What is it about cocktails that delights everyone so much? The novelty? The look of them? How they taste? Or is it something else? With artisan cocktails becoming the next juicy trend, you’ll soon be seeing them everywhere, and you might even consider making a few yourself when you have get-togethers (or even just because you fancy it). So why cocktails and what can they do for us?
Low Calorie but Not Boring
Reducing the number of calories we consume each day and upping the amount of exercise we do is the best way to lose weight, should we need to. That can often mean cutting out alcohol altogether because, unfortunately, it does contain a high number of those pesky calories. Unless, of course, you opt for low calorie drinks such as vodka and diet tonic, for example. And that’s just a bit dull and can make that diet seem much worse than it really is.
Cocktails are another matter. Due to the different flavors used within them, having a low calorie cocktail is not an issue at all – they’ll taste just as interesting and exciting as a standard one, but with less guilt attached! So the next time you head to the Parrot Bar at the Beaverbrook Hotel you can take your pick of the cocktails on offer and your diet doesn’t have to suffer because of it.
Extra Vitamin C
This sounds like a bit of a joke, but it’s actually true. Because cocktails have a lot more fruit juices and real chunks of fruit (either in the drink itself or as a garnish) in them, you’re taking in much more vitamin C than you normally would. Of course, we’d never advocate that you should drink more than is good for you just to get some vitamins inside you, but they certainly don’t hurt. If you find it hard to get your five a day, this is at least something. You can top up with other fruit and veg throughout the day and then you’re all done.
Why vitamin C? Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins we need to keep ourselves healthy. It helps to build collagen, which is the structural material for blood vessels, skin, bones, and pretty much all the other tissues in the body. Without enough vitamin C, skin can seem grey and scaly, you can suffer from nosebleeds and painful joints – you could even contract scurvy which, although it sounds as though it’s something only pirates can get, is still prevalent today. Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing some cancers and it’s good for the heart and arteries as well. So all in all, getting enough vitamin C is a good idea, and if a cocktail or two can boost your intake, then that’s all positive. If you want to pack in some of this great vitamin, why not pop into Christopher’s for their refreshingly good Skinny Pink Grapefruit cocktail – only 125 calories!
In a cocktail – a properly mixed, professionally done, artisan cocktail – it’s not the alcohol that really makes the difference; it’s the mixers. There is always going to be more mixer than alcohol in a cocktail (plus the fruit and so on as well, of course), so this is the part that you need to pay attention to. The good news is that there are plenty of healthy mixers around that can be added to your drink.
Take tonic water, for example. This contains quinine (that’s what makes it taste bitter) and that’s a natural product that prevents malaria (and guess what? Gin and tonic was originally a medicine. It was invented by the British army in the 1600s. The soldiers had to take quinine as an anti-malarial, but on its own, it tasted pretty dreadful so that mixed it with gin to take the edge off).
Ginger is another useful mixer. It has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-nausea, and antibacterial properties, plus it contains plenty of vitamins A, B, C, and E. If extra vitamins are what you’re after, take a trip to Tanya’s Café, Europe’s first-superfood cocktail bar.
Many spirits are made from all natural ingredients and the lack of chemicals is always going to be better for you. Gin is an obvious choice when it comes to herbal drinks; it’s made with juniper berries and can include loads of other herbs and fruits including sage, nutmeg, lemongrass, rosemary, and citrus peel and fruit. All of these things are good for you, boosting your immune system and neutralizing free radicals in your body.
As you can clearly see, exchanging your pint of beer or glass of wine for an exciting artisan cocktail in beautiful surroundings has plenty of benefits; you might even find a flavor that becomes your ultimate favorite!
Contributed By: Leanne White – A freelance writer with a love for travel. When she’s not looking for hidden restaurants and bars, you’ll find her head in a good book.