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The Healthiest Summer Cocktails to Support Your Meal Plan

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: July 3, 2022

Summer is in full swing, or just around the corner for the colder regions. With the official day being announced, you may have found that your cravings and needs have changed. Gone are the days (for now) of needing hearty and warm stews and soups. The body is longing for colder, light meals that can keep you active and on your feet to explore everything that summer has to offer. While our body is craving energy, it is important not to overdo it- but still enjoy the fruits that can be reaped during the warmest months of the season.

In this article, we will explore some of the most popular cocktails and mocktails that are 100% vegan friendly. Sticking to a diet does not have to be completely restrictive, as there are many delicious options to choose from - using only a few basic ingredients that you may even have in your garden.

Spicy Ginger Mocktail

Ginger is perhaps the panacea of all cocktails. It can be combined with just about any alcohol, liqueur, or ingredient, and it will give it that necessary kick in the pants to get it going.

Ginger outlines the flavors, and can even control the heat of the drink - even the cold ones. Mince about one or two tablespoons of ginger down into a fine paste, and mix with sparkling soda to create an organic version of ginger ale.

If you'd like to skip this step, you could also purchase a low-sugar ginger ale to add to your mocktail. If you'd like to make this beverage alcoholic, simply add tequila or vodka for the best pairing. It is best to garnish with an orange peel and some cinnamon.

Want to make this more fruity? Add peach or orange juice to make it something sweeter, or cayenne pepper and hot sauce to give it more of a kick.

Icy Strawberry Margarita

The sunset. The beach. Tanning. Tropical resorts. There aren't many negative memories associated with margaritas (we hope!) as they elicit feelings of fun and sunshine in more tropical locations. Depending on where you live, you can adjust just how cool this drink can be. Margaritas take about 1 to 1.5 ounces of tequila, but this step can be skipped if you are looking for more of a mocktail, with an equal number of Cointreau or triple sec. Add about half an ounce of lime juice and another half ounce of lemon juice. Finally, garnish with strawberry juice or fresh strawberry paste. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes for a more "slushie" drink.

Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary is one of those drinks that can effectively double as a meal when done correctly. It is also inherently vegan, so not many (if at all) changes need to be made to accommodate the popular diet. The Bloody Mary contains many ingredients, but many can be skipped as long as the heat, base, and seasoning are there. Start with about 4 ounces of tomato juice and pour into a tall glass. If you'd like to make this drink alcoholic, add half the amount of vodka to the tomato juice ratio. Make sure to add heat by adding horseradish paste, paprika, and black pepper. You can also add Worceshire sauce if you have the vegan version. Top off with celery salt, and a lime/lemon wedge.

Minty Mojito

Mojitos are extremely easy to make and don't need the classic method of crushing the sugar and ice cubes - as you can use agave nectar or sweetener to enrich the flavors. Mojitos are extremely popular and make for a great drink to cool down. It is also naturally vegan-friendly and the ingredients are incredibly easy to source, in both grocery stores and backyards. Mojitos only contain soda/sparkling water, rum, fresh mint, and sugar. They also look way better when topped off with some lime and another set of fresh leaves.

Start by placing white sugar cubes at the bottom of the glass, and adding about 1 ounce of lime juice. Crush this mixture, or skip this step if adding ground sugar or nectar. Fill the rest of the glass with soda water, 1.5 ounces of rum (optional), and top off with a lime wedge and 6 mint leaves.

Watermelon Fire Kombucha

To end off the list, here's one that'll give you more of a kick, as these wild ingredients may seem like a suspicious combination, but make for a delicious delight. Kombucha is made from fermented tea, and depending on the potency, can already have some alcoholic content - most of the ones sold at grocery stores are less than 1% though. If you'd like a stronger drink, mix the kombucha with some rum for this tropical drink. Stir in about 2 ounces of watermelon kombucha, ginger juice, and some agave nectar. Make sure to first drop your glass in some sea salt and pepper for an added kick. To add more flavor - garnish with a lime juice and wedge and some cilantro.

FAQs

Make sure to stock up on sugar, lime juice/wedges, vodka, and lemon juice. Most cocktails will ask for these ingredients and can enhance their flavor. You can also make certain modifications to a drink to make it vegan or more flavorful.

What modifications can I make to the drinks?

It is best to start simple and taste as you go to make the mix for your cocktail. For example, always begin with reading the recipe and eliminating any ingredients that do not fit your diet or may increase the calorie count unnaturally. After this, you can adjust to taste, usually by adding more citrus, more salt, more sweet, less sweet, and less/more alcoholic content.

Is alcohol vegan?

The alcohol that is used to mix cocktails is usually spirits, mostly vodka, rum, and gin. These are inherently vegan. Be on the lookout for coffee liqueurs, meads, and some wines as they can contain dairy, honey, or non-vegan aging and bottling methods.


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