Last week I had some infused water ideas for a tasty and refreshing beverage. But have you heard of “mocktails?” festive drinks when you want to quench your thirst without relying on high-calorie, alcoholic cocktails. Here are four of my favorites without compromising on the taste.
Mulled Cranberry Punch
Ditch the traditional mulled apple cider in favor of a surprising low-calorie punch featuring cranberry and raspberry juices. Using a slow cooker, you’ll steep spices to perfection for a nonalcoholic drink recipe everyone will love! Makes: 12 servings Serving Size: 3/4cup Carb Grams Per Serving: 17
8 inches stick cinnamon, broken
8 whole cloves
4 whole allspice
1 32 - ounce bottle low-calorie cranberry juice
1 11 1/2 - ounce can frozen white grape-raspberry juice concentrate
4 cups water
Thin lemon slices (optional)
Use a vegetable peeler to remove several 2- to 3-inch-long sections of orange peel from the orange, avoiding the white pith underneath. Juice the orange.
For a spice bag, cut a 6-inch square from a double thickness of 100%-cotton cheesecloth. Place orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in the center of the square. Bring the corners together and tie closed with 100%-cotton kitchen string.
In a 3-1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, combine cranberry juice, juice concentrate, the water, orange juice, and spice bag.
Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Remove spice bag and discard. Serve immediately or keep warm on low-heat setting for up to 2 hours. If desired, garnish drinks with lemon slices.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 67 cal., 29 mg sodium, 17 g carb. (16 g sugars),
Diabetic Exchanges Fruit (d.e): 1;
Strawberry Iced Tea
Strawberries put a simple spin on the traditional iced tea. Enjoy the refreshing party drink for only 7 grams of carb per serving. Makes: 7 servings Serving Size: 8 ounces each Carb Grams Per Serving: 7
3 tablespoons loose black tea
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
7 cups boiling water
Fresh whole strawberries (optional)
Place strawberries in a large heatproof pitcher or glass measure. Crush berries. Add loose tea, sugar, and lemon peel. Add boiling water. Let mixture steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth; discard strawberry pulp, lemon peel, and tea leaves. Cool tea mixture at room temperature about 2 hours. Store tea in the refrigerator.
To serve, fill tall glasses with ice. Pour tea into glasses. If desired, add a fresh whole strawberry to each glass.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 27 cal., 8 mg sodium, 7 g carb. (1 g fiber, 5 g sugars),
Diabetic Exchanges Other Carb (d.e): 0.5; Mark as Free Exchange (d.e): 0
This nonalcoholic sangria recipe features grape juice, ginger ale, and fresh fruit for a refreshing and low-calorie party drink. Makes: 10 servings Serving Size: 8 ounce Carb Grams Per Serving: 29
1 1/2 cups white or purple unsweetened grape juice, chilled
1 1 - liter bottle ginger ale, chilled
2 cups cut-up fruit (such as oranges, lemons, limes, pineapple, seedless grapes, peaches, and/or strawberries)
2 cups ice cubes
Fresh mint sprigs
In a large bowl or pitcher stir together the orange juice and grape juice. Slowly pour in ginger ale; stir gently. Add the fruit and ice cubes.
Ladle the juice mixture with the fruit into tall glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 121 cal., 12 mg sodium, 29 g carb. (1 g fiber, 28 g sugars), 1 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fruit (d.e): 2
Spiced Fruit Tea
Get creative with iced tea! This unique punch recipe combines brewed black tea, juice, and spices in a slow cooker. The result is an easy-to-make low-calorie beverage any tea-drinker will love. Makes: 10 servings Serving Size: 5 ounce Carb Grams Per Serving: 11
1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
4 cups brewed black tea
4 cups orange-peach-mango juice or orange juice
Cinnamon sticks (optional)
For spice bag, cut a 6- or 8-inch square from a double thickness of 100%-cotton cheesecloth. Place the 6 inches broken stick cinnamon and the ginger in center of cheesecloth square. Bring corners of cheesecloth together and tie with clean cotton string.
In a 3-1/2- to 4-1/2-quart slow cooker, combine tea and juice. Add spice bag to tea mixture in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 3 hours. Discard spice bag. Ladle tea into cups. If desired, garnish with additional cinnamon sticks.
* To break cinnamon sticks, place in a heavy plastic bag and gently pound sticks with the flat side of a meat mallet.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 45 cal., 11 mg sodium, 11 g carb. (10 g sugars), Diabetic Exchanges Fruit (d.e): 1