You don’t need alcohol to have a party. Whether you’re planning a big shindig or a small gathering with friends, non-alcoholic drinks are great to have around as an option for people who don’t drink. These drinks are just as tasty, and can be healthier, than your typical adult beverage.
It’s easy to make your own mocktails without sacrificing on quality during Alcohol Awareness Month. Follow these simple rules and you’ll make everyone at the party excited to try these options in no time!
Since you’re making non-alcoholic beverages, cutting liquor from your cocktails is pretty obvious. However, an alcohol-free beverage does more than just provide an option for people abstaining from typical adult beverages; it also helps you cut calories.
One 1.5 oz. serving of vodka has over 60 calories alone while an average beer contains over 150 calories per bottle, so just imagine what a couple of drinks could add up to!
Substitute Your Sweetener
Want to cut back on granulated sugar? There are a couple alternative options that you can use to sweeten your drinks, including honey and agave nectar, the latter of which happens to come from the same plant as tequila.
Agave nectar is sweeter than granulated sugar, so you don’t have to use as much in your concoctions. However, since agave syrup is 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, it also has 1.5 times more calories. Take this into consideration when using this sweetener. As long as you aren’t using more than you would with regular sugar it can be a good option.
Agave syrup is also 90% fructose (compared to 55% fructose in high fructose corn syrup). It acts in your body like sugar would, so it’s not a lower calorie or carb option. People with IBS sometimes struggle with large amounts of fructose in the gastrointestinal track, so if you have IBS agave syrup may not be the best option for a sweetener.
Class is in the Glass
Just because a mocktail doesn’t contain alcohol doesn’t mean it can’t be fancy. Have fun with your non-alcoholic drinks and serve them up in classy glassware. This isn’t a health tip per se, but it never hurts to have some extra fun!
Try Out These Recipes
Now that you know some easy ways to make healthy mocktails, here are a couple of recipes to get you started.
Berry Spritzer Mocktail
Enjoy this refreshing berry spritzer during brunch or while reading your favorite book on your patio. The sweetness of the berries is a perfect complement to the mint (recipe via The Honest Company ).
- One handful of organic berries
- Fresh, organic mint leaves (no more than two sprigs)
- Juice of 1 organic lime
- Two tablespoons of agave, honey, or other sweetener (optional)
- Club soda
- Rinse your fruit and herbs.
- Muddle or purée the berries with the juice of one lime, the mint, and the optional sweetener. For the blackberry spritzer, we used about half of a 6-ounce container. And we used five or six large strawberries for that version. Then we added three to four mint leaves from two sprigs to capture the herb’s essence.
- Fill your glass with ice. Spoon your berry mixture over it. Then top it with club soda. Depending on how fruity you enjoy your drinks, you can reserve this for one mocktail or divide it between two.
- Mix the spritzer using a cocktail shaker.
- Serve with berry, lime, or mint garnishes.
The daiquiri is a popular cocktail – particularly when the weather gets warmer – so try this slightly-adapted mocktail recipe from the Food Network for a refreshing choice.
- One (14.5-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice
- One (12-ounce) bag frozen strawberries
- One tablespoon agave nectar
- Two medium limes, juiced
- Fresh strawberries, optional, for garnish
- In a blender, combine pineapple, frozen strawberries, sugar, and lime juice and puree until smooth.
- Pour into glasses, garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired, and serve immediately.
This cranberry-based mocktail will help you feel cool without having to take on the extra calories and sugars of its alcohol-based cousin.
- 12 ice cubes
- Two 1/2 cups of seltzer
- Two cups 100% cranberry juice
- Two tablespoons honey
- One orange, thinly sliced
- Place ice cubes into a pitcher.
- Add seltzer.
- Add two cups of cranberry juice.
- Mix in two tablespoons of honey.
- Add orange slices and stir to combine.
Need more mocktail inspiration?
Check out these 15 Additional Delicious Spring Mocktail Recipes.
Questions about your diet or how to make healthier food choices?
Contact Julie Wise, MS, RDN, LD of Westshore Primary Care to schedule an appointment.
Photo Credit: Berry Spritzer Mocktail via The Honest Company
DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor.