Healthy Spirit Mixers

Healthy Spirit Mixers

Well I’m sure we are all well aware of the negative effects of alcohol, especially when consumed in large quantities. So we should always drink in moderation. This time of year a few drinks with friends and family really adds to the festive feeling. Well at least for me. A couple of drinks helps me to relax and unwind, I know drinking is not for everyone, this article is for the drinkers in the mix.

SO how can we make drinking alcohol healthier? Well of course the first option is to drink less. Break your drinks up with non alcoholic beverages. Personally I love a few drinks followed by a few cups of herbal tea. So remember, have some breaks. 

Secondly what we mix our drinks with makes a huge difference. If your drinking rum and coke and happen  to consume 4 of theses bevies, you’ve had a total of 1 litre of coke equalling 42.4g of sugar = 10.6 teaspoons of sugar not including the sugars in the alcohol. Not to mention all the other nasties in there. 

So here’s a little list of some common mixers and some new idea mixers and their sugar content per 100ml.

BeverageSugar per 100ml    Caffeine per 100ml   Other nasties (preservatives, flavours)
Coca Cola  10.6g11mgYes
Fanta  11.2g Yes
Dry ginger ale  7.6g Yes
Lemonade  11g Yes
Cranberry Juice  12.7g Probably
Orange Juice  9g No (If 100% natural)
Soda Water  0g No
Coconut Water  4g No (If 100% natural)
Kombucha  3.5g2-25mgNo
Green Tea  0g24-45gNo

So heres what I’m suggesting

Rum and Coconut Water

Coconut water is naturally delicious and low in sugar. Rum and coconut water are old tropical friends and this little mixer is my personal favourite.

Advantages – Coconut water is full of electrolytes. This is particularly useful when you live in a hot climate as we sweat a lot of electrolytes. Coconut water helps keep us hydrated, and functioning well. 

Disadvantages – I can’t think of any

Bourbon and Iced Green Tea

This has no sugar (except for what’s in the bourbon) and so is very refreshing and clean. I find the bourbon still carries through a bit so you have to make the green tea very strong.

Advantages to this are of course all the wonderful benefits of green tea, it is a beautiful polyphenol rich and therefore antioxidant rich drink so it will actually protect your body from some of the damaging effects of alcohol. Green tea also supports liver function so will help your body clear the alcohol from your body. And it is a relaxing as well as stimulating beverage. The caffeine is stimulating but the L-theanine is relaxing and reduces anxiety. This is probably a nice combination for many drinkers out there.

Disadvantages: That would be the caffeine. Four cups of strong green tea may be a bit too stimulating for some. It averages between 24-45mg per cup. A cafe bought coffee has 47-75mg.

My partner Rob was complaining about the inferiority of bourbon to whiskey, but he was pretty impressed with this drink.

Whiskey and Kombucha

Well kombucha is the popular kid on the street right now. A fermented green or black tea and sugar drink. The scoby (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) feeds on all the sugar and creates a drink that tastes sweet but has a low sugar content. Also the caffeine from the tea also gets broken down and results in a beverage that has 1’3 the amount of caffeine it originally had.

You can make your own kombucha at home or you can pop into your local health food store and pick up a few bottles

Advantages – Tastes great, full of polyphenol – antioxidants and healthful organic acids which keep your body and your liver healthy. Smaller amounts if caffeine to green tea, but still contains the lovely relaxing L-theanine.

Disadvantages – Caffeine – If your sensitive to it. Cost – It can be expensive to buy. This 600ml bottle cost $6. If you make your own at home it is very cheap, but the trouble is getting started. The shop bought ones also have all the lovely naturally added flavours. My friend Rachael picked this as her favourite.

Vodka, Fresh Lime and Soda

Ditch the lime cordial and just squeeze half a lime or lemon into your vodka and soda. 

Advantages – Cheap, easy and you can even order it at the local pub. 

Disadvantages – None that I can think of. Some may find it not quite sweet or tasty enough, but that’s where the better quality vodka probably helps.