Is there such a thing as a ‘healthy’ cocktail? You could argue that any cocktail with alcohol in it can never be healthy. That said, some cocktails are clearly much healthier than others due to their choice of mixers. In fact, some mixers are so low in calories and high in nutrients that they can help to counterbalance much of the potential damage caused by alcohol. All in all, if you’re looking for a tipple and want to keep it relatively healthy, these are some of the best cocktails that you can choose.
The primary ingredients of Bloody Mary are tomato juice and vodka. The tomato juice is what makes this cocktail so healthy – it’s packed with vitamins A, B, and C. At only 95 calories, it’s also one of the lowest-calorie cocktails you can make. It’s become traditional to add other ingredients to Bloody Mary to give it some spice including tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and horseradish (which can add extra nutrients). Try this Bloody Mary for a tasty full-bodied version of this cocktail.
‘Screwdriver’ is a fancy name for what many commonly refer to as Vodka and orange juice. When containing a single shot of vodka, this cocktail contains only 121 calories, making it a great option if you’re trying to watch your waistline. A screwdriver is also full of nutrients due to its orange juice mixer, which is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. Make sure to use fresh orange juice to keep your screwdriver completely healthy.
A greyhound is made up of two ingredients: vodka and grapefruit juice. It’s pretty much like a screwdriver but with grapefruit juice instead of orange. Containing 134 calories, a greyhound has slightly more calories than a screwdriver but is still 30 calories less than a vodka and coke. It’s similarly high in vitamins and is particularly rich in vitamin A, which is great for our vision. All in all, it’s a great choice when you’re looking for a refreshing summer cocktail.
Pomegranate juice is often hailed as the healthiest of all fruit juices. It is densely packed with a range of nutrients which give it superior antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s believed to be particularly good for the heart and cardiovascular system. A simple way to incorporate pomegranate juice with alcohol is in a pomegranate martini – which contains pomegranate juice, vodka, Cointreau, and a dash of lemon juice (removing the Cointreau will make it healthier by reducing the sugar content).
Beetroot juice is very good at lowering blood pressure due to its unique mix of nutrients. It’s particularly high in vitamin C and folate as well as containing plenty of potassium and iron. It doesn’t work well with many spirits (which is why you rarely see it in cocktails), however, it does seem to work very well with whisky. Because whisky can be quite calorific, this may not be the best drink for those counting calories. However, it is a good option for those wanting to pack some nutrients into their cocktail. In fact, beetroot juice is so dense in nutrients like iron and potassium that it can actually provide too much if you drink it too often – so don’t go overboard on this cocktail. Check out this whisky beet recipe to try this cocktail.
Mulled wine is a popular winter cocktail made from red wine, brandy, orange, cloves, cinnamon, and sugar. It’s relatively healthy compared to other cocktails because it uses red wine as its main ingredient – which contains powerful antioxidants. Mulled wine does pack a lot of calories, however, it’s possible to lower this calorie content by taking out the sugar and choosing lower-calorie red wines. It’s worth keeping spices like cinnamon as these can provide an extra antioxidant punch.
Gin and tonic
Gin and tonic contain fewer calories than any other cocktail – a single dry gin shot served with skinny tonic water can result in a cocktail that contains as little as 55 calories. While this does mean you can drink gin and tonic without worrying about piling on the pounds, it is worth noting that gin and tonic don’t really have any nutrients to counterbalance its alcohol content and is therefore not as healthy as other cocktails in this respect. It’s also important to avoid flavoured gins, as these typically contain more sugar. Some flavoured gins use more natural fruit flavourings, which can mean extra vitamins – these could be better than regular flavoured gins.