Wondering what to order during cocktail hour or serve at your next holiday or new years party? While all alcohol is acidic, some drinks actually have antioxidant benefits and are acceptable on occasion and in moderation. In fact, many alcohols are slightly less acidic than sodas (3.0 pH vs. 2.5 pH), so you may actually be better off ordering one of the top 10 drinks we recommend than a Coke!
According to dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu, “Research shows that moderate alcohol intake has proven health benefits, and some of those are beauty enhancing, based on the fruits, herbs, botanicals, or antioxidants they contain.” She recommends that you avoid cocktails like margaritas, daiquiris, cosmos, frozen or creamy drinks, dessert wines, or liqueurs due to their high sugar content. And we recommend that you stay away from drinks made with sodas like Jack & Coke and 7 & 7.
So what can you drink? Try ordering or offering any of the following:
Classic Gin Martini
These days, many martinis are made with sweet vermouth and/or vodka, but you are better off ordering yours with gin and dry vermouth (and perhaps a lemon garnish instead of an olive due to its alkalizing effect). Gin is usually flavored with juniper berry, which a source of antioxidant vitamin C.
Dry Red Wine
Pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and merlot are packed with antioxidant-rich flavonoids, including resveratrol and anthocyanins which are found in the skin of the grapes. Resveratrol, in particular, is known for its heart-health benefits.
Nothing says “celebrate” better than champagne! A glass of bubbly is loaded with antioxidants, and British researchers have found that champagne has the same health benefits as red wine.
Chardonnay has the most antioxidants among white wines, and tend to contain fewer sulfites than red wines. Previously, researchers didn’t believe that the health benefits of white wine were as powerful as those gained from drinking red, however, new evidence suggests that grape pulp also contains potent antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols, which have similar heart healthy properties.
Scotch on the Rocks
Distilled spirits like scotch are a good choice because all of their sugar has been fermented into alcohol, and adding ice or water to the drink will aid in hydration.<
The combination of a distilled spirit like vodka and cranberry juice is a popular choice and cranberries contain loads of vitamin C, one of the most potent antioxidants. Plus you can sneak in water and/or ice cubes to help offset the acidity.
The Japanese are some of the thinnest and healthiest people in the world, so it’s no wonder that the alcoholic beverage they are most known for found its way on our list. Sake is fermented from rice and does not contain any sulfites. Choose dry over sweet sake to reduce your sugar intake.
Similar to a mimosa, the pomosa is a blend of champagne and pomegranate juice instead of orange juice. Pomegranates are high in polyphenol antioxidants, including ellagic acid, which helps fight wrinkles, reduce inflammation, and prevent premature aging caused by sun damage.
Beer is actually less acidic than other alcohols, with a pH of 4.0. The trade-off is that it contains yeasts which can live in your digestive system.
Shochu and Grapefruit
Shochu is a Japanese distilled spirit similar to vodka that contains fewer calories. It is available at sushi restaurants and most Asian food markets. Order it on the rocks with a splash of grapefruit juice for a boost of vitamin C and beta carotene.
We recommend that you stay hydrated and drink one glass of water for every glass of alcohol throughout the evening to combat dehydration. Chanson alkaline ionized water is always best due to its antioxidant and deeper hydration properties, and is regarded by the Japanese as a “hangover cure.” Another tip to try if you are hosting the party is to make ice cubes with Chanson alkaline ionized water and/or dilute wines and distilled spirits with it as it will help combat the acidity in the alcohol. And don’t forget to drink a glass of alkaline water before bed and upon rising to cleanse and rehydrate your system. Have a safe and happy holiday!