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Eat Well Oct. 28. 2021
Beverages

8 Easy and Delicious Mocktails And Cocktails Ideas

Oct. 28. 2021
Beverages
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Looking for some easy and delicious non-alcoholic cocktails or cocktails with a more balanced twist? Here are 8 easy non-alcoholic recipes to try.

No matter what time of year, summertime or during the holidays, enjoying beverages becomes a social activity and something many of us encounter more frequently. If you’re trying to be more mindful of drinking alcohol and want to make healthier swaps, or if you’re looking for delicious non-alcoholic drinks, then let’s dive in.

How to Make a Healthy Cocktail

While there are quite a few fun cocktail recipes out there to try, it’s a bit harder to find one that isn’t packed with added sugar.

Ingredients like simple syrup, the juice from concentrate, and pre-made cocktail mixes are the usual culprits. By swapping out these ingredients, reducing the amount of these ingredients, or using freshly squeezed juices, real fruit, herbs, you keep the same great taste and ditch the high sugar content.

Just like with anything else, it’s all about moderation when it comes to alcohol. It is possible to include alcohol within a balanced and mindful lifestyle if you choose. With that being said, it’s important to know your limits and understand how alcohol impacts the body in terms of both digestion and metabolism. We discuss alcohol in terms of health in our Is Alcohol Unhealthy? article if you want to read a bit more on the subject.

8 Delicious and Easy Cocktail Recipes

Now onto the good stuff! All of these cocktail recipes will make just one serving. Note that if you’re choosing to enjoy these with alcohol you can use that, otherwise, we’re sharing our favorite non-alcoholic alternatives inside each recipe too so that everyone can enjoy these drinks!

We love Ritual Zero Proof non-alcoholic spirits for cocktails because they’re delicious, great for all lifestyles, and versatile so you can enjoy any cocktail.

Ritual Zero Proof uses plant-based botanicals to create incredible flavors that mimic your favorite spirits, offering a Tequila, Gin, Whiskey and Rum Alternative. The batches of their zero-proof spirits are distilled individually and microfiltered to lock in their purest flavor. Every bottle is date stamped for freshness.

Additionally, the stevia simple syrup is completely optional. If you don’t need the extra boost of sweetness, feel free to opt out or switch it up and use honey or maple syrup, whatever you enjoy the most.

Cucumber Mint Twist

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cucumber in the summer! Not only does it taste great in a drink, but cucumbers are also made up of about 96% water and packed with antioxidants.

We’ve talked quite a bit about antioxidants here at NS, but to give you a recap, our bodies need antioxidants to fight off free radicals. Different food items have different antioxidants present, but as a whole, antioxidants can help prevent conditions like heart disease and some types of cancer. In a nutshell – they’re the good guys.

Cucumbers are a cool, refreshing way to add a hint of flavor to any cocktail or mocktail. This is my take on a healthy alternative to the traditional Cucumber Collins!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce stevia simple syrup
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1-ounce Ritual Zero Proof Gin Alternative
  • Seltzer water to finish
  • Cucumber slice to garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour the lemon juice and stevia simple syrup into a shaker or mason jar along with cucumber slices and mint leaves. Muddle the ingredients together with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon.
  2. Add gin and fill the shaker or mason jar with ice. Cap whichever tool you are using and shake to combine.
  3. Strain the mixture into a glass and top with seltzer water to finish.
  4. Garnish with a cucumber slice and serve.

Bee’s Knees  

My all-time favorite beverage, it’s so delicious and easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounces gin Ritual Zero Proof Gin Alternative
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce honey
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Directions:

  1. Add the gin, lemon juice, and honey into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Berry Smash

If you like sweet, refreshing drinks, this one’s for you. Berries are also packed with antioxidants and quite a bit of fiber. When muddled, they’re a great way to add a boost of nutrition to any drink.

