5 Mocktails And Cocktails For Summer

Looking for some fun summer cocktails (or mocktails) with a healthy twist? You’ve come to the right place! Here I’ll give you the recipes for my top 5 summer cocktails and mocktails.

Summertime calls for cool, refreshing drinks. Whether you’re having friends over, grilling in the back yard or just looking for something fun to sip on during a date night in, I’ve got you covered. These drinks are chock-full of real, nutritious ingredients to help you chill out and enjoy some summer fun!

How to Make a Healthy Cocktail

While there are quite a few fun cocktail recipes out there for summer, it’s a bit harder to find one that isn’t packed with added sugar.

Ingredients like simple syrup, the juice from concentrate and pre-made cocktail mixes are the usual culprits. By swapping out these ingredients and instead of using freshly squeezed juices, real fruit, herbs, and natural sweeteners, you keep the same great taste and ditch the high sugar content.

Just like with anything else, it’s all about moderation when it comes to alcohol. It is perfectly possible to include alcohol within a healthy lifestyle. With that being said, it’s important to know your limits and understand how alcohol impacts the body in terms of both digestion and metabolism. We discuss alcohol in terms of health in our Is Alcohol Unhealthy? article if you want to read a bit more on the subject.

Stevia Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is probably one of the most common cocktail components. For those of you that have a sweet tooth or simply prefer sweeter beverages, don’t worry – I have a substitute for you!

Making a homemade simple syrup out of stevia rather than sugar is a great alternative. If you’re curious about stevia and want to learn more about why it’s a viable sweetener, you can find it in our Nutrition Stripped Health Index.

To make stevia simple syrup, simply combine 2 cups of water with 1/4 cup of stevia and stir until all of the stevia has dissolved. Next, bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, remove the mixture from heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Voila! You now have a stevia simple syrup to use in place of traditional simple syrup.

5 Mocktails And Cocktails For Summer

Now onto the good stuff! All of these recipes will make just one serving. If you would rather make a mocktail, you can simply replace the alcohol with an unsweetened seltzer of your choice. Additionally, the stevia simple syrup is completely optional. If you don’t need the extra boost of sweetness, feel free to opt-out.

Cucumber Mint Twist

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cucumber in the summer! Not only does it taste great in a drink, but cucumbers are also made up of about 96% water and packed with antioxidants.

We’ve talked quite a bit about antioxidants here at NS, but to give you a recap, our bodies need antioxidants to fight off free radicals. Different food items have different antioxidants present, but as a whole, antioxidants can help prevent conditions like heart disease and some types of cancer. In a nutshell – they’re the good guys.

Cucumbers are a cool, refreshing way to add a hint of flavor to any cocktail or mocktail. This is my take on a healthy alternative to the traditional Cucumber Collins!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce stevia simple syrup
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1-ounce gin
  • Seltzer water to finish
  • Cucumber slice to garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour the lemon juice and stevia simple syrup into a shaker or mason jar along with cucumber slices and mint leaves. Muddle the ingredients together with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon.
  2. Add gin and fill the shaker or mason jar with ice. Cap whichever tool you are using and shake to combine.
  3. Strain the mixture into a glass and top with seltzer water to finish.
  4. Garnish with a cucumber slice and serve.

Berry Smash

If you like sweet, summery drinks, this one’s for you. Berries are also packed with antioxidants and quite a bit of fiber. When muddled, they’re a great way to add a boost of nutrition to any drink.

The Berry Smash is the perfect summer cocktail or mocktail to have with your favorite summer salad, mine is the Antioxidant Summer Salad!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce stevia simple syrup
  • 6 raspberries
  • 5 blackberries
  • 1-ounce vodka
  • Seltzer water to finish
  • Lime wedge to garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour the lime juice and stevia simple syrup into a shaker or mason jar along with raspberries and blueberries. Muddle the ingredients together with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon.
  2. Add vodka and fill the shaker or mason jar with ice. Cap whichever tool you are using and shake to combine.
  3. Strain the mixture into a glass and top with seltzer water to finish.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Summer Sangria

Sangria is a great way to switch up your usual glass of wine in the summer. Traditionally, sangria is a wine punch derived from Spain. By swapping out the usual red wine for an organic option and the juice for kombucha or seltzer, we’re left with a punch that has fewer sulfites, minimal sugar, and more antioxidants. This is a great quick read if you want to learn a little more from a sommelier about organic wine.

When it comes to the type of organic red wine you use, stick to what you know! Sangria is extremely versatile, if you know you love a particular type of red wine, chances are you’ll like it in the sangria as well.

The same goes for kombucha here. While it’s a great source of healthy bacteria (particularly of the lactic-acid family) and has some antioxidants present as well – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re not a fan of kombucha on its own, I wouldn’t recommend adding it to your sangria. Instead, try using seltzer water, unsweetened lemon seltzer water tastes great in this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of organic red wine
  • 1 cup strawberry kombucha (naturally sweetened) or 1 cup unsweetened lemon seltzer water
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 small white peaches chopped
  • 1 lime sliced
  • 1 orange sliced
  • Unsweetened lemon seltzer water to finish

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients, except the seltzer water, in a large pitcher and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
  2. When you’re ready to serve, fill wine glasses 3/4 of the way with sangria and top with lemon seltzer water to finish.

Strawberry Basil Mojito

Add basil to anything and I’m all for it! Basil is a powerful herb that can have anti-inflammatory benefits, antimicrobial properties and, you guessed it, plenty of antioxidants to go around. Strawberries and mint are great additions as well. Mint, in particular, is great for indigestion and calming an upset stomach.

I love that a traditional mojito doesn’t include any straining – the mint leaves and lime are both kept in the drink for an extra boost of nutrition. This summer cocktail or mocktail recipe is a little twist on the traditional mojito!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lime cut into 4 wedges
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 large strawberries
  • 1/2 ounce stevia simple syrup
  • 1-ounce white rum
  • Seltzer water to finish

Directions:

  1. Place the mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a shaker or mason jar. Muddle the ingredients together with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon.
  2. Add 2 more lime wedges along with the basil, strawberries and stevia simple syrup then muddle the ingredients again.
  3. Add rum and fill the shaker or mason jar with ice. Cap whichever tool you are using and shake to combine.
  4. Pour the entire mixture into a glass and top with seltzer water to finish.
  5. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge and serve.

Grapefruit Crush

While margaritas get quite a bit of praise in the summer cocktails and mocktails category, a variation of the La Paloma is one of my personal favorites. The fresh grapefruit juice keeps it light and refreshing while also giving off a light pink hue that screams summertime.

This is my take on a healthy alternative to the traditional La Paloma!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1-ounce stevia simple syrup
  • Seltzer water to finish
  • Lime wedge to garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice and stevia simple syrup into a shaker or mason jar and fill with ice. Cap whichever tool you are using and shake to combine.
  2. Strain the mixture into a glass and top with seltzer water to finish.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Connect With Us

What’s your favorite summer cocktail or mocktail? Have you made simple syrup stevia before? I would love to hear about your experience with summer drinks, and I’m sure someone else reading this would too! Let us know if you try any of these recipes as well – you can tag us on Instagram via @nutritionstrippederica@nutritionstripped, #nutritionstripped, and #nswellnesscoaching.

Cheers!

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