One te-kilo, two te-kilo, three te-kilo, four. Five te-kilo, six te-kilo…you get where this is going. Alcohol, while being fun, is not always good for you. And sure, drinking a glass of wine a day may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, but what about ten cocktails?
Cocktails are the desserts of the bar menu. They’re delicious, celebratory and full of sugar. But that being said, some cocktails are certainly better for you than others. And since we enjoy a cosmopolitan as much as the next Carrie Bradshaw, we just need to learn how to spot them. So, we sat down with owner and chef at O’Bar & Dining, Michael Moore (who’s somewhat of a conscious cocktail expert) to help us out.
At O, Moore and his team have recently launched a new “healthy” cocktail menu, proving that bartending isn’t exempt from the wellness scene. Instead of sugary syrups and high fructose juices, the range uses natural ingredients, ripe seasonal produce and sugar alternatives. You’ll find black barley miso alongside scorched agave and barrel blended rum, yuzu citrus marmalade paired with mezcal and even wild lime kombucha with fairtrade quinoa vodka.
To find out how to read a cocktail menu with health-conscious eyes, keep scrolling and prepare to up your party-girl skills.
1What would you say are the unhealthiest cocktail choices?
So many cocktails are just lolly water packed full of sugar. Long drinks are mostly topped up with ginger beer and lemonade
Also, pina coladas, which are full of juice and coconut cream are not the best
2What are the healthiest?
Strangely a classic martini is almost just alcohol with low carb and no sugar. Fresh fruit muddled drinks are also great as they tend to be high in fibre and the sugar is natural. We also sweeten drinks with honey and agave nectar, both of which have a lower GI.
When reading a cocktail menu, look for short drinks with no syrups and fresh fruits. If you can find ones with added grains and fibre – like ours – that’s great too.
3When buying alcohol from a store, are there ingredients we should we be mindful of avoiding?
Just simply try to avoid sugar, it’s the easiest measure.
4How about when making them at home? Any great healthy ingredients we should always have on hand?
I like to use soda water rather than lemonade, fresh fruit and herbs. Chillies can add great flavour balance, and always use good quality spirits.
When it comes to sweetening, use sugar alternatives such as fresh fruit, stevia, honey and agave nectar.
5Do you have any other expert tips for staying healthy while drinking?
Moderation is the key so drink water as you go, a little of a good thing is best!
6What is your favourite cocktail on the new O-bar menu?
“Healthy Culture” is great. It’s made of fairtrade quinoa vodka, woodland honey and wild lime kombucha.
7What is proving to be the most popular with customers?
Trail mix is flying out the door. It tastes like a healthy nut bar.
8Talk us through some of the unique ingredients you have used that we might not be familiar with.
Organic barley and rooibos tea, basil seeds and lime kombucha are new ingredients on this menu. You’ll just have to come and try them, they are too hard to explain!
9Why did you feel it was important to create this new, health-conscious menu?
Great food and cocktails bring fun and joy into your life, they don’t have to be killing you to be good.
10Any insider tips for avoiding a hangover? (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves)
Drink high-quality pure spirits only and lots of water (no guarantees!!)
Want to make your own healthy cocktails at home? Try these recipes.