Use these mocktail recipes to create your own non-alcoholic drinks – without sacrificing flavor.
‘Tis the season for traditional family dishes and deserts, but these mouthwatering foods aren’t the only holiday treats that can pack on the pounds. Drinks, especially alcoholic beverages, are also a big source of extra calories and sugar during the holidays.
The good news is that mocktails can be a better alternative, especially if you use calorie-conscious recipes. Even better news? Serving mocktails at your next party might even make you look trendy.
For example, a glass of wine has about 125 calories per standard 5-fluid-ounce serving and a bottle of beer has about 100-175 calories per standard 12-ounce serving.
The good news is that mocktails can be a better alternative, especially if you use calorie-conscious recipes. Even better news? Serving mocktails at your next party might even make you look trendy. Zero-alcohol and low-alcohol beverages have been rapidly growing in popularity over the last five years.
Of course, there are additional benefits for your physical and mental health associated with reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, especially if you are overindulging. You can use this alcohol consumption checker from the CDC to see the recommended amounts for men and women, get tips for how to cut back, and learn about the health benefits of reducing your intake.
So, when you’re out and about at holiday parties this year, consider sticking to mocktails or alternating between alcoholic beverages and mocktails to cut back on empty calories and alcohol intake. If you’re hosting, create your own holiday mocktail recipe following these simple steps:
1. Start with a bubbly base.
Flavored sparkling water, sparkling mineral water, club soda and seltzer water are all great calorie- and sugar-free options.
2. Add a hint of flavor.
Most mocktail recipes are made with juice, such as apple, cranberry, grape, grapefruit, orange or pomegranate. Opt for 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices and those that are labeled “light” or have “no sugar added” to reduce both calories and sugar. Not only does juice contain antioxidants, vitamin C and other nutrients that aid in the maintenance of healthy blood pressure and dental health, but one cup of juice counts toward your daily recommended servings of fruit. You can also add flavor by using fruit nectars or brewed teas, like green or peach.
3. Top it off.
Amplify flavor and appearance by adding sliced fruits and vegetables and herbs and spices. Berries, cherries, cucumbers, grapes or lemon/lime wedges can be added directly to the mocktail or skewered as decorative garnishes. Mint is a tasty addition to mocktail mojitos, while basil, lavender or rosemary may pair well with other herb-infused drinks. Spices can add additional flavor. Ginger or cayenne pepper will provide a spicy “zing” to fruit and vegetable mocktails, while cinnamon may best complement sweeter, fruit-based mocktails. Be sure to serve your concoctions in fancy glassware for extra pizzazz.