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Sugar-free Celebratory Beverages
I have got a lot of people in my social circle who are, for various reasons, avoiding or minimizing their sugar intake. I do okay at having things at parties for these people to eat (veggie tray FTW!) but I wish I could offer more festive beverages than water or milk. Everything I like to drink for special occasions is made of sugar -- ginger ale, various fruit juices, cocoa, cider in all its various forms[1], the occasional soda, etc.

I could get sugar-free sodas, but not very people seem to actually drink those and I don't like having leftovers of things I won't use up. I always have tea, but haven't had much luck arranging it in such a fashion that people are aware it's available. (Actually, come to think of it, I could make up iced tea in advance and put a nice big label on the pitcher in the fridge; that should be fairly clear. Still not sure what to do to indicate availability of fresh hot tea, though.) What else is more interesting than water but not chock-full of sugar?

[1] cold, mulled, hard, and sparkling

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I like making herbal iced teas - peppermint, fruit-flavoured. You already had the idea, but I'm not a big fan of regular iced tea, but herbal stuff I'm good with. :)

Beyond that..ice cubes with lemon/lime in it and/or ice cubes made of lemon/lime juice to put into water is a nice variation on plain water. I got a set of these from clawfoot. I'd seen them at the abode of a friend and had loved them. They make a nice addition to beverages.

Vegetable juices? Might be pushing it a bit.

Shall keep thinking.

I'll second the herbal iced teas.

We should seriously get to a tea store sometime soon anyway. I'm running low on some essentials.


Yay tea store. I can begin my Tea Snob training. :)

i am, for the last year or so, a **huge** fan of fizzy flavored water (not sugar or faux sugar flavored). i don't know how many others are though.

While I don't like them, I know a good number of anti-sugar people who like these. The lime flavored Calistoga water makes a good start for Mojitos too.

Me too. Talking Rain, Calistoga, anything without sweetener of any kind. Mostly, I drink three things: fizzy flavored water, water, and occasionally herbal tea. Festive + beverage no longer applies to me. :-)

Selter/fizzy water ftw. Also I'll drink sugar-free soda on occasion these days, so if it sticks around in your fridge it'll probably end up getting consumed.

There is nothing boring about water! You and I are fortunate to live in cities with delicious tap water.

Sometimes I make green tea ice tea for guests. That generally goes over well. Iced coffee works without sugar, because milk (or substitutes) is sweet enough.

I agree! Tap water is my favorite drink. Ever since I stopped drinking caffeine entirely, and stopped drinking sugary drinks most of the time, I've come to really appreciate water. That's all I need (and want) at a party.

Having had some formative years in a particular time/area/culture/whatever where one of the marks of a "fancy restaurant" was that your soda glass would arrive with a cherry in it, I have to say I would definitely get off on a Diet Coke/Pepsi with a radioactive-red maraschino cherry in it. Wahoo!

I found a whole jar of maraschino cherries while I was cleaning the fridge the other day! I have no idea why we have them, but I hope I remember they're there because I like them too.

Try putting a teapot out on a table, with cups, slices of lemon, a pitcher of milk, and containers of sweetener (including but not limited to artificial sweeteners: it's probably as well not to signal "this is only for people who can't have sugar") unless you yourself don't keep sugar or honey in the house. You still won't get the people who just don't like tea, but it will put the idea of tea in people's heads. Seeing other guests drinking tea might also help.

Note to self: acquire teapot. That sounds like a much more appealing display than "Here are some teabags! Look, there are flavors!"

(I am one of those low-class teabag-in-mug folks, but I aspire to proper Tea Snob status someday. I'll have opinions about growing regions! I'll frown at people who don't perceive differences among tea brewed with loose leaves ground to various finenesses! I'll still think lemon is an abomination!)

The key point is boil water, pour it over tea (teabags are not evil), steep for 3-5 minutes, remove teabag, serve tea or keep it warm. This isn't inherently difficult*, but it doesn't go well with putting out varied flavors of tea without going to a lot of trouble.

*in most places: high altitudes are a problem

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Pour water, add cucumber, or is there some more elaborate preparation?

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Mmm, mint-cucumber sounds yummy.

At home I drink fizzy water and add a few drops of lime juice or a splash of some other juice to it.

That said, I have also seen lots of party invites that say "Bring something you want to drink," and I think your dilemma is one reason behind that particular request.

We do Italian sodas, with a choice of several sugared and sugar-free flavors.

The Crystal Light beverages are nice...

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