Some ladies like their drinks straight up, while others prefer mixed cocktails. I can’t handle the flavor or strength of liquor, either shots or on the rocks, which is why I frequently order the “girly” drinks. I don’t have “a usual”, and when the bartender asks me what I want, it usually takes a few minutes until I thoroughly read over the cocktail menu and the ingredients of each drink. I try to choose the drinks that taste like fruits, because if it tastes like alcohol, I’ll be babysitting my glass all night long!
More and more bars are creating specialty cocktail menus, and if you’re looking to drink on the healthier tip, I suggest you take a peek to see what they have to offer. Try these tips when you’re out for a drink- you might just come out with a new favorite:
- Keep it soda-free. It’s still a soda-free summer, so that includes no soda in your cocktails! If your usual uses sweetened soda, try it with juice or even soda water instead.
- Make sure it’s 100%. Ask the bartender if the cran is actually 100% cranberry juice and not cranberry cocktail. Drinks that have a splash of juice will give you a splash of vitamins and antioxidants.
- Go fruity. My favorite kinds of drinks are those that have fresh fruit inside. I don’t care if it’s muddled or infused, just having the fruit floating in my glass makes it prettier, healthier, and more interesting. In fact, a 2007 study by Thai and US researchers discovered that alcohol actually increases the antioxidant properties of fruit. An added bonus is that the fruits soak up alcohol well, so if you eat the fruit in the end, you’ll not only get a good dose of fiber and vitamins, but also a tasty shot of alcohol. Oh, and the little red cherry in most cocktails doesn’t count!
- Try local, seasonal, and organic. These bartenders nowadays are basically chefs, because their creative concoctions can contain any number of fresh ingredients from a farmer’s market. These fruits, and even vegetables, will proudly be highlighted on the cocktail menu, and if it’s local, seasonal, or organic, it will definitely say so. I tend to go for the seasonal flavors because they just taste so much better! One of the best drinks I had used fresh organic cucumbers and cilantro. Mmmmm! If you like to stick with the typical, sangria is always a great option because it usually contains any number of seasonal fruits.
- Don’t go overboard. Just because you’re drinking a healthier cocktail doesn’t give you a pass to overindulge. It’s still recommended that you consume no more than one alcoholic beverage a day, so if you’re going to drink anyways, it’s better if it’s healthier.
- Make your own. I made my own sparkling alcohol using the Spike Your Juice kit, or you can infuse your own liquor with fresh fruits or vegetables. Just soak your desired ingredient in an alcohol, like vodka, and you’ll love the flavor of it after about a week. A friend of mine used snap peas, and the unusual ingredient made the alcohol surprisingly sweet! If you’re in the mood for something quick, mix your liquor with an unexpected juice, like beet juice or carrot juice. For something more fancy, dice up your own fruits and throw them in your glass.
The next time you raise a glass for a toast, make sure it’s a healthier choice. This is to your health….Cheers!