After the CDC's announcement last week that one in six Americans "binge drink" on a regular basis, you might be reassessing your relationship with cocktails. Not a bad idea. Besides being addictive, alcohol in excess is undeniably bad for your body. Unfortunately, there's an entire industry to come up with fun alcohol-centric drinks, and "virgin" cocktails can seem a bit... dry. It's time to experiment with beverage combinations that are party-friendly and booze-free. You'll come up with plenty of fun combinations on your own -- here are a few ideas to get you started.
Muddle It Up
"Muddling" just means smashing herbs and/or citrus skins to release their flavors. Using a muddler, a pestle or a spoon, mash organic herbs like mint or rosemary with a bit of sugar before adding ice and soda water or a light juice. And though mint is delicious, don't just stick to a "fauxhito" -- any seasonal herbs can add intrigue to your drink, and organic citrus from lemon to kumquat brings tart, bitter flavor.
Teetotal on Tonic
Tonic has a unique flavor, coupled with fizzy bubbles that makes any drink more fun. Mix it with juice or just add a twist of lime. Careful, though -- tonic water is as sugary as soda, so don't go guzzling a gallon of it.
From the Organic Authority Files
Turn Wine into Water
Well, grape juice. Two favorite Organic Authority cocktails -- the Kiwi Vesper and Sparkling Sangria Tea -- both ditch wine for grape juice. Add a dash of bitters or a bit of citrus to avoid too much sweetness.
Bon Appetit notes that a glass of water really can help fight a craving for red wine -- if you add a spoonful of balsamic. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!
These tips ought to get you started, and with a little experimentation, you'll soon have a whole new mocktail menu. All without the risk of drunk Facebooking.