Let’s be real, while alcohol is far from the healthiest choice, we all enjoy a cocktail here and there, especially one made with fresh ingredients. Yes, I am a health nut and understand how it compromises our bodies, specifically our liver. But I am a nutritionist who prides herself on a well balanced, non restrictive lifestyle. I believe all splurges can be done in a healthy way while giving into your cravings!
My personal rule is no more than 2 drinks in one sitting – and even then, I only drink on weekends or special occasions. I consider it a treat. I might order a glass of red wine at my favourite restaurant, then I savour each and every sip. I soak up the aroma and drink it slowly. If I have any more, I feel awful the next morning – and I love myself too much to wake up feeling like that!
So what are the best choices?
As for healthy spirit options: gin, vodka and whiskey are your cleanest option if mixed with soda water, fresh lemon/lime and mint. I also love using the juice from a grapefruit (fresh) and mint as a natural mixer.
Red wine is a better choice than white wine or champagne for its antioxidant value and it’s lower in sugar. In contrast, champagne and white winer are higher in sugar. Of course its best to go for a organic and biodynamic wine so is free from nasty additives and extra sulphites (which naturally occur in wine anyway)
The only issue with red wine is that it can cause people to feel terrible post drinking it – they wake up in the middle of the night/feel terribly headachy and congested the next day. This is due to the histamines in the wine that some people don’t tolerate well as well as the preservatives (if it’s not organic). However, even organic red wine is high in histamines which cause can an immune-like response in the body e.g. headaches/itchiness/sinus congestion/runny nose etc. I find that I personally do better with Pinot Noir than Shiraz for example (I have heard Pinot is lower in sulphites)
If you still don’t tolerate red – swap to rosé 🙂 Seems to be well tolerated.
And what should you be avoiding?
Using cordials, juices or soft drinks as mixers is disastrous – avoid always!
One last personal rule: Always eat something small and protein-rich before drinking. You can find a bunch of my favourite high-protein snack options here.
I’ve created five healthy cocktail variations for you to make at your next party, or just to enjoy over a simple dinner for two.
Ideas for cocktails:
- Carrot Ginger Margarita
- Blueberry Mojito: Fresh blueberries, mint, organic rum and a little coconut sugar
- Watermelon Spritzer: Fresh watermelon juice, sparkling water and organic vodka
- Vitamin C Refresher: Agave, lime juice, organic tequila and ice
- Cucumber Cooler: Mint leaves, fresh cucumbers, rum or vodka
I also love mixing gin/vodka with coconut water, crushed ice, fresh mint, fresh ginger and a dash of cayenne pepper. Or a simple mix of soda with Campari, fresh mint and fresh grapefruit juice – yum!
Hope you make these and love them!