Toast Your Good Health with a Low Calorie Mocktail

Some cocktails can be as high in kilojoules as a burger, so next time you’re celebrating, consider an alcohol-free 'mocktail' instead.

Drinking alcohol can undo a lot of good work when you’re watching your weight or creating healthy new habits, but the good news is there are fun non-alcoholic options around.
Mocktails are anything but dull. Colourful, creative, often healthier and definitely festive, the non-alcoholic cocktail packs plenty of party punch.
 
Accredited Bupa dietitian Rosalyn D’Angelo says alcohol is “energy dense”, which translates as kilojoules – and plenty of them. Drinks with alcohol and high sugar content, like a pina colada, could contain up to 2,000 kilojoules, which is roughly the same amount of energy as a big hamburger.

Moderation is key

Even for those not watching their weight, the National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that healthy men and women limit their alcohol intake to no more than two standard drinks on any given day to avoid potential health issues in the long term, such as high blood pressure, some cancers, diabetes, heart disease and more. 

Having at least two alcohol free days can benefit your health even more.
And on party nights we should limit ourselves to no more than four standard drinks to reduce our risk of alcohol related injury.
 
So, Friday drinks at work might be the perfect time for a mocktail if you’re also planning to share a good bottle of wine with your partner over dinner on Saturday night.
 
The mocktail also works well for those mindful of not mixing medication and alcohol, as well as women keeping a pregnancy under wraps and people who simply choose not to drink alcohol. 
 
“To ensure we are choosing a healthier option, we still need to watch what we put in our mocktail, as some can contain a lot of sugar and could even contain the same amount of energy as an alcoholic beverage,” D’Angelo warns. 
 
Try her tips and recipes for mixing a magic mocktail.
margaritas

Recipes

  • Whip up a mock mojito by combining soda water, the juice of a lime and crushed mint. (The real thing includes sugar syrup and rum.)
  • For winter nights, a virgin mary is a warm alternative to the vodka-based bloody mary. Combine tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and a dash of lemon juice and garnish with a slice of lemon and a celery stick.
  • Go daiquiri style by blending frozen fruits (berries and mango are great choices), juice from a lime, a tablespoon of honey, water and crushed ice.
  • For another taste of the tropics blend diet lemonade with fresh strawberries, a banana and ice cubes and top with fresh lemon or mint leaves.
  • For some zing, combine soda water and lime juice with thinly sliced cucumber.

Tips

  • Serve mocktails in an appropriate glass – a champagne flute for non-alcoholic sparkling apple juice or a mock mimosa of real orange juice and mineral water, and a highball glass for other mocktails.
  • Where possible, choose real fruit over store-bought juice to add fibre and cut down on sugar.
  • Look for diet versions of popular mixers such as lemonade and lemon squash.
  • When hosting, include mocktails in the drinks offered to guests.

Now all that’s left is to ask, “Mocktail, anyone?”
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