Happy Hour Just Got a Lot Healthier with These Three Cocktails

May 10, 2016 | By | Comments (0)

This article originally appeared on Health.
By Beth Lipton 

If “cocktail time” conjures up sugary sips and hot wings, good news: We created three delicious recipes to sneak some veggies into happy hour. As you’ve probably heard, experts believe alcohol may carry some health perks, including reduced risk of heart disease and stroke—but only if you drink in moderation. That means one drink per day for women, which translates to 1.5 oz. of sprits like vodka and tequila. That’s a good number to keep in mind when mixing up the concoctions below.

1605w-health-just-beet-it-vegetable-cocktail

Photo credit: Beth Lipton/Health

Just Beet It!
Serves: 1

  • 2 Tbsp. beet juice
  • 4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) carrot juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 to 1 oz. citrus vodka

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker; stir. Serve in a rocks glass over ice.

Note: The formula for this cocktail is 1 part beet, 2 parts carrot, 4 parts orange, in case you want to scale up to make more drinks.

1605w-health-bloody-maria-vegetable-cocktail

Photo credit: Beth Lipton/Health

Bloody Maria
Yield: About 3 ½ cups

  • 2 cups organic low-sodium vegetable juice (such as R.W. Knudsen)
  • ½ cup salsa (mild, medium, or hot)
  • 4 oz. English cucumber (about 1/3 of a medium cucumber), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes), plus extra limes for garnish (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Raw honey, optional
  • Hot sauce, optional
  • Tequila

In a blender, combine vegetable juice, salsa, cucumber and lime juice; blend until well combined and smooth. Taste and season generously with salt and pepper. Blend again. Add honey 1 tsp. at a time, if needed to balance flavor. Add hot sauce, if desired. To serve, pour ½ to 1 oz. tequila into a highball glass (ice is optional). Top with ½ to 1 cup juice mixture. Garnish with lime, if desired.

1605w-health-green-light-vegetable-cocktail

Photo credit: Beth Lipton/Health

Green Light
Yield: About 2 cups

  • 2 oz. chopped Tuscan kale (about 2 packed cups)
  • ½ small pineapple (about 1 lb. 6 oz.), peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger (about .5 oz.), peeled, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 8 oz. coconut water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Raw honey, optional
  • Rum (preferably light)

In a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix), combine kale, pineapple, ginger, lemon juice, coconut water and salt. Blend until well combined and as smooth as possible (this may take several minutes, and you may have to stop the machine and shake the blender cup a few times).

Place a fine-meshed sieve over a bowl. Working in batches, pour the kale mixture into the sieve, stirring and then pressing down on solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard pulp between batches. You should end up with about 2 cups juice.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add ½ to ¾ cup juice to shaker, along with ½ to 1 oz. rum. Shake well, then strain into a wineglass or champagne flute. Serve up.

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