20 Substitutes For Water in The Hookah

20 Substitutes For Water in The Hookah

Hookah Water Replacements

If you want to take your smoking session to the next level you can experiment with a lot of things, including flavors mixes, choosing different shapes and sizes of hookah, maybe trying flavored coals or some alternatives, you can put orange or watermelon to replace the bowl or you can make hookah flavored water.

The plain water is still the king but in the case, you want to replace the water, for any reason, it’s good to know what can be a good and cool replacement.

I’m going to list the 20 most used replacement of hookah water, but that’s not all, at the bottom of the article I prepared some of my personal hookah water recipes for you to try. Also, there’s a part for some coals replacements in the case you are run out of coals, you are maybe wondering.

What Can I Put in The Hookah Base Instead of Water?

Basically, you can use literally everything that comes to your mind, except the toxic one, of course, I would not recommend using carbonated drinks, instead use flat soda.

Carbonated drinks simply can not be poured in the base and the reason is simple when you inhale the smoke you’re creating pressure that creates a “fizz” and that’s the last thing you want, that can completely ruin your smoking session if it comes to the hose.

Also, be aware that putting alcohol in the base can be potentially dangerous so don’t go too crazy with alcohol, be sure not to put pure alcohol in the base.

don’t worry because I made a list of completely safe hookah water replacements that will definitely take your session to the next level, want some ideas?

What Are The Best Substitutes For Water In The Hookah?

1. Ice

ice cubes

This is a very standard addition to the base, smoke from the ice becomes cooler and thicker and with all this, you can use it with any flavor.

Word of warning, ice will kill the flavor and you will feel a little weaker taste, another important thing is that after using ice, you cannot wash the base with warm water, it can get a weakening of the glass and eventually it will burst.

2. Lemon, Watermelon, And Ice

glass with lemon and watermelon juice

An excellent choice on a beach or on a hot summer day is the addition of tropical fruits and ice. An excellent combination of lemon and watermelon will give your hookah fancy look and you will get the perfect tropical taste that you can mix with the taste of mint or some other tropical taste add a little bit of ice and you’ll get an extra feeling of cooling while smoking.

3. Orange juice

glass with orange juice
Orange juice is our choice but you can put any juice in the base, the thicker the juice the thicker the smoke will be. If you choose orange juice to replace the water, then the orange shisha is great. Lemon juice and strawberry or blueberry shisha is another killer combination.


cup of wiskey
Adding a little bit of whiskey in water can change the smoking experience way better. Mixing the whiskey with peach shisha flavor or Coca-Cola flavor is something you must try.

5. Vodka

bottle of vodka
On a crazy summer party with friends, you can add vodka to your base. The vodka has a neutral taste of alcohol so you can mix it with any flavor, the mint is always a good choice. I repeat,  do not go too crazy with vodka, it has an adverse effect so be careful.

6. Coffee

cup of coffee
A cup of coffee and hookah simply goes together, but adding 50% coffee in 50% of water can be a great flavor combination. Putting a coffee in the hookah base will get nice flavor especially if combined with a chocolate or vanilla shisha flavor, mixing with Starbuzz caramel apple or Al Fakher cappuccino flavor can be amazingly good. Coffee will give a great note to the taste, but remember adding coffee instead of water too often will ruin your hose in the long run.

7.  Vanilla Extract

vanilla extract

Scattering a few drops of vanilla extract in hookah base with water can be a great experiment. For lovers of vanilla flavor, this will be a hit. The natural vanilla sticks are also a good option.

You can use this if you want to give yourself a stronger flavor of vanilla, a combination of cappuccino, chocolate, or caramel shisha flavor is a great mix.

8. Food Dye

This one doesn’t have a special flavor but adding something like food dye in water can give a great contrast. For example, if your hookah is blue with a transparent base adding food dye in blue color can be very nice and attractive.