The Berry Smash is the perfect summer cocktail or mocktail to have with your favorite summer salad, mine is the Antioxidant Summer Salad!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce stevia simple syrup
  • 6 raspberries
  • 5 blackberries
  • 1-ounce Ritual Zero Proof Gin Alternative
  • Seltzer water to finish
  • Lime wedge to garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour the lime juice and stevia simple syrup into a shaker or mason jar along with raspberries and blueberries. Muddle the ingredients together with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon.
  2. Add vodka and fill the shaker or mason jar with ice. Cap whichever tool you are using and shake to combine.
  3. Strain the mixture into a glass and top with seltzer water to finish.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Summer Sangria

Sangria is a great way to switch up your usual glass of wine in the summer. Traditionally, sangria is a wine punch derived from Spain. By swapping out the usual red wine for an organic option and the juice for kombucha or seltzer, we’re left with a punch that has fewer sulfites, minimal sugar, and more antioxidants. This is a great quick read if you want to learn a little more from a sommelier about organic wine.

When it comes to the type of organic red wine you use, stick to what you know! Sangria is extremely versatile, if you know you love a particular type of red wine, chances are you’ll like it in the sangria as well.

The same goes for kombucha here. While it’s a great source of healthy bacteria (particularly of the lactic-acid family) and has some antioxidants present as well – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re not a fan of kombucha on its own, I wouldn’t recommend adding it to your sangria. Instead, try using seltzer water, unsweetened lemon seltzer water tastes great in this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of organic red wine
  • 1 cup strawberry kombucha (naturally sweetened) or 1 cup unsweetened lemon seltzer water
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 small white peaches chopped
  • 1 lime sliced
  • 1 orange sliced
  • Unsweetened lemon seltzer water to finish

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients, except the seltzer water, in a large pitcher and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
  2. It’s optional to keep the fruit in the glass, otherwise, you can strain the fruit out and you’re left with something that looks like red wine.
  3. When you’re ready to serve, fill wine glasses 3/4 of the way with sangria and top with lemon seltzer water to finish.

Margarita  

Made very simply with lime juice and simple syrup, this is a classic! 

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
  • 1-ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce honey
  • Garnish: lime slice and salt on half of the rim as an option

Directions:

  1. Add tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and honey to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a glass over ice.
  3. Garnish with a lime slice.

Strawberry Basil Mojito

Add basil to anything and I’m all for it! Basil is a powerful herb that can have anti-inflammatory benefits, antimicrobial properties and, you guessed it, plenty of antioxidants to go around. Strawberries and mint are great additions as well. Mint, in particular, is great for indigestion and calming an upset stomach.

I love that a traditional mojito doesn’t include any straining – the mint leaves and lime are both kept in the drink for an extra boost of nutrition. This summer cocktail or mocktail recipe is a little twist on the traditional mojito!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lime cut into 4 wedges
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 large strawberries
  • 1/2 ounce stevia simple syrup
  • 1-ounce Ritual Zero Proof Rum Alternative
  • Seltzer water to finish

Directions:

  1. Place the mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a shaker or mason jar. Muddle the ingredients together with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon.
  2. Add 2 more lime wedges along with the basil, strawberries, and stevia simple syrup then muddle the ingredients again.
  3. Add rum and fill the shaker or mason jar with ice. Cap whichever tool you are using and shake to combine.
  4. Pour the entire mixture into a glass and top with seltzer water to finish.
  5. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge and serve.

Grapefruit Crush

While margaritas get quite a bit of praise in the summer cocktails and mocktails category, a variation of the La Paloma is one of my personal favorites. The fresh grapefruit juice keeps it light and refreshing while also giving off a light pink hue that screams summertime.

This is my take on a healthy alternative to the traditional La Paloma!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1-ounce stevia simple syrup
  • Seltzer water to finish
  • Lime wedge to garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and stevia simple syrup into a shaker or mason jar and fill with ice. Cap whichever tool you are using and shake to combine.
  2. Strain the mixture into a glass and top with seltzer water to finish.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Daquiri 

Made very simply with lime juice and simple syrup, this is a classic! 

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces rum Ritual Zero Proof Rum Alternative
  • 1-ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 ounce sugar syrup
  • Garnish with lime twist or lime slice

Directions:

  1. Add the rum, lime juice, and simple sugar syrup to a shaker with ice, and shake until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a chilled glass.
  3. Garnish with a lime twist or lime slice.

Cheers!

This is a sponsored post and we’re proud to partner with Ritual Zero Proof, a brand we use and recommend. All opinions are our own.

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