:17 PM on April 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Iced herbal tea?
posted by Ms Vegetable at 1:27 PM on April 14, 2017

Coconut water?
posted by Ms Vegetable at 1:28 PM on April 14, 2017

chilled hibiscus tea

V8 or other tomato-based juice. Really, regular V8, brand-name stuff, is the best, possibly because of the salt.
posted by amtho at 1:30 PM on April 14, 2017

honeybush tea with crushed ice? - ..mixed with something? honeybush is naturally caffeine free, and doesn't get that bitter taste even when its cooled off.

or cold brew coffee? i havent tried making it out of caffeine free (only reg. dark roast), but have heard that cold brew coffee is less acidic than a regular cup of joe.

horchata? chai?
posted by speakeasy at 1:31 PM on April 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Kefir, with or without added fruit taste. Add a bit of salt, it's delicious.
posted by mumimor at 1:36 PM on April 14, 2017

I love the idea of cucumber water or watermelon water.

What about iced herbal tea? You might have to root around looking at the ingredients for one that doesn't have citrus or mint? If you don't make iced tea often, my recipe is about 3 tea bags per gallon of cold water, in the fridge for 6 hours.

If you need something to transport the beverage in, I like these Rubbermaid 2-Quart carafes
posted by radioamy at 1:51 PM on April 14, 2017

Ooh, so many good ideas! Thank you hivemind. I think I will try some infused water for today but will try some other things down the road.

Sorry amtho--I forgot to add tomatoes to my verboten list. That makes me sad since I LOVE tomato juice and V8--tomatoes are my favourite vegetable : (
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:02 PM on April 14, 2017

Things that aren't on your list that I've enjoyed recently in teas, iced or hot: rose petals, ginger, lapacho (which I thought was a variety of apple but I looked it up to check the spelling and it's not), apple (which was in my lapacho apple tea -- little bits of dried apple. It was different from apple juice, and I'd probably try it with dried pear, too.)

I add a little sweetness with honey or maple, both of which bring a flavor, too.
posted by amandabee at 2:07 PM on April 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I did an iced tea from this cinnamon spice herbal tea from Tazo that was nice.
posted by vunder at 2:12 PM on April 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Lassi-- either salty or sweet?
posted by holyrood at 2:19 PM on April 14, 2017

I looove drinking ginger tea w/ honey. Instead of buying something meant for tea, I cut some thin slices of fresh ginger root and throw them in a mug with hot water. Warning: It can get a little spicy depending on the ginger, the quantity, and the steeping time.
posted by aubilenon at 2:35 PM on April 14, 2017

You may want to look at some agua frescas.

My go-to is agua jamaica, which is steeped hibiscus (and in my version, ginger, sugar, and fresh orange slices), but that's almost definitely going to be a little acidic for you.

I'm thinking some of the melon or mango ones might be a good choice, but you should be able to find lots of different ones just searching for agua fresca, and of course, you can modify existing recipes or even come up with your own.
posted by ernielundquist at 3:14 PM on April 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Is horchata too fatty? Everyone seems to love horchata.
posted by ernielundquist at 3:18 PM on April 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Iced chamomile tea. Also good with lavender. You can add just tiny bit of honey and it goes a long way with the natural floral sweetness of the chamomile.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 3:51 PM on April 14, 2017

My work does a ton of infused waters. My favorite is apple and cinnamon stick, which tastes a bit like drinking apple pie. You can throw in almost any fresh herb or chopped fruit that you like. Also +1 to watered-down yogurt or kefir.
posted by potrzebie at 4:12 PM on April 14, 2017

I was going to suggest horchata, too. It can be made with almond or rice milk, I think, and might scratch the itch for rich milky drinks.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:21 PM on April 14, 2017

Elderflower cordial, Rosewater or Orange Blossom water could be interesting aromatic twists. Pomegranate cordial too perhaps, unless it's too acidic for you.
posted by esto-again at 4:52 PM on April 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you can get to a big Asian grocery store (preferably one that caters to Vietnamese), then pick up some pandan and lemongrass. Chop it up, put in a pot of water, simmer for 20-30 minutes, sweeten to taste, chill, sip.

posted by brookeb at 5:01 PM on April 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

These Suja water juices come in a variety of flavours. Some of them don't have ingredients from your list of bad things (but some have lemon, lime, or orange in them, though not featured). They also have probiotic waters with minimal ingredients e.g., the raspberry one has raspberry, water, and vegan probiotics, and little sugar).
posted by mmw at 5:53 PM on April 14, 2017

Korean barley tea.
posted by Napoleonic Terrier at 6:00 PM on April 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Yeah, seconding barley tea. Mugicha in Japanese. I love it best cold brewed, and I don't sweeten mine at all BUT I can see how it would be nice to add some agave or simple syrup to it.
posted by little mouth at 7:45 PM on April 14, 2017

You can get chrysanthemum and rosebud tisanes from a good tea shop. There are many flower/fruit tisanes that are not acidic like jujube.

Besides boricha/mugicha, you can try Korean Sikhye.Asian/Korean groceries will also carry other grain teas like corn silk, job's tears and buckwheat.

There's also rice/nut/soy/oat/quinoa milks. Do note that Western soy milk brands like Silk taste different from Asian brands.
posted by whitelotus at 8:23 PM on April 14, 2017

I also have GERD, and the drink that never gives me reflux is aloe vera without the fancy flavours.
posted by KwaiChangCaine at 9:05 PM on April 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was going to recommend Ribena (in spring water) but it's surprisingly acidic.

Ooh, yes, if you can get it, Aloe Vera drink (there are lots of different brands, some better than others) is refreshing and tasty.
posted by porpoise at 10:36 AM on April 15, 2017

I don't know much about acid reflux, but when I've felt like my stomach acid was high, I would use flavored bitters get around issues of acidic flavors. My limited understanding is that the pH on these will balance stomach acidity (and are thusly used as digestive aids). I use orange, lime, and cardmom bitters on the regular. Scrappy's is a good brand, local to Seattle.
posted by SoundInhabitant at 1:39 PM on April 17, 2017

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