Summer’s here – huzzah! As the temperatures go up a notch or two and invites to outdoor social engagements increase, no need to feel left out as everyone around sips their fancy cocktails. 8fit’s in-house nutrition crew put together a refreshing assortment of healthy mocktails for summer that’ll keep the calories in check, the flavor cranked at full blast and the hangover at bay. Each of these four healthy adaptations of cocktail classics, created with natural sweeteners and hydrating ingredients, allow you to indulge this summer without compromising your weight loss goals.
But that’s not all. We don’t want your blood sugar levels to rollercoaster, so 8fit’s Coach Lisa (one of the minds behind our nutritious tailored meal plans available to you when you go Pro), put her nutritional thinking cap on and paired each alcohol-free summer cocktail with a scrumptious snack or two.
Note: All recipes below make two drinks.
Cool as a cucumber
Guess the title says it all. This alcohol-free spin on a Southside cocktail, will keep you hydrated and refreshed when the heat’s really got you beat. Cucumbers are more than 90% H2O and bursting to the brim with electrolytes, which will help you combat dehydration in the summer sun. The lime provides more than a splash of tartness – it’ loaded with heart-healthy vitamin C to boost your immune system. Soothing mint tops off this flavorful virgin cocktail adding even more antioxidant attributes.
Cool as a Cucumber
- 1/4 cucumber
- 2 Tbsp raw honey
- 1/4 cup soda water
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 3-4 large ice cubes
- 1/4 crusted ice per serving
- 2 springs fresh mint (optional)
- Peel and remove seeds from cucumber, then chop into thin slices — setting a few slices aside for garnish at the end
- Blend lime juice, one sprig of mint, cucumber and honey in a blender until smooth; If you don’t have a blender, you may muddle ingredients
- Add crushed ice into two glasses and pour mixture on top
- Top each glass off with soda water or cold tea
- Garnish with cucumber slices, lime wedges and mint leaves if desired
Mocktail snack pairing: Try the Summer Rolls with Tofu from the 8fit recipe book.
Nothing feels as good as biting into a plump, juicy peach right? In addition to peaches being summertime fruit superstars, studies have shown that their skin and pulp have innate cancer-fighting properties. We’ve added maple syrup to intensify the sweet peachy notes and boost antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits thanks to it’s zinc and manganese content.
You may be wondering, “What in the world vinegar is doing in this cocktail?!” Fear not, there is a method to the madness here. Nowadays mixologists have started to substitute simple syrups – often a staple in most cocktail recipes – with sweetened vinegar-based syrups called shrubs for a low-sugar spin on mixed drinks. However, not everyone will have shrubs on hand, nor have time to concoct them. If that’s the case, apple cider vinegar is a great substitute as it has shrub-like qualities — plus it’s antibacterial too.
- 1 medium peach
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup soda water
- 3-4 large ice cubes
- Wash, chop, and remove pits from the peaches and add to blender with the maple syrup and and ginger
- Once blended, add apple cider vinegar to peach mixture and blend once more.
- Serve it straight away or, if you have time, cool in the fridge overnight,
- Pour into two glasses over 3-4 ice cubes and top off with soda water
Mocktail snack pairing: Pair this drink with our Savory Crackers with Cucumber.
This strawberry summer mocktail is a guaranteed home run. You can use ripe or frozen strawberries, whatever tickles your fancy, as both will deliver the correct flavor profile of this drink and provide the fiber and vitamins necessary to help increase your good cholesterol (HDL). The Modena vinegar is a nod to the Italian gourmet pairing of strawberries and balsamic vinegar and lends this drink its sweet-sour edge. The balsamic is also rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals and prevent cell damage.
- ½ cup frozen strawberries
- 2 tsp Modena balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 cup soda water
- 6 mint leaves (plus more for garnish)
- 4 fresh strawberries to garnish
- In a blender, add the honey, vinegar, frozen strawberries and mint
- Blend until smooth and pour into two glasses
- Add chilled soda water
- Wash, remove stems and cut two fresh strawberries in half and mix into drink
- Garnish with the rest of the strawberries and mint
Mocktail snack pairing: This mocktail is perfect with our Basil and Goat Cheese Tomato Bites.
Virgin piña colada
A list of summery mocktails wouldn’t be complete without the cult classic: the piña colada – or in this case, the virgin variant. Depending on how you like your mocktail you can choose coconut water, coconut milk or coconut cream. Remember, the creamier, the more calories. If you go the coconut cream route, you’ll not only enjoy a thicker texture but will also benefit from its antibacterial and antiviral components, while coconut water is known for its hydrating qualities and potassium content.
Pineapple epitomizes summer and is absolutely essential in a piña colada. This luscious tropical fruit not only tastes sensational but is the Swiss army knife of nutritionally beneficial foods. Pineapples reduce inflammation in the joints and muscles, boost the immune system, aid digestion and support respiratory health.That’s one hard-working fruit!
Virgin Piña Colada
- 1 cup fresh pineapple (use frozen if you don’t have fresh on hand)
- 5-6 ice cubes — exclude if using frozen pineapple
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk/water or ¼ cup of coconut cream plus ¼ cup water
- 1 Tbsp agave syrup
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
- Place pineapple into a blender
- Add the coconut water/milk/cream, agave syrup, and coconut flakes and blend together until smooth;
- Add ¼ cup of water if using coconut cream,
- Chill the glasses by filling them with crushed ice or freezing them before use (optional),
- Pour into two glasses and garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge
Mocktail snack pairing: Pair our piña colada mocktail with Coconut Shrimp with Mango.