Let’s be honest: Calling any alcoholic drink healthy is a stretch. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t imbibe on an occasional glass of Pinot Noir or a cup of hot toddy. The key is learning to drink in moderation, loading up on plenty of water, pairing alcohol with a substantial meal, and reaching out for the “healthy” alcohol types.
And to help you out, we conducted thorough research and came up with the following list of healthy alcoholic drinks to try next time you want to sip your troubles away.
What’s Netflix & Chill Without Red Wine?
You just knew red wine would cut it in the healthy alcoholic drinks list, didn’t you? Well, if a glass of Cabernet Shiraz this holiday season doesn’t work wonders for your heart, we don’t know what other alcohols would.
The Netflix & Chill favorite is relatively low in calories and rich in antioxidants such as resveratrol and proanthocyanidins that help promote cardiovascular health and work their anti-aging magic on your skin.
And studies support this. According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, drinking a moderate amount of red wine with an alcoholic content of 12-15% daily can help promote cardiovascular function.
So, pour yourself that humongous glass of Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Shiraz and get ready to enjoy some quality time with your bae and your heart *wink*.
Make A Special Blood Mary
PSA: You can have your brunch mimosas all you want, but a hearty Bloody Mary is the way to our hearts. The tomato juice-and-vodka cocktail popularly known for curing hangovers and creative garnishes is packed with antioxidants that boost heart health and prevent cancer risk.
Fresh tomato juice also contains vitamin A, which is good for vision, vitamin C for your skin, and folic acid for reducing depression. It’s basically one of those healthy alcoholic drinks that could lead to a longer life, literally.
To whip up a classic Bloody Mary concoction, mix in fresh tomato and lemon juice, vodka, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, parsley sprig, smoked paprika, salt, and green olives (if you’re a fan).
Yap. A Mean Vodka Soda For The Win
If you want a nice cal buzz, vodka on the rocks or lime soda is perfect. The vodka enhances blood circulation and helps promote collateral vessels, which connect the heart to the lungs, while soda water gives you a boost of hydration. And when you add a sprig of rosemary and a splash of vitamin C, you get the antioxidant goodness on top.
Top Tip: If gluten isn’t your cup of tea, go for the gluten-free variety like Blue Ice, Crystal Head, and Tito’s.
Coachella Away With Some Craft Beer
Craft beer might have more going for it than sophisticated flavors and clever marketing. The artisanal twist on mass-produced beer contains antioxidant properties that protect your body from free radicals damage and lower oxidative stress.
The healthy alcoholic drinks also boast of nutritional benefits along with body-boosting ingredients such as B vitamins, calcium, folate, magnesium, and niacin.
More good news: Unlike regular beers, craft beers offer complex flavor profiles without the hangover.
Did Someone Say Dry Champagne?
With a few sleeps until we all start blasting Mariah Carey carols, it’s time to stock up on your favorite champers. And you needn’t feel guilty for popping one before interacting with your fam.
According to experts, similar to dry wine, champagne contains polyphenols6, which can help boost circulation, improve systemic inflammation, and manage blood pressure.
It is also a great healthy alcohol pick for portion control – a typical serving of champagne is four ounces. Plus, the bubbles mean sipping slower and feeling full faster, so you might not go back for another flute.
Order That Hard Kombucha
It doesn’t matter if you call it mushroom tea, fizzy tea, or booch; you’re not alone if you’ve been gaga about kombucha. In fact, this has been one of the trendiest healthy alcoholic drinks of 2022. And there’s a reason for the buzz.
The tangy-tasting, soul-refreshing drink aids digestion and boosts your immunity by introducing healthy bacteria to your gut microbiome, similar to fermented foods like yogurt.
Oh, and when getting yourself a bottle, make sure you go for hard kombucha. It is fermented for longer to allow for a higher ABV (alcohol by volume).
You Can’t Go Wrong With A Hot Toddy
Looking for a healthy alcoholic cocktail that can warm you up this fall? Try a hot toddy. Low in calories and sugar, the healthy alcoholic drink gives you a health boost. But only when you use high-quality whiskey.
To whip up a glass of hot toddy – mix in your whiskey with some honey, hot water, and fresh lemon juice. It’s basically your favorite cold days or sick day tea, with a twist.
Whip Up A Margarita With Freshly-Squeezed Lime Juice
Whether you’re cooling off by the beaches of the Caribbean Islands or channeling tropical vibes in the comfort of your couch, margaritas are the it girl of fun!
And while we don’t usually mix fun with healthy, studies show that a cool glass of the healthy alcoholic drink combined with freshly squeezed lime juice or jalapeños can do wonders for your gut and even reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Lime juice also contains antioxidants, immunity boosters, and compounds that keep your skin glowing.
Plus, if you want to skip the hangover, margaritas are where it’s at!
The key here is to swap the bottled lime juice and syrup for fresh lime, ice, mint leaves, premium-quality tequila, and a dash of soda water.
Make It Tequila On The Rocks
After decades of being relegated to frat parties, wild Vegas nights, and hangover jokes, Ms. Tequila is finally getting her moment. The cool and vibes-lifting miss is taking over Pinterest feeds and holiday drink menus, shining at swanky soirees, and even landing a whole national day.
And there’s a reason for this. Pure agave tequila is low in sugars, contains zero carbs, and is fairly low in calories. Plus, the healthy alcoholic miss is also touted for its depressant properties. According to a slew of studies, many individuals feel better after drinking tequila, which has been proven to be true since tequila doesn’t shift blood sugar levels like other alcohols.
This doesn’t mean you should kill yourself with shots of pure tequila. If shots don’t float your boat, you can try tequila on the rocks or with a splash of fresh lime or orange juice.
Girls’ Night Only Calls For Mulled Wines
The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a chilled glass of mulled wine – ideally with a sprinkle of nutmeg, and a thin slice of orange hooked winsomely over the rim. And while drinking too much isn’t good for your health, indulging in a festive glass of mulled wine every game or girls’ night can do wonders for your organs.
In classic wine fashion, mulled wine pairs the antioxidant properties of red wine with a healthy cocktail of herbs and spices that can give your drink that much-needed therapeutic boost. Plus, the healthy alcoholic drink gets your spirits up when the chilling winter cold violently tries to kill your Christmas energy.
Top Tip: When choosing mulled wine, go for the organic variety (we know, we know). But, certified organic wines have fewer additives, preservatives, and sugar, and they might prevent you from having a hangover from hell the next day.
There is a laundry list of alcoholic drinks that err on the healthier side. Some types, like red wine, hard cider, and whiskey, also serve as a decent source of antioxidants. But at the end of the day, booze is still booze. Even if it’s low in calories, overconsumption of any alcohol isn’t good for you.
So, take care, queens. And remember, imbibe responsibly!