Working in the beverage industry is hard on the health. Drinks, too much dipped, battered, and fried bar food, and being up till the wee hours of the morning can’t be great for anyone on a consistent basis. So, six weeks ago I signed on for a health challenge with a local gym. I agreed to the strict workout plan as well as a protein heavy diet. Of course, that meant giving up something that I enjoy almost nightly in one form or another. Alcohol. What kind of diet doesn’t allow alcohol? Answer is all of them. Unfortunately, alcohol is on the big list of no-nos if you want to get fit, healthy, or just need a break.
The choice to pursue a healthy lifestyle is always worth a standing ovation. However, making big changes can be difficult. For myself as well as many others, cutting out alcohol can change social outings, how the day ends, and how they generally unwind after a stressful day. Having a drink is a social experience. However, walk into just about any bar and your non-alcoholic options are slim to sugary. I know that forbidden s-word in the realm of health. Usually you have the option of sodas, tea, lemonade, or the ever-infamous seltzer and lime. Asking for a non-alcoholic cocktail could land you with a Shirley Temple, which does nothing to enhance your bar experience or make you feel like a grown up. Basically, your options are low.
Luckily there is a non-alcoholic revolution taking place and the next big thing in drinks looks to be people not drinking…alcohol that is. There is even a company, Seedlip, that has crafted the world’s first non-alcoholic distilled spirit and brought their philosophy of elevating the mocktail to a sophisticated balance sweet, savory, and herbaceous to bars in the UK as well as California and New York. You may have seen my Instagram video about discovering this out of the box new product. I’m still perplexed by it and spent a fair portion of my six-week challenge toying with recipes and applications for one of the Seedlip flavors (Garden 108). I’ve already ordered the second flavor (Spice 94) and reordered the Garden 108. I think I love this stuff and am happily making a permanent spot for it on my home bar. It’s delicious with just soda water, like a gin and tonic sans well... gin.
As my challenge comes to a close, I get to reflect on the progress I’ve made and the changes I want to make moving forward. Discovering that a glass of wine or cocktail was a way to signal the end of my day, not a necessity was a big takeaway. Finding out that I could have the same effect from a mocktail without breaking my diet and that this was a change I wanted to take past the challenge was a surprise. Though I still plan to enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail every so often, I do plan to enjoy a few more nights sans alcohol. Who knows maybe one of these recipes will inspire you. Please enjoy these 10 recipes of elevated mocktails to curb your cocktail cravings while staying dry!
I wish I had coconuts on hand to drink this tropical combo out of, and maybe a hammock, and a tropical breeze. Someone just send me to the Caribbean. The sweet blend of pineapple with coconut water is mellowed by the quick bite of lime juice to balance it all out. Excuse me, an island state of mind is calling.
2oz. Pineapple Juice
2oz. Lime Juice
In a tumbler (or better yet a coconut) pour the pineapple juice and lime juice over ice. Fill to the brim with coconut water and enjoy!
My challenge has ended since starting the research for this post, but the big takeaway from the whole experience is that sometimes you don’t want a drink. You want something to signify the end of your day. Something to sit back and sip on that says good job, you made it through and now it’s time to relax. Normally this would be a beer, a glass of wine, or on a bad day whiskey neat. However, by pushing myself to not have alcohol I found that these mocktails gave me the same satisfaction. Cheers!
Celebrating all that we raise, sip, guzzle, clink, drinks and most affectionately cheers with!