By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
The New Year is a perfect time to try new and different types of food and beverages. But that doesn’t mean that your healthy habits have to go out the window. When it comes to exotic drinks, there are plenty of alternatives to alcohol and other calorie dense ingredients. We refer to them as mocktails, and they make a great drink for the New Year. Before we get into the Sunrise Mocktail recipe, let’s start with a little background.
A mocktail is a mixed drink that does not contain any alcohol. That means that they can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The most common mocktails are smoothies and green vegetable drinks. However, the word “mocktail” indicates that it is a mockup of an actual alcoholic drink. As such, you can create a mocktail for virtually every alcoholic cocktail in existence.
An immediate advantage of drinking mocktails is that a person will reduce their alcohol consumption. This will improve liver function by reducing stress on the organ. It will also reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels, and help assist concentration and focus.
It is possible to make healthy cocktails. But they will still contain alcohol. And with a gram of alcohol containing seven calories, it is easy to see how cutting back can help a person lose weight. Of course, this will only take place if the mocktail that replaces your alcoholic cocktail does not contain sugar or other weight-enhancing ingredients. Fortunately, the sunrise mocktail is completely sugar-free!
Mocktails can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The kids will love the opportunity to try a “grown-up” drink while family members who don’t drink alcohol will also be covered. You will also be able to keep a lid on those family members who are known to overindulge by filling them up on mocktails before they move onto the heavier stuff.
Making mocktails is a relatively easy process. You can create a tasty mocktail simply by mixing up your favorite cocktail but leaving out the alcoholic content. Of course, you can also substitute the alcohol portion with a non-alcoholic alternative that has a similar flavor.
Mocktails can include any non-alcoholic ingredients. However, if you simply replace an unhealthy alcoholic ingredient with an unhealthy non-alcoholic one, you haven’t really benefited yourself or any other drinkers of your creation. That is why we love replacing alcoholic cocktail content with healthy non-alcoholic ingredients to boost their nutritional profile and provide greater health benefits.
When you use juices in your mocktail recipes, try to work with freshly squeezed rather than store-bought varieties. Sparkling mineral water also makes a great healthy base for mocktails. Try to stay away from mocktails that are loaded with sugary ingredients. Avoid mocktails that contain artificial flavors and colors, corn syrup, and sweetened juices.
The first step to making your own mocktail is to choose a base liquid. The healthiest options are mineral water, coconut water, and kombucha. Next, add whole fruit. Topping up with a dash of grenadine (recipe below) will allow you to add some cool contrasting color without having to use artificial colorings. Serve in a cocktail glass, and garnish with wedges of fruit. Top off your creation with a cocktail umbrella and a straw.
The Sunrise Mocktail is a simple recipe that combines just four ingredients into a delicious drink that both kids and adults will enjoy. It is based on the classic cocktail, Tequila Sunrise.
Here’s what you need:
If you are unfamiliar with grenadine, it is a sweet-tart syrup that is used in bars to create mocktails. You can either buy it at your local supermarket or make your own. Here is a simple recipe to do just that:
Orange flower water is available from Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Combine the pomegranate juice and the stevia in a saucepan and bring it to a slow boil. When all of the stevia is dissolved, simmer for ten to fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Then allow it to cool for about ten minutes. Now pour the liquid into a decanter. Add the orange flower water and then seal the lid. Give it a good shake, and it is ready to use.
To make your Sunrise Mocktail, cut the orange slices into the desired shapes to decorate your mocktail. Now fill your glass one-third of the way with orange juice. Add sugar-free lemonade to fill the glass ⅘ of the way to the top. Add a dash of grenadine.
The grenadine will sink to the bottom of the glass to create a cool contrast to the orange juice. Now add an orange slice to the edge of the glass. Feel free to decorate with cocktail umbrellas or foil sticks.
This Sex on the Beach mocktail does away with the vodka content and replaces the peach schnapps with peach nectar to deliver an identical peachy taste.
Combine the orange and cranberry juice in a cocktail glass that is filled with ice. Add the peach nectar. Now pour the grenadine into the glass from a height of about four inches. Add a pineapple wedge to garnish.
Half fill a mixing jug with ice. Add the cranberry and pomegranate juice along with the ginger beer. Stir the blend with a cocktail mixer. Pour into serving glasses and serve along with pomegranate seeds.
Make this New Year healthier by trying one of these non-alcoholic, nutrient-dense mocktails. Not only will you feel better, but they taste just as good!