Naturally, summer cocktails aren’t exactly a healthy indulgence.
But if you’re going to indulge in an adult summer beverage or two, we’ve got some quick tips on how to craft a healthier pour, plus fresh herbs to provide flavor and a unique seasonal twist on the old classics.
#1. Skip the sugary add-ins
Or at least limit them! If a drink calls for a tablespoon of sweetener, try reducing that by half. Remember that all added sweeteners are the same in the context of weight management: agave, honey, and coconut sugar are not healthier than the plain old white stuff, so be choosy about when, where, and how much you consume.
#2. Portion, portion, portion!
Portion sizes matter a lot, especially in the context of alcohol consumption. A standard shot of alcohol (1.5 oz) contains 100 Calories, with zero nutritional value. Healthy drinking is defined as no more than one drink each day for women and no more than two for men. For context, one drink is: 1.5 oz hard alcohol, 5 oz wine, or 12 oz regular beer.
#3. Get Minty Fresh
High in antioxidants, mint makes a great addition to many summer cocktails, adding a fresh zing and herby notes not typically found in cocktail formats in the absence of high Calorie mixers and syrups. We recommend trying a slightly less sweet version of the classic mint-laced mojito.
#3. Beat The Heat With Basil
Surprise! This herb also belongs to the mint family. This fresh herb has been shown to have antibiotic and antibacterial properties. Consider muddling together basil and lime juice for a fresh addition to a classic martini.
#4. Brighten Up With Bergamot
A gorgeous, purple-hued flowering plant, bergamot carries a distinctive citrus flavor that lends itself well to summery beverages. Bergamot contains a slew of antioxidants and is occasionally used in topical applications for psoriasis. Add bergamot to lemon-laced cocktails for a refreshing burst of citrus.
#5. Kick Things Up with Cilantro
You either love it or hate it. But for cilantro devotees, remake the standard margarita with a kick of spicy herbal cilantro, which packs a punch of Vitamin A, along with antiinflammatory properties.