Healthy Cocktails for your Fourth of July!
Hey-o! Today on the blog we're talking - you guessed it- healthy cocktails. Let's be honest here. The Fourth of July holiday usually turns into an uncontrollable eating frenzy. Either you are too drunk to remember what you ate or you found yourself pounding Grandma's cheesecake because she told you that you were too skinny and could afford to have another slice. (Oh, that's never happened to you? Just me? Ok.)
For me, it's a lose-lose at family holidays and get-togethers. Without fail, there are going to be so many delicious treats and dishes that I won't be able to stop myself from the inevitable involuntary inhale. But, at the time, shouldn't you enjoy every sandwich? Many times, I would suggest that you allow yourself a small amount of grace. It is a holiday after all! But, some things we can take into our own hands - and having subpar cocktails because we are watching our caloric intake - is not something that has to happen!
If you are a fan of vodka, I would highly recommend my Watermelon Mint Spritzer.
Light, refreshing, fruity. A few of my favorite things. If you haven't tried it already, the watermelon flavor of Waterloo Sparking Water, you're clearly missing out. It gives a light watermelon taste without being filled with tons of preservatives and fake flavors. And bonus - the sparkling water gives a little refreshing fizz!
Crush in a bit of fresh watermelon and mint and you're suddenly sitting on a Cabo beach watching the sunset.
If you're looking to really up the ante, grab yourself some fun ice cube trays and freeze the watermelon puree for flavored ice cubes for your drink! I'm a huge fan of the ice ball that slowly melts watermelon goodness (or ice) into your drink! In fact, who needs a drink? Just pour a little vodka (or tequila) around the watermelon ball and sip it slowly! You'll thank me later, I promise.
Full recipe - Watermelon Mint Spritzer
If tequila is more up your alley (or your family and friends drive you to drink it), then let's start drinking some Ranch Water!
To be honest, I'm not sure where the term Ranch Water came from, but it seems fitting for a drink from Texas!
My love affair with Topo Chico ranges long and far and it isn't any surprise that Topo is the perfect substitute in a drink that otherwise is full of sugar and calories. Consider Topo Chico to be your low-calorie BFF. Because, if we're truly being honest here, if you drink a quality tequila (and by that, I mean the kind that doesn't eat through the bottom of a metal bucket), you don't need to hide it behind a bunch of sugary goo.
Ranch water takes the best things about margaritas (Tequila. Tequila. And, I guess lime.) and puts them at the forefront. I personally don't like my drinks overly sugar-filled, but if you need a bit of sweetener, a small drizzle of honey will give this a sweet taste without spiking your blood sugar to the sun.
Full recipe - Ranch Water
Did I hear someone ask me where the GD whiskey was? Yes, you in the back! I've got one for you as well. Of course, this list wouldn't be complete without at least one drink that I think a man would drink.
I'm a huge fan of your classic whiskey old-fashioned. Something about whiskey and sweet, sticky fruit all smashed together into a glass makes me joyous. If I see it on a menu, I'm probably going to order it - especially if it's some interesting combination of flavors.
But, at home? It's a lot of ingredients I don't usually keep in a home bar because it's use to space ratio doesn't work for me. Sweet vermouth? Meh.
Instead, the summer is the perfect time to reach for fresh fruits and berries to include in cocktails in lieu of the traditional pre-packaged mixers. The Blackberry Whiskey Mash uses fresh blackberries and mint, with just a hint of orange?/lime? to create a cocktail perfect for sipping on a front porch.
Full recipe - Blackberry Whiskey Mash
Thinking about trying one of my recipes? Let me know how they taste below!
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Photos: David Lemon Photography