9. Milk

glass of milk
Some people said that milk is not a good substitute for water in the hookah some said it is, but from my experience mixing milk with water got my smoke thicker. Mixing half milk half water is my combination but as same as with the coffee can’t be good in the long run.

10. Pina Colada

pina colada cocktail
This famous cocktail has a great flavor, sure this is an expensive substitute for water but from my experience mixing this beautiful tropical cocktail with some shisha like Fumari ambrosia or Starbuzz queen of sex is really good especially on the sunny beach.

11. Frozen Fruit

frozen fruit
This combination can be really good because it will give you a cool feeling, thicker smoke, and beautiful fruit flavor. My recommendation is before you put frozen fruit in the base, gently squeeze the fruit, this will lead to the release of flavor. You can mix this combination with any fruit-based shisha, for example, I like Starbuzz Blue Mist.

12. Wine

glass of red vine
Wine can be a great alternative for liquid in the hookah you will get a beautiful taste and a great color. The recommended taste is again Starubuzz Blue Mist. Do not use cheap wine because you want to enjoy the taste, of course, not to use expensive but make a balance.

13. Leaves of Mint

leaves of mint

Adding leaves of mint in a base sounds like a good idea, and it really is, leaves of mint have a strong cooling feeling especially if you add a little bit of ice. Mint goes well with 99% of shisha flavors on the market so feel free to mix it with any flavor you want you cannot make a mistake.

14.Red Bull

Red Bull energy drink

Red Bull mixed with Al Fakher energy drink can greatly enhance the flavor of energy drinks. If you decide to put this instead of water try to mix 70% Red Bull 30% water because the Red Bull can make a “fizz” and potentially ruin your smoking session.

15. Herbal Tea

Any herbal tea is a good option, but I recommend you try anise tea. It has a gorgeous taste and smell, so if you like the stronger spicy taste the anise is a great solution. Anis has a fantastic fragrance, I love to combine it with Vanilla shisha flavor. Fumari Spiced Chai is also a good option.


popsicles in different colors
Popsicles are really phenomenal, the combination of ice and the fantastic taste from popsicles simply can’t be a failure. Since they are made in various flavors, choose the one you love the most and go for it. Recommendation for shisha is simply choose the most appropriate shisha matching flavor from popsicles.

17. Soda

glass of soda with ice
Pouring the base with your favorite soda will give you a sweet taste, but you keep in mind that using carbon dioxide soda can get into the hose and completely ruin everything, I do not recommend using it, instead use flat soda. Choose your favorite teste of soda and select the shisha that matching the taste, for example, if you choose an orange soda, Al Fakher lemon is an incredibly good choice.

18. Margarita

Margarita cocktail
Another cocktail on the list that could be a good replacement for water in hookah base is definitely Margarita. This cocktail is very easy to make and it’s a good refreshing water replacement. Mix it with mint flavor or some tropical mix.

19. Coconut Water

coconut water
Coconut water is an excellent replacement for plain water. Its sweet taste will give you a good smoking session. Mixing with Fumari ambrosia is our choice.

20. Sugar Syrup

glass of water with sugar
Mixing of sugar and water may not give any particular taste, but the sweetness, surely will, with this water mix combination, you will also get a thicker smoke because less air passes through while inhaling? You can mix with any shisha you want to add some sweetness.

What liquid to Put In Hookah Base For Thick Smoke?

Any thicker liquid will make your smoke thicker, that’s because inhaling less air when you catching the smoke. Keep in mind that adding thicker liquid into the base will burn your shisha faster. Also, don’t forget that the direct impact on smoke thickness will have the quality of the coals, the way you pack the bowl, the quality of the hookah, etc. top 5 liquids that will surely make your smoke thicker are:

  1. Orange Juice
  2. Milk ( When you use it be sure to mix it with water)
  3. Sugar syrup
  4. Ice
  5. Coffee

I mentioned some of the best substitutes for water in the hookah and a couple of tips you should implement if you want a thicker smoke. Now I want to show you some of my personal hookah water recipes that I tried over the years.

