When it comes to cocktails, we all have our drink of choice. But what about those of us who are trying to stick to our New Year’s resolution to get in shape? Whether you have a penchant for the sweet or the buzzy (Redbull and vodka, anyone?), some options are far better than others.
Do you love sweet cocktails but not the calories and sugar that come with the territory? Look no further than one of warm-weather’s most flavorful fruits. Watermelon is packed full of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, lycopene, as well as low in calories. Consisting of nearly 90 percent water, this fleshy fruit will also help keep you hydrated during a long night of drinking.
Ask bartenders and they will tell you that the majority of mixed-drink orders involve sugary soda. If you prefer carbonated cocktails, trade in the Jack and Cokes for drinks that use club soda. You’ll get the refreshing fizz without the calories and sugar.
Who says healthier cocktails have to be boring? Spice things up with your favorite hot sauce. This fiery concoction contains flavonoids, antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamins and minerals, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Hot sauce has also been known to lower blood pressure. Of course, drowning it in vodka most likely counteracts all these positives, but at least you can say you made an effort.
The problem with cocktails that contain lemonade is they tend to be packed with sugar and are generally derived from a powdered mix. Opt for 100% fresh-squeezed lemon juice and you’ll get the same citrus taste without the calories and artificial ingredients.
Another great substitute for sugary mixers, green tea delivers a potent dose of antioxidants and has been shown to boost the metabolic rate. In China, it’s common to combine cold green tea and whisky over rocks for a refreshing cocktail.
Cucumbers aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you think of super foods, but these vegetables are packed with vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and cancer-fighting compounds. They also create a refreshing drink when infused with your favorite alcohol. As a bonus, cucumbers are a good source of vitamin B and electrolytes, helping you to feel like a million bucks in the morning.
Devin Pratt is a U.S.–based writer and editor who has held various editorial roles at National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Men’s Fitness, FHM and Runner’s World. He’s traveled extensively, including hiking and whitewater rafting in Bosnia and Croatia. When not on assignment, he can be found exploring the great outdoors.