Mocktails, or non-alcoholic cocktails, are the perfect solution for those who want to enjoy a refreshing and flavorful drink without the buzz (or hangover) that can come with alcohol. They’ve become increasingly popular as people seek out alternatives to liquor and spirits. Whether you’re trying to cut back on alcohol consumption, are the designated driver for the night, or simply prefer not to drink, mocktails can offer a refreshing and hydrating alternative to traditional cocktails.
One of the major benefits of mocktails is that they can help you stay hydrated as opposed to alcohol, a diuretic that causes your body to lose fluids and can leave you feeling dehydrated. This can cause dizziness, fatigue, confusion, and other unwanted symptoms. Mocktails, on the other hand, are made with a variety of hydrating base ingredients like water, fresh fruit juices, coconut water, or sparkling water, which can help replenish your body’s fluids to regulate body temperature, support skin health, aid in digestion, and boost energy levels (the natural way). Mocktails that include fruit juices or sports drinks also contain essential electrolytes such as potassium and sodium. These electrolytes play an important role in maintaining proper hydration levels to regulate bodily functions. So, if you are out and about during the summertime heat or participating in activities, by opting for mocktails you can replenish your electrolytes and support your body’s hydration balance.
And… We can’t talk about alcohol without mentioning the unmentionable misery of a hangover. While symptoms vary from person to person, hangovers are caused by the dehydrating effects of alcohol paired with disruption of sleep, inflammation, gastrointestinal irritation, and exposure to acetaldehyde (a toxic byproduct formed during alcohol metabolism). Subbing (or even alternating) mocktails into your celebration can help you avoid this lousy feeling. In addition, these alternative beverages often include fresh fruits, herbs, vegetables, and spices that provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants — all natural ingredients that can contribute to overall health and well-being while adding flavor and complexity to your drinks.
Still not convinced you need mocktails in your (entertaining) playbook? Offering mocktails alongside (or in place of) alcoholic drinks also helps ensure that all guests feel included and have something delicious and refreshing to drink along with showcasing your creativity through exciting flavor combinations!
Here are some tips for jazzing up your signature mocktails:
- Use fresh citrus fruits. Before adding fresh squeezed juice to your drinks – make use of the peel too with zest, twists, or even candied peels to garnish the drinks.
- Spice things up. Sprinkle ground spices or add a whole spice such as star anise to top it off!
- Make a statement with herbs. Be it fresh herbs or charred or smoked herbs, adding herbs will enhance the scent and will add complex flavors to the drinks.
- Rims aren’t just for margaritas. Do you prefer sweet, salty, or spicy? Try adding salt, sugar, spices like tajin or chili powder, meltedchocolate, or even sprinkles to add a surprising flavor to each sip.
- Glassware matters. Get creative when choosing what glass to serve your drinks in. Forgo the red Solo cup and do a little research to find out the types of glasses that drinks are typically served in or make it fun and serve glasses that go with the theme of your party.
Whether you’re wanting to stay hydrated, or simply trying something new this summer, mocktails offer a fun, creative, and refreshing alternative to traditional cocktails without the negative effects of alcohol. You can create your own unique mocktail recipes, or you can try out some of the many mocktail recipes available online or in recipe books. So, the next time you’re looking for a drink that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized, give a mocktail a try!
Read Hydrate the Healthy Way for more fun and creative ideas to help you meet your fluid needs.