Here is the list:

 4 Best Hookah Water Recipes That Will Blow Your Mind

Chocolate Hookah Water


  • 100 ml of plain boil water
  • 2 or 3 packets of hot chocolate mix
  • a little bit of cold water

Recipe: Boil the water, add 3 packages of the hot chocolate mix, allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes, then add cold water. Adding cold water is extremely important. The mixture we get needs to be cold because your glass base becomes weaker and cracks at high temperatures.

Russian Hookah Water

This mix is very tasty and definitely worth trying.


  • 50% Coffee
  • 10% Vodka
  • 40% Milk

Recipe: Just mix these three things all together in the percentages I’ve listed above and you’ll get a nice liquor for hookah base. This is something similar to the famous White Russian cocktail.

  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Grape
  • Ice

Recipe: Mix all together and add ice to your juice mix, this will give you incredible color freshness to the hookah, very nice flavor, and ice will make your smoke cooler and thicker.

Colorful Dreams Hookah Water

This is a perfect replacement if you want to impress someone with creativity. All you need is a couple of ingredients and the recipe described below.


  • Sugar
  • Milk
  • Water
  • Food Dyes

Recipe: First mix water, milk, and food dye altogether, in the percentage 50% milk, 50% water, and food dye just enough to get the color you want.

After that being done, add some sugar to the mix to get a mild density, estimate how much sugar you need but remember, it shouldn’t be too dense, this is an important step because without sugar your colors would be mixed. Repeat these steps depending on how many different colors you want in the base.

What is a Good Replacement For Hookah Coals?

Here is the list of what you can use instead of coconut coals.

  • Coals for barbecue
  • Electric shisha coal
  • Activated carbon
  • Heated metal piece

Let’s say something about each one.

Coals for a barbecue.

With this alternative you need to pay attention to the hardness of the wood, harder wood burns longer and you do not have to change them frequently. It’s a good thing to put a few layers of foil in order not to burn the shisha and the smoke from this type of colas cannot come into contact with the tobacco. This option is better to use when you smoking outside than inside, but it can be used in both cases.

Electric shisha coal

This is not a bad option if you do not have any other coals, but cannot replace true quality coconut coals, of course, it has pros and cons let see.


  • There will be no flavor of coals when you smoke, only pure shisha flavor.
  • It lasts as long as you want, so you will not have to constantly be looking for new coals.
  • It leaves no mess, and it’s easy to clean.


  • Quality is not so good.
  • It’s quite expensive.
  • It can not get warm enough to get a lot of thick smoke.

As we said, it can replace the real coals, and if there is no other option, it can be a reserve.

Activated carbon (In Tablets)

This is an excellent option if you out of coals, it can be found literally everywhere and it’s very cheap. With an ordinary lighter, you can light this thing in just a few seconds.

Another good thing is that it does not leave any unpleasant taste and does not contain any toxic elements. But it also has one big con, it burns very quickly so you need to replace it every few minutes, we recommend if you use this as a replacement to have at least 20 activated carbon coals ready for one smoking session.

Heated metal pieces

This is not the best or the most popular option but trust me this thing works.  All you have to do is to heat up the metal and put it up on the top. It will quickly cool down, and you will have to repeat the procedure. It is best to have a ready-to-use pair of heated metal pieces ready for quick replacement.

How that thing works in practice you can see in this video.


We hope that this article gives you some of the good ideas that you can use as the substitutes for water in the hookah.
We tried to describe everything that you might want to put in the base, and we gave you like the bonus some of the 4 best hookah recipes, the best liquids for thick smoke, and what you can use in situations when you out of coals. I hope this article is useful to you.

We’ll continue to inform you about the best things in the hookah world. Stay in touch with us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, as well as on Instagram where we publish hookah related pictures, funny videos, and having a good time with our followers.

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