Let’s face it. Mixed drinks aren’t exactly healthy. In fact, they’re often a prime example of the term “empty calories.” But what if we were to tell you that you can combine your next shot with a shot of nutrition?
It’s true. Some mixers can not only enhance the flavor of the alcohol – they can give it a healthful boost. Here we have identified several that can add vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients to your libations. Cheers to fun times, tasty cocktails and, above all else, good health!
For starters, organic, no-sugar added juices can double as delicious, nutritious mixers. Here are our top three picks:
- Cranberry juice. It’s no secret that cranberries help promote urinary tract health. Plus, their deep red shade can instantly dress up any drink. Add four parts cranberry juice to one part vodka and garnish with a lime wedge. The delicious combo even has a name –the Cape Codder!
- Orange juice. O.J. and champagne often keep close company around brunch time and early afternoon. And as far as cocktails go, you could do a lot worse nutrition wise –orange juice is rich in fiber and folate and typically contains 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.
- Tomato juice. Bloody Mary, anyone? Tomatoes are an excellent source of essential nutrients, like vitamins A and C and lycopene. Combine tomato juice with one squeeze of lemon, one teaspoon horseradish and one shot vodka. Oh, and don’t forget the celery stalk (you can even apply it toward your daily veggie servings)!
Best ingredients for a healthier cocktail
If you prefer your mixed drinks on the fruitier side, just add actual fruit!
Muddled berries. Say goodbye to sugary syrups! Crush up some fresh berries (e.g., strawberries, raspberries and blackberries) and use them to replace processed sugars in your favorite fruity cocktails, like daiquiris and piña coladas. You’ll not only benefit from the phytochemicals in the fruits, you’ll cut some calories, too!
Green tea. Packed with beneficial antioxidants, iced green tea pairs well with an ounce of bourbon. You can also try it hot with 1.5 ounces rye whiskey, an ounce of apple cider and half a lemon. Salute!
Hot sauce. This fiery mixer can give your booze a boost without adding unwanted calories. Plus, the spicy stuff is said to speed up the metabolism. Add a dash of hot sauce to a shot of vodka and four to five ounces tomato juice. Another hot alternative to consider? Jalapeños!
Organic honey. Use all-natural honey in place of simple syrup, a common yet calorie-laden ingredient in many mixed drinks. Combine fresh mint leaves (crush them for extra flavor!) with a sliced lime, and add club soda, rum and one-half teaspoon honey for a mouthwatering Mojito.
Carbonated water: While it may not have health benefits, per se, keep in mind that carbonated water (a.k.a. sparkling water or seltzer water) and naturally-sweetened diet soda are healthier choices than high-calorie mixers containing added sugar and artificial ingredients.