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.