In the Elizabethan era, they mostly drank alcohol because it was easy to preserve. The reason they didn't drink water, was because they didn't consider water "clean" or "sterile". People in the upper class drank wine while the lower class drank ale (beer), rhenish (German wine), brandy and brandy wine (distilled wine). They had lots of wine choices because most wines were imported. To take away bitter taste, they would add berries or spices to alter flavour. Kids drank beer and wine as their parents did, sometimes diluted with water. Though most drank beer/wine up to a gallon a day, their systems probably got used to that treatment.