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Use These Healthy Ingredients for a Refreshing Non-Alcoholic Mocktail

Mocktail recipes

Pool parties and backyard barbecues are the perfect place to enjoy a fruity drink or ice-cold beer. When the sun is out, it’s easy to knock back one too many drinks. However, the rise in popularity in mocktails can help party goers stay safe and hydrated this summer.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans authored by the USDA state one alcoholic drink a day or less for women and two alcoholic drinks a day or less for men is appropriate. Ilisa Nussbaum, RD, clinical dietician nutritionist at Yale New Haven Hospital, says even that may be too much.

“If a patient came to me with a nightly habit of drinking a glass of wine or one cocktail, I would encourage them to cut back and maybe only have two nights a week where they have a cocktail instead of seven,” Nussbaum said.

Anyone concerned about their drinking should speak with their primary care clinician. For those who are drinking responsibly, alcohol is still an easy way to load up on calories, without any added health benefits. While red wine has been linked to some antioxidants, those same micronutrients can be found in foods like pomegranate juice and olive oil.

Healthy mocktail recipes

Mocktails can be a healthier option because they eliminate the empty calories found in alcohol, are more hydrating and are safe for everyone including those with certain medical conditions who cannot drink any alcohol. To make a healthy mocktail, Nussbaum recommends avoiding sugary soda and pre-made cocktail mixes.

“A margarita mix could have more than 15 grams of added sugar. Ideally you want to stick to under 10 grams of added sugar per day, so you’re blowing right through that in one drink,” Nussbaum said. Instead, freshly squeezed fruit juices, along with herbs can add antioxidants and flavor without the excess sugar and calories. Some combinations to try are:

  • Watermelon with basil
  • Lemon with rosemary
  • Ginger with turmeric

For the real cocktail connoisseur, the best place to get a good mocktail is at a bar that specializes in mixology because the mixologists already know how to combine flavors.

“Crafting a tasty mocktail isn’t as simple as just leaving out the spirits. Mixologists who know their craft create drinks that balance the acidity and sweetness of the ingredients,” Nussbaum said.

Many bars and restaurants now offer special mocktail menus. For those who miss the taste of a craft gin or whiskey, low alcohol or no alcohol options can be found too.