As surprising as it might sound, you don't have to sacrifice flavor when mixing up a healthy cocktail. In fact, there are a plethora of healthy ingredients you can experiment with when crafting a delicious cocktail. And if you use fresh juice (think lime or lemon juice) to create your cocktails, you're already halfway there.
In addition to fresh juice, cocktail-friendly ingredients like kombucha, rose water and sparkling water are low in calories and sugar, and also provide their own individual health benefits.
If you're ready to embrace the healthier side of your favorite sips, the cocktails ahead are brimming with good-for-you ingredients and plenty more.
Honey Roasted Pear Sparkling Cocktail
The Recipe: Honey Roasted Pear Sparkling Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Making honey roasted pears is no easy feat, but your work will certainly pay off with this drink.
Pro Tip: According to Lindsay Cotter of Cotter Crunch, you can use "sparkling wine or grapefruit juice for the non-alcoholic version" of this cocktail.
Why We Love It: With no refined sugar or simple syrup, you can confidently sip the Honey Roasted Pear Sparkling Cocktail with zero guilt.
Gin & Basil Cocktail
The Recipe: Gin & Basil Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Not only does the basil in this cocktail pair well with gin, it also makes for a deliciously fragrant sip.
Pro Tip: At a loss on what type of gin to use? A Couple Cooks recommend picking up a mid-price range bottle. "The better the gin, the better the drink! This basil cocktail is fantastic with lots of different types of gin," they explain. "We typically suggest buying a mid-price range bottle of gin: this is usually indicative of quality."
Why We Love It: With basil plus fresh lemon and lime juice, this cocktail is basically a garden in a glass.
Orange Cranberry Cocktail
The Recipe: Orange Cranberry Cocktail With Champagne
The Hero Ingredient: Champagne and other sparking wines are great for adding bubbles to your cocktail without adding too much extra sugar.
Pro Tip: Unsure of how to expertly rim your glass? Taylor Kiser of Food Faith Fitness is here to help. "Place a martini glass, or Champagne flute, upside down into the Triple Sec, until it just coats the rim," she says. "Then, place the rim of the martini glass into the sugar, gently turning until coated. Shake off any excess and repeat with the remaining glass."
Why We Love It: The addition of fresh cranberries as a garnish makes this cocktail ultra-festive.
Citrus Kombucha Mezcal Cocktail
The Recipe: Citrus Kombucha Mezcal Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Wonderfully smoky and brimming with flavor, mezcal adds the perfect amount of intrigue to this sip.
Pro Tip: Looking to up your probiotics? Cotter Crunch's Lindsay Cotter reveals why this cocktail is perfect for doing just that. "Tequila and Mezcal are made from fermented agave, and fermented foods are really good for the gut and brain," she says. "Now, combine that with probiotic rich fermented drinks (like kombucha), vitamin C rich fruit, and medicinal herbs (like mint), and you’ve got yourself a light and fresh drink to enjoy during happy hour!"
Why We Love It: This cocktail proves that you can pack a number of healthy ingredients into your alcoholic drink without sacrificing taste.
Rhubarb Bellini Prosecco Cocktail
The Recipe: Rhubarb Bellini Prosecco Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: An easy-to-make, homemade rhubarb compote adds just the right amount of sweetness to this sparkling drink.
Pro Tip: Flavour And Savour's Elaine Nessman offers these super easy directions for those planning on making their own rhubarb compote: "To make rhubarb compote, put 2 cups chopped rhubarb stalks in a medium pot with 3 tbsp water and 2 tbsp maple syrup. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Purée in a blender and store in the refrigerator."
Why We Love It: Once you fall in love with the homemade rhubarb compote in this cocktail, you can use the compote in a number of other sips.
Winter Citrus Tequila Smash
The Recipe: Winter Citrus Tequila Smash
The Hero Ingredient: The addition of mint helps balance out the variety of citrus fruits used in the Winter Citrus Tequila Smash.
Pro Tip: If you're feeling a little under the weather, whipping up this cocktail could prove helpful. "As you can tell from the ingredients (and even just the vibrant color), this cocktail packs in the vitamin C and antioxidants. It will keep your immune system strong," says Half Baked Harvest's Tieghan Gerard.
Why We Love It: You can't help but fall head over heels for a cocktail that's both delicious and good for you.
The Recipe: Pomegranate Spritzers
The Hero Ingredient: Hibiscus tea serves as the delicious, unexpected ingredient in this bubbly cocktail.
Pro Tip: While the original cocktail is booze-less, Sarah Cook of Making Thyme For Health reveals how you can easily make an alcoholic version. "If you prefer a boozy version, you can add a little vodka or replace the soda water with dry champagne," she divulges.
Why We Love It: This sip is tart, bubbly and boozy...all of which make for a stellar cocktail.
Coconut Blueberry Mojito
The Recipe: Coconut Blueberry Mojito With Strawberries
The Hero Ingredient: Blueberries and strawberries are both very familiar fruit, but this recipe also calls for monkfruit, which serves as a great sweetener.
Pro Tip: If you're new to monkfruit, which you probably are, Food Faith Fitness' Taylor Kiser provides this measurement recommendation: "Divide the monkfruit (I like 2 tsp per mojito, but you can start with less if you like) between the 2 glasses."
Why We Love It: The use of both familiar and unfamiliar fruit creates a truly unique cocktail.
Peach Basil Kombucha Sangria
The Recipe: Peach Basil Kombucha Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Plain kombucha adds just the right amount of fizz without altering this wine cocktail's flavor.
Pro Tip: If you prefer not to water your cocktail down with ice, Hello Glow provides this tip: "Serve over ice (or frozen peaches if you would rather not water down your sangria) and garnish with extra basil."
Why We Love It: A unique take on sangria, this sip is sure to impress during an at-home brunch.
Rose And Ginger Paloma
The Recipe: Rose And Ginger Paloma
The Hero Ingredient: Ginger is known to add a bit of spice and everything nice. And a splash of ginger beer in this cocktail does just that.
Pro Tip: Half Baked Harvest's Tieghan Gerard offers the 4-1-1 on rose water for those who may not be familiar. "If you’re new to rose water, it’s a really great ingredient to have in your pantry and can be used in a lot of Middle Eastern inspired dishes," she reveals. "It’s really healthy to drink, and great to incorporate into our diets for healthier skin."
Why We Love It: Rose water can prove a little tricky as a cocktail ingredient, but this recipe effortlessly incorporates the drink.