It's officially summer and the temperatures have been sizzling all week. There is nothing more refreshing than a chilled drink. House made bitters, fizzy sodas, muddled herbs- they all seem to hydrate our system and revive our spirits. But we often only think of alcoholic cocktails. Besides the obvious reasons not to imbibe, like age or medical restrictions, here are three other reasons to skip the alcohol and try a “mocktail,” thanks to advice from Dr. Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, CSSD.
- You’ll save on calories.
The bigger the buzz, the higher the calories. Distilled spirits (vodka, rum, whiskey, gin, tequila) have 97 calories per 1.5 ounces of 80 proof. Rosenbloom says, “The proof is tied to alcohol content so the higher the proof, the higher the alcohol and therefore the calories. Plus alcohol reduces inhibitions, not just for driving and judgment, but also food inhibitions, so you might not be keeping track of calories.”
Drink up: King + Duke "Truer than True"
- Mocktails are more hydrating.
Alcohol has a dehydrating effect, which can also make skin look sallow. Rosenbloom suggests striving for healthy skin with quality protein, vitamin/mineral rich fruits and veggies. “If someone thinks drinking vodka mixed with acai berry is going to be a miracle drink for healthy skin they are fooling themselves.”
3. You’ve had enough to drink already.
It’s Sunday. Friday night was a boozer and Saturday night you tried to keep up with friends. So today, you find yourself sprawled at the poolside hoping for a day-long nap and a tan.
Drink up: JCT Kitchen's "Caboose"
Lavender, ginger, lemon and soda are soothing to the stomach after a rough night. JCT Kitchen, 1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-355-2252. www.jctkitchen.com.
Bottom line from Rosenbloom: “I think the biggest concern with alcohol is the amount consumed in a specific time frame. Everyone talks about the ‘French paradox’- how they can drink so much wine and be healthy- but the French don’t do shots to preload before they go for the evening. They drink wine with meals over the course of several hours. If an individual drinks the recommended amount, which is one drink per day for women and two drinks for men, that is completely fine.”
Other mocktails to try in Atlanta:
El Barrio (strawberry, lime, bubbles) or Front Porch Swing (lemon, mint, basil, rhubarb bitters) at JCT Kitchen, 1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-355-2252. www.jctkitchen.com.
Good for Talent (espresso, tonic, walnut bitters) at King + Duke. 3060 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta. 404-477-3500. www.kinganddukeatl.com.
Green Eyed Lady (verjus, ginger beer, rhubarb bitters), Madame Butterfly (grapefruit juice, honey, lemon) or Match Point (cranberry juice, orange juice, lime) at St. Cecilia, 3455 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta. 404-554-9995. stceciliaatl.com.