Can you drink alcohol AND be healthy?
It is upon us again, the season of festivities and parties where alcohol flows freely, so the question arises can we drink and be healthy? We look into this and compile 7 healthy alcoholic drinks recipes for you to try out.
It is a known fact that too much alcohol can have disastrous results, an unpleasant hang over, blackouts to more serious life threatening diseases.
And at the very least, regretting your actions the next day.
Ethanol (alcohol) is the active ingredient in alcoholic drinks, this is the ingredient that makes you drunk and is produced when the yeasts digests the sugar contained in grapes or grains
The alcohol consumed by us is then metabolized by the liver.
Over time, consuming too much alcohol can result in an increase of fats in the liver cells, which in turn means the liver cannot function efficiently.
So can we still have a good time without a risk to our body?
Alcohol, even a small amount is never going to be good for you.
However in moderation and if you are sensible, plus use a few of the tips and ideas below, you should still be able to have some fun, release some tension (which if held in can be just as unhealthy) and keep it as healthy as possible at the same time.
It’s a good idea to mix your alcohol with water or fresh fruit juice (no added sugar) as it is the high sugar content in other normal mixers that makes the body struggle to process all of that sugar.
Be careful what you mix
Do not mix spirits, stick to one kind of alcohol per evening. Mixing types of spirits is hard on the head and stomach.
It is wise not to mix the grape (wine) and the grain (beer) but if you do it’s best to start with Beer, then wine.
The clearer spirits are easier on the body, so vodka, light beer and gin are better and have a lower calorific value than whiskey or red wine.
Eat a healthy meal before drinking AND the day after!
If you know you are going to be drinking, eat beforehand. Eating a snack or meal before a drink gives your body time before having to process the alcohol.
The starch or dairy in the meal coats the stomach and helps to prevent nausea and headaches.
Give your liver a rest and have days in between drinking bouts where you have no alcohol at all.
The day after
Eat healthily the day after you drink. You might have a hang over but it’s essential to eat healthy food that will replace the lost minerals and vitamins that the drinking depleted, meaning you lost essential nutrients.
Drink water before, during and after drinking alcohol. Dehydration is caused by drinking alcohol as it is a diuretic (the increased production of Urine), so keep yourself hydrated by drinking water in between drinks.
Always best to drink less
No one likes to admit that they might be drinking too much and over the festive periods, it’s easy to drink a lot more than you usually might. Just keep it in mind and as we said above, try and break it up a little.
If you really want to have a tipple though, these healthy alcoholic drinks recipes might be just what you need…
Some healthy alcoholic drinks recipes
If you are having guests over this festive season try a few of these healthy recipes :
1. Pear Rum Punch
If you like Rum this delicious Rum punch recipe from ‘Eating Well‘ will be right up your street! Be a little careful though, as it can pack a punch if you drink too much of it, as the name suggests.
Ripened pears, pureed will make a naturally sweet base for this rum punch.
1 750ml bottle of sparking wine, Prosecco for example.
½ cup dark rum
4 cups of ice
To garnish, thinly slice pears and add pomegranate seeds.
To make the pear puree which is the base for this punch combine three medium ripe pears, chopped and peeled with ¾ cup of water and ¼ cup of sugar.
Bring these ingredients to the boil in a medium saucepan.
Simmer over a reduced heat until the pears are soft (about 5 minutes).
Transfer to a blender.
Puree till smooth.
Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to a day.
To make the punch
In a bowl or pitcher mix the puree, rum and sparkling wine.
Add the ice and garnish with pear slices and pomegranate seeds (optional).
Serve over ice or straight.
This alcohol-free grapefruit cocktail recipes from Health.com and Bridget Rush is scrummy! Slightly sharp but light & refreshing at the same time.
It could also be used as a mixer for a spirit such as vodka.
3oz Red grapefruit juice
3oz cranberry juice
wedge of lime
sprig of mint
In a shaker with ice, mix the grapefruit & cranberry juice .
Pour into a tall glass
Add the 2oz of seltzer.
Add the lime wedge and a sprig of mint.
3. The Ghost of Christmas Sparkling-Wine Cocktail
A delicious recipe from ‘Eating Well’, especially if you like Cinnamon and Honey!
The base is a cinnamon-honey syrup and topped with cranberry.
Prepare the Cinnamon Honey Green Tea syrup:
Boil ¾ of a cup of water in a small saucepan.
After removing from the heat add 6 green tea bags, leaving to steep for 5 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and stir in ¾ cup of honey.
After cooling, refrigerate for at least an hour.
Just before serving stir in 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
This makes about 1 ½ cups.
(The syrup without the cinnamon can be made up to a week beforehand.)
To make an individual cocktail :
1 ounce of the Cinnamon-Honey – Green Tea syrup
1 ½ ounces of vodka
1 ounce of lemon juice
3 ounces of sparkling wine (Prosecco for example)
Ice and fresh cranberries are optional.
4. Bloody Mary
This lovely Bloody Mary from Greatist is simple, quick to make and fairly healthy.
¾ cup of low sodium, no added sugar tomato juice
Juice of ½ lemon
Dash of hot sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste.
1 shot of vodka
Use lemon wedge and celery to garnish
As an optional extra for protein, add a cocktail shrimp.
5. Mulled Wine
For a warming cheer try this mulled wine recipe courtesy of ‘Eating Well‘ that serves 8.
To a bottle of dry red wine add…
1 cup of water
3 whole cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground allspice
2 strips of fresh lemon and orange peel
In a large saucepan add all the ingredients, over a low heat bring to a simmer and them let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
6. Low Calorie Pina Colada
A delicious Pina Colada from Fitnessmagazine and low calorie at the same time!
1 ½ ounces cononut flavoured rum
3 ounces pineapple juice
4 ounces sparkling water
1 tbsp Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut Lite
Pour ingredients over ice and stir
7. Pomegranate Champagne Punch
Our last recipe and another cracker from ‘Eating Well’, and this one can also be made as a non-alcoholic version.
Either version is a lovely drink for that festive toast and the children can be included (Non Alcoholic only of course!).
In a large bowl or pitcher add…
2 cups of champagne, 1 cup of pomegranate juice, 1 cup of Soda Lime Mineral water, ½ cup of Citroen Vodka.
Serve over ice with a twist of lemon.
For the non-alcoholic version make it with 2 ½ cups of soda lime mineral water and 2 cups of pomegranate juice.
Enjoy yourself but take care and be healthy!
Most of all, enjoy yourself and remember everything in moderation!
These are just a sample of the healthy alcoholic drinks recipes that are available.
What healthy alcoholic drinks do you enjoy? We’d love you to add more recipes in the comments below…