Sugar laden cocktails might taste fabulous, but they don’t do much for the waistline. Luckily stripped down versions, without the syrups and sweet juices don’t have to be void of flavour.
Instead of sugary soda consider adding certain herbs, fruit or vegetables, like mint, citrus and cucumber, to add complexity without sugar.
We’ve picked five favourites that will get you buzzing but won’t leave you bloated.
Just as infused water is all the rage so are infused cocktails.
Ingredients for a pitcher:
2 cups of club soda
1/2 cup vodka
2 cups of sliced cucumber
1 cup of strawberries
Mint for garnish
Combine all of the ingredients in a large pitcher and place in the fridge for an hour to let the fruit flavour the water.
Whether you want this shaken or stirred this flavour filled cocktail is a winner.
Ingredients for a single martini
4 2” pieces of watermelon
2 ounces of vodka
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
5 ice cubes
1.Blend the watermelon up in a blender and puree until it’s smooth.
2. Strain the juice into a cocktail shaker.
3. Add the vodka, peppercorns and basil to the shaker and muddle the ingredients (This means to press the ingredients against the side of the shaker using a muddler).
4. Add the ice cubes and shake again.
5. Strain the cocktail into a martini glass.
Red wine berry spritzer
If you want to avoid spirits then this is the cocktail for you.
Ingredients for one spritzer
3 strawberries cut in half
1/2 teaspoon of honey
Juice of half a lime
2 parts red wine (Merlot or Shiraz work well)
1 part club soda
Mint for garnish
4 ice cubes
1. Put the ice cubes, strawberries and blueberries in a glass.
2. Add honey and lime juice and mix.
3. Add the wine and stir before topping it off with soda and a sprig of mint.
Cucumber is often served with a gin and tonic but this cocktail is actually made with cucumber juice.
Ingredients for one cocktail
1.5 oz gin
1.5 oz cucumber juice
4 cucumber slices
3 mint leaves
3oz tonic water
1. Cut some cucumber slices using a mandolin.
2. Add the mint leaves, cucumber slices and lime wedge to a shaker and very gently muddle the mixture without messing up the cucumber strips.
3. Juice half a cucumber in a juicer.
4. Add the gin and cucumber juice to the shaker and shake until blended.
5. Pour over ice and garnish with the mint.
Add a bit of punch to your Prosecco with some peach and berries.
Ingredients for a pitcher of punch
3 cups of chilled Prosecco
2 cups of chilled peach nectar
1 cup of raspberries
1/2 cup of blueberries
1. Whisk the Prosecco and peach nectar together in a large pitcher.
2. Serve over raspberries, blueberries and a little ice if you fancy it.