Ahh summer, the time of sunshine, socializing and sipping on fun and fruity beverages while lounging poolside. There’s just one little problem. Those itty-bitty seasonal clothes, and those great big calorie-loaded cocktails, are totally at odds with one another! While we want to be looking and feeling our best to enjoy that hot weather, we don’t want to pile on the pounds from enjoying one too many summery treats.
Never fear, because we’re coming to the rescue with a whole new approach to your favorite beverages, revamping them to make them way less damaging to your waistline, while still being super tasty.
Because the truth is, there are actually a lot of health benefits that can be packed into a cocktail or mocktail. From vitamin C-rich fruits, to fresh aromatic herbs, to those good tropical fats, most traditional drinks can be made over so that you can almost claim they’re part of your balanced diet.
All we have to do is remove or swap out those problem ingredients that are usually included in cocktail recipes, like refined sugar, artificial flavors and colors, and overly processed sodas and juices.
These revamped brews will not only save your health, but they’re also fun to make and will impress friends and family at your next summer get-together. You may even find you prefer the flavor and texture of the real ingredients in these recipes, as opposed to the sickly sweetness of many mainstream and readymade cocktails. And for those who are avoiding alcohol, the recipes taste just as good ‘virgin’, too. Without further ado, let’s get mixing!
Healthiest summer cocktails
First up, we have a health-conscious replacement for simple syrup, the sweetening agent in many cocktails. Usually, this is simply made of refined white sugar, but we’ve opted for raw honey instead. Raw honey is a source of vitamins and antioxidants, so even though you’ll still be consuming sugar, it’s less processed and comes with added benefits.
To make your healthy simple syrup replacement, just mix 1/2 tablespoon raw honey with 3/4 tablespoon warm water. If you want to make a larger batch, just stick to the proportion of 2 parts raw honey to 3 parts warm water. Mix to dissolve and store in a sealed bottle in the fridge.
1. Spiked Very Berry Lemonade
Grab a tall glass and squeeze in the juice of one lemon. Muddle the juice with 1/4 cup frozen mixed berries and 1/2 shot simple syrup. Add some ice cubes, a shot of vodka or tequila (your choice), and top with soda water. Bonus points if you use carbonated mineral water for the added nutrients. Serve with a slice of lemon and drop in a few whole berries to garnish.
2. Pomegranate Kombucha Mojito
There’s no denying that this cocktail packs a serious healthy punch. With the antioxidants of fresh fruit and herbs, plus probiotics from kombucha, this is one for the most discerning drinker. In a large pitcher, combine the jewels from 2 pomegranates with 1/3 cup simple syrup, 1/3 cup water, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a large handful of lightly bruised mint leaves. Add 8 shots of white rum and mix well. Pile in some ice cubes, then top the mixture with half kombucha and half soda water. Delicious, refreshing, and healthy!
3. Eastern Vibes Ginger Green Tea Cocktail
Here’s another antioxidant-rich concoction which could help counteract the effects of alcohol consumption, not to mention create great Asian-inspired flavor. Brew up a strong cup of ginger green tea with two tea bags and 3 slices of fresh ginger root. Let steep for 5 minutes. In a tall glass, mix a shot of sake, a shot of simple syrup, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Fill the glass with ice cubes, then pour the green tea mixture over top. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
4. Tropical Health Pina Colada
With fresh fruit and good tropical fats, you’ll still feel like you’re on vacation while enjoying this health-conscious blend. Place one shot each of dark rum, coconut cream, coconut water and pure pineapple juice in a blender. Add 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks and 1/4 cup ice, then blend until slushy. Serve in a hurricane glass topped with a wedge of pineapple.
5. Rosemary Cucumber Fizz
This one works best if you make a large batch in a pitcher and mix the gin, rosemary and cucumber in advance to allow the flavors to infuse. Chop half a cucumber into small chunks and place in a glass. Add a handful of fresh rosemary leaves, then top with a shot of gin. Mix and leave to infuse. Use a sieve or cocktail strainer to strain out the cucumber and rosemary as you pour the infused gin into each glass. Add ice cubes and top with soda water, then add fresh slices of cucumber and a twig of fresh rosemary to garnish.
6. Spiced Grapefruit Sparkler
Packed with vitamins from grapefruit and anti-inflammatory power from turmeric and cinnamon, this delicious blend is a unique take on the classic greyhound. Using a sharp knife, cut the zest off of a grapefruit (preferably organic) and cut into small pieces. Finely chop a thumb-size piece of fresh turmeric root. Place the zest and turmeric in a large pitcher, add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and mash a little bit with a wooden spoon to get the oils to release. Add 1/2 cup homemade raw honey simple syrup and mix well to blend the flavors into the liquid. Then mix in 8 shots of vodka, add lots of ice, and top with sparkling water. Drop in a few grapefruit slices to garnish.
Now that you’re armed with all these tempting healthy cocktail recipes, it’s time to plan your next summer party!