One of my favorite things to do this time of year is sit outside in the sun with a book in my hand and a small glass of wine and some snacks on the table next to me. I will sit, getting warm and sun-drunk (note sun, not otherwise) for an hour or two until it’s time to go indoors and start making dinner. In the dead of winter I think about these days (often) and can’t wait for them to come back, where the attire is a t-shirt, shorts and no shoes, instead of many layers of fleece.
I decided to join a friend who was taking a week off from drinking alcohol for health reasons, all in the name of research. It was the perfect opportunity for me to create some mocktails for my special evening ritual! All three of these drinks are cool and refreshing, and virtually free of calories! Lots of times you’ll find people aren’t drinking alcohol for a variety of reasons and I find when I have guests it’s nice to offer something other than a glass of water. Next time you’re at the market, pick up some seltzer, limes, and mint and you will be able to sip to your heart’s desire with the knowledge your waistline will thank you and you can have as many as you want—with no after effects!
As a former bartender, I always cut my limes is length-wise, then into six to eight wedges, so you get lots of juice. This mocktail takes just one wedge.
3-4 mint leaves
1 wedge of lime
Plain or lime-flavored seltzer water
Place the mint leaves and squeeze the lime juice into a rocks glass. (Set aside the lime wedge.) With the end of a wooden spoon, “muddle” the juice and mint together, pounding the leaves to get them soft. When finished, add an ice cube, the lime wedge, and seltzer water to the top.
This is the same recipe I use to make my Pomegranate Martinis in the winter, it’s just omitting the alcohol!
1 wedge of lime
Orange flavored seltzer water
In a martini glass, squeeze the lime and leave in the glass. Add seltzer water to fill the glass, then top with a splash of pomegranate juice.
It’s strawberry season and this is the perfect mocktail to ring it in!
About 1 tablespoon of pureed fresh strawberries
Sparkling apple cider
Spoon the strawberries in a champagne flute and add the sparkling cider to the top of the glass. Top with a mint leave, if desired.
MVK’s Endorsement of the Week
I read with interest the story last week of “Dr. Oz Goes to Washington.” The cardiothoracic surgeon was on Capitol Hill testifying before a Senate committee about false and deceptive advertising for weight-loss products. He has been known to promote weight-loss pills that have little to no proof that they work. I remember a couple of years ago, those “spam” ads you see on websites would have Dr. Oz touting how green coffee beans will make you lose weight. Although he was taken to task by the senators for using his show as a way of promoting these pills, he defended his promotion of these products, saying he has intensely studied them.
If I thought I could take a pill and could eat and drink what I want and not worry about gaining weight, I would have done this years ago. But what bothers me the most about this story is Dr. Oz has a following and many people believe what he says because he’s a medical doctor. Please don’t!
You can read more about the story here.