Whether you're still trying to make good on that New Year's resolution to be healthier or you're just in need of a detox of sorts, it might be time to reevaluate your drinking habits. All good things are best enjoyed in moderation and that certainly applies to cocktails. But you don't have to abandon booze altogether. With a little guidance, you can start drinking lighter, smarter and just plain better.
Low-proof cocktails are all the rage these days precisely because they allow for indulging without overdoing it. What's also in style is using ingredients associated with healthy living, from vegetables to green tea. These eight recipes all boast low proofs and are packed with goodness to, hopefully, help you live well and long.
Fresh beet juice is the base for this cocktail, so expect some possible blood-flow benefits as you’re imbibing. Mix it with arak, lemon juice, simple syrup and mint for a cocktail that’s both savory and warming, with a color that pops. Bartender Ruben Hernandez goes wild here and encourages you to garnish this gorgeous drink with a crumble of goat cheese. So, if you're feeling brave (and cheesy), go for it.
In England, they say that summer hasn't arrived until you've had your first Pimm's Cup. Get some of your requisite daily fruit servings with this classic British sipper. Cucumber slices, strawberries, oranges, lemons and mint mingle with Pimm’s No. 1 Cup liqueur and Sprite for a light and refreshing drink that’s not too boozy. Feel free to substitute good ginger ale for Sprite. It'll provide an extra kick.
Help fight off winter colds with the boost of vitamin C this classic brunch cocktail provides. Orange juice and your choice of sparkling wine are the only ingredients you need. If you’re feeling fancy, make a batch of Champagne ice cubes to keep your Mimosa cool. And insist on fresh-squeezed orange juice: It's worth it.
Kumquats are those adorably tiny citrus fruits with big, bright flavor and tons of antioxidants. Said to regulate digestion, boost the immune system and improve hair and skin, they also add a vitamin wallop to this smash variation. Muddle and then shake them with Old Tom gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur and nutmeg for a refreshing drink that just might help keep that winter cold at bay.
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Up your veggie intake with this savory brunch staple. Vodka mixes with tomato juice, spices and a host of other veggies to garnish, so you can get your vitamins in. Tomato juice alone is loaded with magnesium and potassium, two minerals that are crucial to heart health, and is a great source of B vitamins to stimulate your metabolism. Not a bad way to start the day!
If you’re looking to ditch booze completely, try this non-alcoholic cocktail (a friendlier term than "mocktail"). Muddle a medjool date, salt, cumin and lime juice together, then mix with high-quality ginger beer. It hits all the right notes: sweet, salty, spiced and tart. You won’t miss the alcohol. Promise.
Japanese whisky and soda water get a nice boost from green tea in this super refreshing drink. You can feel good about drinking an entire highball not only for its low-alcohol content but also for the tea’s antioxidant and fat-burning properties. Light on both the palate and while going down.
Bring Mom’s chicken soup (and all of its healing powers) to your cocktail cart with this savory spin on a traditional Hot Toddy. Hot chicken stock provides a base for gin, celery bitters and fresh lemon juice. Garnish with a carrot stick, celery stick and fresh parsley for extra veggie power. And you know what they say about chicken soup––good not just for the body but for the soul.