Even though you don't have to cut out alcohol entirely when you're on a diet (there are several tricks to making low-calorie cocktails), it's certainly the healthier option. Make the transition to cocktail-free a little easier by becoming a "mocktail" maestro, using fresh ingredients and smart substitutes to create flavorful beverage alternatives.
Paulette Lambert, the California Health and Longevity Institute's Director for Nutrition, recently shared some helpful tips for making healthy "mocktails" at home, as well as recipes for three she helped create for the Four Seasons Hotel West Lake Village.
1. Have real fresh fruit or real fruit juice with no added sugar.
2. Limit fruit juices to no more than four fluid ounces due to sugar content (whole fruits have fiber that decrease glycemic load).
3. The healthiest fruits are those high in antioxidants: all berries, grapes, melons, dark orange or red fruits (apricots, peaches, mango, papaya), and all citrus fruits.
4. Use additional fresh herbs, citrus zest, and spices for added concentrated antioxidants and flavor punch; mint, basil, lemon, orange, lime, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom to name a few.
5. Use calorie-free mixers such as sparkling water or diet tonic water for added volume.