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What to Drink When It’s Too Late for Coffee and Too Early for Wine

by Geraldine Campbell
May 10, 2021
Photo Credit: Luis Velasco

In the morning, there is coffee; at night, there is wine. But what about that chunk of time after noon (when it’s too late for coffee) and before 5 p.m. (or, let me be totally honest, sometimes a tiny bit earlier)? I don’t know about you, but these days, I need something to get me through that stretch. Sometimes, I crave something that feels like a bit of a treat; other times something to take the edge off and soothe my frayed nerves. And sometimes I’m just bored and need an excuse to get up from my desk for a few minutes. Whatever the case, there are a slew of afternoon drinks to help me (and you!).

I asked the Clean Plates team to share their favorite afternoon drinks. From a perfectly-fizzy kombucha to a sweet-and-tart lemonade, here are the beverages we’re sipping on right now.

1. Wild Tonic Jun Kombucha

Clean Plates founder Jared Koch turned me onto this farm-to-bottle booch, which is sweetened with honey, has just the right amount of fizziness, and comes in delicious flavors like Blueberry Basil and Blackberry Mint.

Buy It: Wild Tonic Jun Kombucha, $30 for 12

2. Lemon Perfect

Editor Carrie Havranek and her kids can’t get enough of this infused water. Made with cold-pressed lemon juice and a bit of erythritol, it hits the spot when you want something sweet, but not too sweet. “My kids and I blew through a case in 4 days,” she says. “I can see this being a great item to toss in the freezer to quickly chill, and then into a soft pack cooler when we are out and about in the summer when it’s hot.” 

Buy It: Lemon Perfect, $24 for 12

4. Moment

Have you tried meditating? Have you failed at meditating? Yes, me too. Now, I’m not saying you should stop trying to meditate, but if you want the feeling you would get from meditation in the meantime, try this botanical beverage. Moment uses ingredients like L-theanine to improve focus and ashwagandha to help manage stress. It also tastes delicious. I’m particularly into the Rooibos Blood Orange right now, but Hibiscus Jasmine is our founder’s current fave.  (And honestly, Tulsi Lemon is tasty, too.)

Buy It: Moment Variety Pack, $35 for 12 cans

5. Rowdy Mermaid Adaptonic

Contributing editor Beth Lipton recommends these canned drinks which harness the power of mushrooms and adaptogens. Note, however, that they taste nothing like mushrooms. Instead, they are delightfully refreshing (especially the Blackberry Ashwagandha) and just the thing to serve over big fancy ice cubes at around 4pm. Go ahead and have two. You’re worth it.

Buy It: Adaptonic Variety Pack, $40 for 12 cans

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