Beat the heat with these 10 healthy, refreshing summer cocktails and mocktails.
Today I have a special treat for you. It’s another guest post, but this time we’re bringing you some fun ideas for healthy summer mocktails and cocktails.
I don’t share with you many cocktail recipes. In fact, I think the only cocktail recipe I’ve ever shared with you on my blog was for Agua de Valencia, a Spanish cocktail that uses freshly squeezed orange juice and cava (aka. champagne or sparkling wine). It’s not that I don’t drink alcohol. I’m actually quite the picky red wine connoisseur by now. (OK, so maybe I’m not an expert, but I know which Spanish wines I like and which I snub my nose at.)
I don’t drink a lot of mixed drinks because most either are heavily sweetened or use artificially flavored sodas and mixes. That said, I love to mix up fruit purees and soda water and either drink the mix as is or with a touch of alcohol. Other than that, it’s mostly red wine for me on the weekends.
When Mike contacted me with an idea for a post about 10 summer cocktails that are perfect for your health, I was a bit skeptical. I don’t avoid alcohol, but I’m not convinced it’s healthy either. Plus, this is now a gluten free blog, and I wasn’t sure how certain grain alcohols would affect some of my readers.
I was pleasantly surprised to see what he came up with. I’ve tried several of these mocktails by now. (I may or may not have added a dash of alcohol to a few of them.) The one that sort of surprised me was the coconut lavender limeade. I mixed up some homemade coconut milk with lime juice and honey, and blended it up with a few lavender flowers (fresh from my mountain), strained it, and then blended again with some ice. I wasn’t expecting the mixture to be very good, to be honest, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was sort of like a different twist on a healthy piña colada.
I think my favorite, though, was the cucumber mojito.
Want to see his ideas for 10 healthy summer mocktails?
Let me introduce him, then:
Mike Jones is a Boston University graduate, with an MS in Mass Communication. He is now a full-time writer, deeply passionate about fitness, nutrition, and finding natural ways of restoring one’s health.
Take it away, Mike…
Drinking plenty of liquids during summer is a must. Cocktails are the perfect summer treat, since they give all of the benefits of healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, and keep you hydrated at the same time!
You can sneak in a little alcohol, for flavoring, though not too much. Alcohol and the summer heat don’t go well together.
1. Cucumber Mojitos
Cucumber mojitos look exactly like the real thing, and they taste divine. For one glass of mojito, you’ll need about half a lime and half a cucumber, nicely pureed. Bring it all together with 4 ounces of sparkling water and some sugar or maple syrup, and a few spearmint sprigs, and you’re good to go.
2.Peach Lime Cooler
The recipe for this one is really easy. All you need are a couple of limes, a couple of lemons, peach nectar, and sparkling, or flat water. The basic recipe recommends you use about two lemons, and two limes for half a jug of peach nectar. But honestly, these fruits go so well together, you can mix the proportions around and it’s still going to taste great.
3. Red Rooster
This yummy, fresh cocktail is made with 4 ounces of cranberry juiced, mixed in with half an ounce of orange juice, for the equivalent of one tall glass of Red Rooster. You can use red oranges for a more delicious looking color.
4. Coconut Lavender Limeade
Coconut and lime is a match made in heaven! The two ingredients complement each other just perfectly, and the hints of lavender add a surprisingly refreshing twist to the classic lemonade taste. You can use your own homemade coconut milk to sweeten and flavor the mix, and use the leftover coconut flakes to decorate this delicious cocktail.
5. Minty Honeydew and Cucumber Cocktail
The great thing about cucumber is that it’s really healthy, and refreshing, and you can sneak it into most cocktails, because it doesn’t affect the taste much. Puree the honeydew and the cucumber, and strain the liquid carefully, so the juicy doesn’t get cloudy. Add a dash of mint, for that cool aftertaste. You can also sprinkle a bit of salt in the mix, to take some of the edge off the honeydew’s sweetness. Alternatively, you can skip the straining part, and just make yourself a delicious smoothie instead. There are plenty of delicious smoothie recipes that can be turned either into cocktails or left as smoothies, to suit your fancy.
6. Virgin Sangria
It’s basically just like sangria, without the fermentation part. You add 3 cups of pomegranate juice, to one cup of orange juice, and spice it all up with two sticks of cinnamon. You can use sparkling water to get that sangria fizz, and use two teaspoons of black tea, to get a similar taste. What’s neat about this cocktail is that, unlike alcoholic sangria, this one can actually give you a real energy boost. However, it’s not going to be very potent, but luckily, there are natural alternatives to energy drinks you can make at home.
7. Apple and Elderflower Ice Tea
This recipe can be used all-year round. You can serve it cool and fresh during the summer, but you can also serve as warm during the winter, as a nice, little comfort drink during those cold, mean evenings. The trick is in how you spice it up. Mint’s going to give it an unmistakably summery taste. Cinnamon, on other hand, makes it like Christmas in a mug.
This Indian cocktail benefits your health tremendously, and it’s been used as a homemade remedy for digestion problems for ages. It’s also surprisingly filling for a cocktail. The basic ingredients are yogurt, mango, crushed ice, water and sugar. If you want to get the most out of it’s rich taste, you can use skimmed milk instead of water. You can also add in bananas, or make it a salty treat, and replace the sugar with salt. This cocktail goes really well with very spicy foods.
9. Red Berry Mocktail
There’s really no one single recipe to make this cocktail. You can use any kind of red berries you like, and bring all the flavors together with a couple of ounces of lime, and honey or sugar, to sweeten the mix, if you feel like it. Top it all off with some sparkling water. Berry mocktails are great way to make use of leftover fruit, and not let them go to waste. If you’re going for a more tropical vibe, you can mix in pineapple juice, and ginger beer, to make a fun and bubbly summer cocktail.
10. Virgin Mimosa
The traditional recipe for a mimosa uses champagne and orange juice. It’s an iconic summer cocktail, perfect for a girl’s night out. But a virgin mimosa is just as yummy and fancy, and you can drink it anytime you like. Replace the champagne with sparkling water, and you’ll get that same bubbly fizz. And to get the taste just right, all you need is a thin slice of ginger.
These are just a few ways you can stay healthy and fresh during the summer. Cocktails are all about experimenting. You can mix and match all summer long, and let your imagination run wild.