This summer, skinny cocktails, antioxidants, and ‘healthy’ beverages are all the rage, especially with that slew of pool party Evites sitting in your Gmail, and the beach beckoning for you to come and play.
The kids are out of school, the temperature is rising, and you’re just itching to get out in the sun for a dose of vitamin D.
While we can’t promise to reduce wrinkles, or concoct some new workout that involves raising a glass, here’s a few ideas for some nature-enhanced cocktails that are more than tasty-many of their ingredients are good FOR you.
Ingredient #1: Soju
Although TYKU Soju is one of our personal favorites, Soju has been around for a while. A Japanese spirit that’s lower in calories, but blends like vodka (smooth, clean, and easy to build on), this is one to keep in your home bar cabinet during the summer.
COCONUT CRUSH (Only 98 calories!)
- 2 oz TY KU Soju
- Splash of Coconut Water
- Fresh Berries (blueberries add anti-oxidants, great color, and fewer calories than other fruits)
Muddle berries in a shaker, add ice, coconut water, and Soju. Shake for 1 minute, then strain over ice.
Coconut water is high in electrolytes, low in carbs, and can help regulate digestion. Not a bad deal, compared to that 400+ calorie margarita!
Ingredient #2: Nama Sake
Nama sake is unpasteurized, and instead, micro-filtered. The result is something closer to a ‘raw’ food, in beverage form. Less cooking=more benefits for your health.
Sulfites in wine can also leave a nasty aftereffect (translation: hangover) the next day, so sourcing sulfite-free wines and champagnes can be worth the effort.
The following recipe was created by Andrea McNinch, from How2EatRaw. For more info on Andrea, and the raw food movement, check out her website.
- 1 small handful mint leaves
- 1/4 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup agave nectar
- 1/2 cup Sho Chiko Bai Nama sake (we also like G Sake, from SakeOne)
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 1/2 cup champagne
Muddle mint+cilantro in a shaker with lime juice and agave nectar. Divide between two rocks glasses. Add the sake and ice and stir. Top with champagne and serve.
Ingredient #3: Red wine
A half a glass of wine a day has long been touted as having great benefits, for the cardiovascular system, the skin (anti-aging benefits of resveratrol!), and much more. We like to pair red wine with antioxidant rich pomegranates, like in this adaptation of Bobby Flay’s sangria recipe.
Pomegranate Sangria -CL Style
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup Cointreau
- 1/4 cup agave nectar (way better than simple syrup!)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 large orange, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 green apple, cored, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cup red grapes, sliced in 1/2
- Club soda or seltzer to taste (each glass)
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, except the soda water. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours before serving. Serve over ice-3 parts sangria mix, 1 part soda. Garnish with fresh fruit or a mint sprig.
Ingredient #4: Acai Berries
Not many can compete with VeeV liqueur when it comes to being eco-friendly and working the antioxidant ingredient list. In addition to acai berries, VeeV contains prickly pear juice and acerola cherry. At 60 proof, it has less alcohol and fewer calories, than most clear spirits. VeeV donates $1 for every bottle sold to Sambazon’s Sustainable Acai Project.
Acai Honeycomb (under 120 calories)
- 1 1/2 oz VeeV Acai Spirit
- 2 lemon wedges, squeezed
- 1 oz honey water (1 part honey, 1 part water)
Served Hot: Build in a coffee glass and top with hot water. Garnish with a long lemon peel, and a cinnamon stick. Served Cold: Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Top with club soda and garnish with a long lemon peel, and 3 blackberries.
Ingredient #5: Green Tea
Now we can’t end this list of cocktails without including the almighty best-green tea! Green tea is great for your heart, your skin, and a lot more. In cocktails…well, it’s at least a great addition to the menu. We love this green tea martini recipe from Belvedere Vodka.
Cucumber Green Tea Martini
- 50ml Belvedere Citrus
- 2 inch piece of cucumber
- Dash simple syrup (or agave nectar)
- Dash lemon juice
- 25ml green tea
- Piece of fresh ginger
- 2 basil leaves
- Small pinch of Maldon Sea Salt
Muddle cucumber and ginger with a pinch of salt and simple syrup/agave nectar. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake with cubed ice. Finely strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a thin slice of cucumber.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this healthy cocktail recipe list. If you did, or you have recipes of your own to share, tell us! You can find us on Twitter or Facebook, and we look forward to hearing from you!