Drink to Your Health: 5 Mocktails to Mix This Memorial Day Weekend!
At last! Winter is but a distant memory and the official start of the summer is almost here! With Memorial Day just around the corner, summer entertaining is on my mind and of course, celebrating with an eye towards healthy and tasty offerings, and in particular, refreshing beverages. There’s nothing more enjoyable than unwinding outdoors with loved ones, cold drink in hand, chatting and listening to the crickets as the sun goes down.
If you do wish to enjoy a spirited drink, two or three glasses of wine or cocktails a week is plenty – and is a good number to stick to, as we all know how that nightly glass, can easily slide into two or more, undermining the health of your gut, liver and sleep quality.
So how to unwind without the wine? Consider lingering over healthy, hydrating “mocktails. ” They keep bodies cool, brains fog-free, and when served in a beautiful glass with lots of ice and garnished with fruit they still offer the celebratory feel of a traditional cocktail. What’s more, a good mocktail, like my favorites below, gives your health a boost instead of undermining it like the alcoholic versions can. Here are a few of my favorite ways to unwind, without wine, on summer evenings:
- Bubbly Bitters – seltzer or sparkling water with bitters (to taste), lemon or lime slices and a sprig of fresh mint makes a wonderfully refreshing digestive aid
- Cherry Bomb – seltzer, sparkling or spring water with 2 oz. of tart unsweetened cherry juice delivers a nice anti-inflammatory punch along with a dose of vitamin A and C with only about 4 grams of sugar.
- Kombucha Kocktail – combine 2 parts kombucha to one part sparkling water, and if needed a touch of honey to give your gut bacteria a healthy boost of probiotics and B Vitamins.
- Happy Heart Hibiscus Tea Elixir – if you’re tired of plain old water, jazz it up with hibiscus to add a slightly sweet and fruity flavor to your glass, plus blood pressure lowering and vascular benefits.
- Virgin Mary – perfect as a liquid “appetizer,” the brunch-time classic that comes compete with heart healthy lycopene, plus immunity supporting Vitamin C.
Enjoy your mocktails this summer – or anytime you wish to celebrate in a healthy way! And if you’re putting together a lunch-time gathering this weekend, try my healthy and delicious Unclassic Waldorf Chicken Salad recipe with Yoghurt Chive Dressing
Happy Memorial Day to all, and may we all take a moment this weekend to honor those who have sacrificed for our freedom.
-- by Kathie Madonna Swift with additional reporting by Kate Doyle Hooper