2 Mocktail Recipes That Can Boost Your Immune System
August 21, 2023
Mocktails are nonalcoholic drinks that use a wide variety of ingredients to replicate the look and feel of alcohol-based cocktails without using alcohol as an ingredient. They are crafted with the same mixology methods used for cocktails, creating a similar drink that can be savored and enjoyed without alcohol.
Many restaurants have been serving mocktails for a long time, such as the well-known “virgin” strawberry daiquiri or even a Shirley Temple. Using the word “virgin” in front of a traditionally alcoholic beverage signified that the drink had no alcohol in it.
Nowadays, many restaurants and bars are beginning to craft recipes for mocktails outside of the traditional “virgin” options.
What are the health benefits of mocktails?
Specific health benefits depend on the ingredients used in each type of mocktail. Some mocktails swap alcohol for sugar-based ingredients, which can still be a very unhealthy drink option. However, mocktails that use fruits, vegetables, herbs and other nutrient-rich ingredients can have immense health benefits that can improve and boost your immune system.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recommends not drinking alcohol to lower risk of developing cancer. Replacing beverages with mocktails will reduce your alcohol intake, while allowing you to enjoy similar flavors.
It is important to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy mocktail ingredients. Some unhealthy ingredients to look out for include:
- Sugar or corn syrup
- Tonic water
- Energy drinks
- Flavored waters
- Artificial flavorings, sweeteners or colors
- Sweetened juices
When looking for a healthy mocktail to try, check for ingredients such as natural fruit or vegetable juices, mineral waters, spices, herbs, teas, kombucha and whole fruits or vegetables instead.
Some mocktail recipes are also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants play a crucial role in promoting health and well-being due to their ability to combat oxidative stress in the body.
Reasons why antioxidants are important and healthy for your diet:
- Cellular Protection: Antioxidants play a critical role in safeguarding cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, thus maintaining their integrity and function.
- Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of harmful free radicals and the body's ability to neutralize them. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can damage cells and contribute to various health issues, including chronic diseases and aging.
- Disease Prevention: By reducing oxidative stress, antioxidants help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.
- Skin Health: Antioxidants contribute to a radiant complexion and healthier skin by shielding it from environmental damage and supporting tissue repair.
Here are some healthy mocktail recipes to try:
Cranberry Lime Spritzer
This recipe contains cranberries, which are a rich source of antioxidants. It also replaces sugar with a monk fruit sweetener to eliminate added sugars. The American Heart Association recommends reducing intake of added sugars to: 24 grams/day for women and 36 grams/day for men.
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- ⅓ cup monk fruit sweetener
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- Seltzer, cranberries and lime slices for serving
- Combine the cranberries, sweetener and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Using a potato masher, carefully mash the cranberries and let simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a strainer into a heatsafe container. Let cool for 30 minutes.
- Combine the cranberry syrup with the lime juice in a pitcher and stir well.
- Mix equal parts of the drink mix and seltzer. Serve over ice with cranberries and a lime slice.
Pomegranate Grapefruit Mocktail
This recipe contains real fruit juice, including pomegranate which is packed with antioxidants.
- 2 Tbsp grapefruit juice
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate juice
- ¼ tsp liquid sweetener (monk fruit or stevia)
- 3 ounces grapefruit-flavored seltzer
- 1 tsp pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- Add 3 to 4 medium ice cubes to a cocktail shaker along with the grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice and sweetener. Shake well and strain into a glass.
- Top off with the seltzer and pomegranate seeds.
Next Steps & Resources:
- Our source: Tara Piantadosi (Mauro), MS RDN
- To make an appointment with a health care provider near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.