Superfoods such as kale and quinoa have been on the health-conscious eater’s radar for some time. Nowadays, people are ditching calorific and sugar-filled pints and spirits and moving more towards healthier alternatives – superfood cocktails. Here in the UK, the revelation of just how much sugar hides in our drinks shocked the nation, leading to talks of a sugar tax and healthy substitutes.
Superfood cocktails offer health-conscious consumers a delicious alternative with the added benefits of vitamins and antioxidants. Some of the highest calorie cocktails include the much-loved Long Island Iced Tea, which, mixed with rum, gin, triple sec, sweet and sour mix, and coke contains around 700 calories and 33g of sugar, taking up most of your recommended guideline daily amount. Margaritas, White Russians and Pina Coladas also top the list of the most sugary and calorific cocktails.
Consumers are now more aware than ever of what ingredients go into their food. They want to know how it is sourced and prepared as well as what the health benefits or implications are. So why should drinks be any different? Instead of indulging in a sugary alternative such as a cosmopolitan, why not try a healthier, refreshing berry sangria?
What are superfood cocktails?
Superfood cocktails incorporate natural ingredients to create a less sugary alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) beverage. Using fresh ingredients such as blueberries, cranberries, cucumber, and mango can bring some wonderful added benefits to happy hour. If you’re feeling adventurous, you don’t even have to stick to sweet ingredients. Fans of kale, beetroot, carrot, and wheatgrass can mix these into a delicious summer superfood cocktail.
Although Europe’s first ever superfood cocktail bar, Tanya’s Café, opened in 2014 in Chelsea, the trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down. With the help of food bloggers, people are enthusiastic about preparing their own superfood cocktail recipes at home, but this is a golden opportunity for bars and restaurants to get on board too.
Some of the UK’s plushest cocktail bars are already creating unusual yet healthy concoctions for their customers. An article by Metro.co.uk shared some of the UK’s top superfood cocktail creations, such as Rocket Restaurants’ green tea and mint daiquiri, which is just 110 calories and Canary Wharf bar Plateau’s quinoa-based vodka, kiwi and cucumber cocktail. However, this trend isn’t just for the big-name bars, smaller bars and independent businesses need to get in on the action. Consumers now more than ever want the option to eat and drink healthily and take in their daily dose of vitamins and antioxidants. Why not make it fun with a cocktail?
Superfood cocktail recipes
Classic mojitos, while not particularly high-calorie, can be greatly improved by adding blueberries. With high levels of antioxidants, vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre, and manganese, blueberries may be small, but they have massive health benefits.
1 cup of fresh blueberries
Juice from two fresh limes
Method: Add the blueberries, lime juices and mint leaves to a cocktail shaker. Use the end of a wooden spoon or a cocktail muddler to crush the ingredients together. Add the rum and pour into a glass filled with ice. Leave space to add a dash of soda water at the end.
Goji Berry Infused Vodka Martini
Goji berries, with high levels of antioxidants, the ability to lift your energy and stabilise blood sugar, are perfect for creating healthy cocktails, such as the delicious goji berry vodka martini.
1 ounce of goji berry infused vodka (see method below)
Orange or lemon zest
Method: Firstly, to make the goji berry infused vodka, combine one cup of vodka and half a cup of dried goji berries in a sealable glass jar and store in a dark, cool place for one week. Be sure to try it at intervals to decide whether it is infused to your taste. To create the martini, add the infused vodka with some orange zest (or lemon if preferred), acai juice and a splash of tonic.
Matcha green tea is packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, and also boosts your energy and immune system. Use this superfood to swap the unnecessary calories of a Pina Colada for something much healthier yet equally delicious.
1/2 teaspoon Matcha green tea powder
35ml fresh pineapple juice
10ml Agave syrup
50ml coconut milk
Low GI natural sweetener
Method: Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth and serve.