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End Your Love Affair with Soda – 8 Refreshing Alternatives

InfusedWaterIt’s a bad relationship. You’ve been here before. You’re contemplating giving him the boot, but after some time apart, you go back to see if it will be different this time around. You resolve to keep your boundaries in check. “Just this ONE time,” you think. I can handle that. “I just really NEED one right now. I just need to make it through the day…”

Does this sound like someone you know?  Have you uttered these very words to yourself? Has it been a long, tenuous relationship between you and soda that might be described as a “love-hate” type of thing? Well, my friend, get ready because there is a new drink in town. Actually, there are quite a few fizzy drinks in the sea who are awaiting your attention valiantly. All promise a special escapade if you were to run off into their clutches, but YOU are the one who gets to choose your best match this time around. In fact, you may become so smitten with your new love, that you can’t even remember old “what’s his name” any more. You’re moving on and moving up!

But I just LOVE my no-good soda drink

It’s true that we feel obsessed when it comes to our favorite drinks. We’ve known them for most of our lives, so giving up soda cold turkey might be akin to quitting smoking. Something is missing. Regular old water just doesn’t have the same appeal, lack of excitement. None of that bad-boy image. And is it even worth switching to diet soda? What about those artificial sweeteners, not to mention horrible taste. It could be that you’re already drinking diet soda and have been desperately seeking a way out. Please something better for me that is more exciting that water! I hear you. I’ve experimented with the flavored packets you pour into bottled water but still had that uneasy feeling that the sugar substitutes and artificial colors and flavors were slowly polluting me with chemicals. So I took matters into my own hands to look for alternatives and have come up with 10 tempting & tasty beverages to take your taste buds to a new level of thrill.

The Fizzy Choices

I know you will still be craving the initial sparkle when you sip, so I’ve got you covered here. All of these promise the zing & ting of carbonation, but do without the sugary overload. Fresh fruit and herbs brighten up the glass and you can mix and match flavors in the recipes.

Club Soda Lime & Mint

Baby steps. It’s “soda” but not really. This one is nice and refreshing for the summer time. Add the juice of 1 lime to a glass of club soda and if you must add a touch of sweetness, try honey or liquid stevia drops and you have your own virgin mojito. Excellent over ice.

Kombucha
Kom-what?? Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that is becoming popular in health food stores and comes in many flavors and health benefits. If you’re adventurous in the kitchen, and I know many of you are, making your own kombucha beverage is very inexpensive and a new take on sweet tea. Once you get the process going you can repeat it easily. What you get is a bubbly version of sweet tea without all the sugar but with bonus probiotic benefits.

Kefir Water

Another variation of a fermented drink is called Kefir water. The ingredients are minimal: sugar and water and a “grain culture” that eats up the sugar and creates the bubbly drink. Try the recipe here and in my personal recipe collection available here. Again, you get probiotic goodness and a very low sugar fizzy drink alternative that you can make at home.

The Flavor Infused Option

These recipes give plain old water a flavor makeover. Combine these ingredients and refrigerate overnight for optimal infusion. If you miss the fizz, mix with sparking water instead and keep in an airtight container to keep the carbonation alive.

Lemon Cucumber
Mix in a pitcher: 10 cups water, 1 cucumber & lemon, thinly sliced, 1/4 cup chopped basil leaf and 1/3 cup chopped mint leaves

Lemon Ginger
Mix 10 cups of water with 1 thinly sliced lemon and a thinly sliced 2 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger root

Raspberry Lime
Mix 10 cups of water with 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries, one thinly sliced lime, and 1/4 cup of chopped mint leaves

Orange Cranberry
Mix 10 cups of water with 1 thinly sliced orange, 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries

Watermelon
Mix 10 cups of water with 1 cup of watermelon cut into cubes, 2 rosemary stems

Cinna-Spice
Mix 10 cups of water with 1 cup of chopped apple cubes, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

Pineapple Mint
Mix 10 cups of water with 1 cup of cut pineapple cubes, 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves

And the Verdict is…

So can you do it? Can you dump that old good-for-nothing and give yourself a chance to fall in love all over again with a new favorite drink? Which one grabbed your attention? Leave a comment below with your current love/hate beverage and which recipe you might try out first. If you have a friend who NEEDS to read this, please share via email or using the Facebook button below.

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