8 antioxidant-packed cocktails

Need an excuse for a juicy drink? We’ve got you covered. Here are eight antioxidant-packed cocktails, tested by the Best Health team

8 antioxidant-packed cocktails

Source: Best Health Magazine, Summer 2010

Looking for a signature cocktail for your next party? Try one of these juicy drinks the Best Health team has had the pleasure of creating.

What the star ratings mean

The antioxidant powers of foods are measured by their Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). Here’s how the juices in these drinks measure up:
★    good
★ ★    amazing
★ ★ ★    super-powered

Lemon & Lime Whiskey Sour

Juice of one lemon and one lime (about 1/2 cup/125 mL total)
1.5 oz (45 mL) whiskey
2 tsp (10 mL) white sugar (stir well to dissolve)
Two or three ice cubes
Garnish with a lime wedge.

Calories: 156
Lime and lemon juices are great sources of vitamin C, which helps with iron absorption.
Star rating:

Blue-Pom Slushie

1/2 cup (125 mL) pomegranate/blueberry juice
1.5 oz (45 mL) vodka
Pour over lots of finely crushed ice.
So thick you can eat it with a spoon!

Calories: 176
These berry juices are loaded with powerful antioxidants to help guard against heart disease and age-related blindness.
Star rating: ★★★

Red and White Sangria

1/2 cup (125 mL) white grape juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) dry red wine
1/2 cup (125 mL) soda water
Add ice cubes to fill glass.
Toss in a slice of lemon, orange or lime’or all three.

Calories: 176
Excuse: White grape juice is a good source of bone-strengthening manganese. Plus, red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that protects against artery damage.
Star rating: ★★★

Pineapple-Tequila Punch

1/2 cup (125 mL) pineapple juice
1 oz (30 mL) white or gold tequila
Soda water to taste (1/4-1/2 cup/60-125 mL)
Add two or three ice cubes.
Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Excuse: Pineapple juice contains a protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain that may help reduce inflammation.
Star rating:

Berry-OJ Screwdriver

1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice
1.5 oz (45 mL) vodka
Handful fresh or frozen mixed berries
Add two or three ice cubes, if not using frozen berries.

Calories: 167
Excuse: We all know orange juice is a very good source of vitamin C, but it also has loads of thiamine, which helps the body convert food into energy. Plus, the added berries are loaded with antioxidants, and that helps bump this drink to its three-star rating.
Star rating: ★★★

Cranberry Spritzer

1/2 cup (125 mL) cranberry juice (if you find it too tart, try the cocktail. It’s a little sweeter, and adds 10 calories)
1/2 cup (125 mL) Chardonnay (or other white wine)
1/4 cup (60 mL) soda water
Pour over three or four ice cubes, or lots of crushed ice.
Slip a lemon slice on the rim of the glass.

Calories: 158
Excuse: Studies have shown that cranberry juice has antiviral properties. Plus, it’s a good source of vitamins E and K.
Star rating: ★★

Apple-Ginger Cooler

1/2 cup (125 mL) apple juice
Large pinch grated fresh ginger
1.5 oz (45 mL) white rum
Add two or three ice cubes.
Toss in an apple slice and a little fresh mint.

Calories: 153
Excuse: Adults who consume apple juice, apples and applesauce are 27 percent less likely to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome’a cluster of health problems linked to various chronic diseases.
Star rating: ★★

Pink Grapefruit Fizz

1/2 cup (125 mL) pink grapefruit juice
1.5 oz (45 mL) gin
1/2 cup (125 mL) diet tonic water
Add an ice cube or two.
Garnish with a fresh strawberry slice.

Calories: 144
Pink grapefruit and orange juices were found to be the most nutrient dense in a study that compared non-fortified 100 percent juices.
Star rating: ★★

Juice Calorie Counter

Here are the calories for a 1/2 cup (125 mL) serving of the juices we used in these drinks:
White grape’76
Pomegranate /Blueberry’80

Alcohol Facts

‘ 1 oz (30 mL) of spirits has 64 calories.
‘ 1/2 cup (125 mL) of wine has 100 calories.
‘ Studies show that moderate consumption’of any type of alcohol’raises HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
‘ For women, ‘moderate’ means one drink per day.

This article was originally titled "Get Juiced!" in the Summer 2010 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!’and make sure to check out what’s new in the latest issue of Best Health.