MOCKTAILS

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Over the last 15 years, high-risk drink­ing in women (drink­ing four or more drinks in a day) rose 58 per­cent, while al­co­hol abuse and de­pen­dence in­creased by 83.7 per­cent. Sober­ing sta­tis­tics such as these — and the un­for­tu­nate health im­pli­ca­tions of im­bib­ing too of­ten — has health-minded ladies turn­ing the page on the drink menu. Many restau­rants, mixol­o­gists and drink man­u­fac­tur­ers have re­sponded by adding mocktails to their of­fer­ings. When well-ex­e­cuted, these crafted, al­co­hol-free bev­er­age op­tions go be­yond a stan­dard daiquiri-san­srum, with clever and artful con­coc­tions worth sa­vor­ing.

But just be­cause a drink doesn’t con­tain al­co­hol doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Read the in­gre­di­ent list care­fully, and ask the server or bar­tender whether there are al­ter­na­tive op­tions to sweet­en­ers if the drink you’re eye­balling is loaded with sugar. Mocktails con­tain­ing cu­cum­ber or cit­rus fla­vors and seltzer water are of­ten your best bet for a sat­is­fy­ing sugar-free fla­vor — even of­fer­ing a boost of min­er­als and hy­dra­tion. Blends with gin­ger or fresh herbs can stim­u­late di­ges­tion, and a kom­buch­abased drink can de­liver a host of B vi­ta­mins and pro­bi­otics.

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