Mocktails for a Healthy New Year

(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images) /

Need some new mocktail ideas?

Replacing cocktails with mocktails  in January is an idea that is gaining popularity. MIndful drinking is a good way to focus on health and well-being as we begin a new year and forget a year that made some of us feel somewhat out of control.

Thinking about reducing  your alcohol consumption during the first month of the year, especially if you over indulged during the holidays? Not all together a bad idea. Mocktails are simply non-alcoholic versions of your favorite cocktails. Drinking mocktails and other healthy beverages can improve our health, cleansing our bodies and giving our poor livers a rest.

According to Dry January began in 2012 as an initiative by the Alcohol Change UK, a British charity, to “ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline and save some serious money” by giving up alcohol for 31 days.

Sounds boring? It doesn’t have to be! If you’d rather start slowly, there are low-alcohol cocktails. Have you heard about “Reverse Cocktails“? They are cocktails that reverse the amount of high alcohol by volume (ABV) and low ABV ingredients. Let’s say you have a hankering for a martini. A traditional martini has 2 ounces vodka or gin and 1 ounce vermouth. A Reverse Martini contains 2 ounces vermouth and 1 ounce vodka or gin. A Reverse Manhattan is made with two parts sweet vermouth to one part rye.

If you’re ready to go all-in, consider mocktails. When crafting mocktails, concentrate on high quality ingredients and garnish with aplomb. Flavorful ingredients and fanciful garnishes allow your taste buds to concentrate on something besides the absence of alcohol. Freshly squeezed fruit juices, fresh herbs, fruit and artisan-crafted non-alcholic mixers are key.  You will find lots of refreshing mocktail recipes on Pinterest (search “non-alcoholic drinks”) and Instagram (#mocktails) too. Choose mocktails with lots of fruity flavors such as Mock Cosmopolitans, Pino Coladas and Sea Breeze (cranberry, grapefruit and lime juice) and your taste buds will be happy even without the alcohol. A Virgin Mary all dressed up with horseradish and Worcestershire sauce plus extra olives and a dash of hot pepper sauce is a refreshing replacement for your Bloody Mary for brunch.

As with cocktails, it is easy to pile on extra calories with non-alcoholic drinks. Look for recipes that use low or no-sugar mixers. You can find lots of fun low calorie mocktails on the websites of your favorite mixers. La Croix naturally essenced sparkling water has many recipes on their website. Berry Skinny Faux Cosmo is a favorite with Cran-Raspberry or Berry LaCroix sparkling water, cranberry juice, lime and garnished with fresh blueberries. Diet 7UP makes a festive Virgin Mojito when mixed with fresh mint and lime juice.

Related Story. Isn't it time to skip Dry January?. light

Ready to give dry January a try? Which mocktail will entice your taste buds to begin a healthy new year?