9 Healthy Cocktail Mixers Without All the Junky Ingredients
Backyard parties call for backyard cocktails, batched, chilled, refreshing as all get out and preferably served in adorable (and affordable) seasonally inspired glassware. But just because your warm weather drink of choice tastes like a popsicle in a glass doesn’t mean it has to have the nutritional breakdown of a high-fructose corn syrup- and red dye no. 40-packing SpongeBob SquarePants bar. This summer, whip up your weekend crowd-pleasers with one of these nine flavorful premade mixers produced with wholesome, straightforward ingredients and guaranteed to kick that jug of nuclear yellow margarita mix to the curb.
This Vermont-based company's focus is on brewed teas loaded with fresh juices, spices, and sweeteners that are made for spicing up creative cocktails. The White and Vine option marries white tea with pomegranate and lemon peel, agave, watermelon, lime, lemon, and raspberry for a beautifully balanced, fruit-forward sipper that plays very well with tequila, gin, vodka or even a light, earthy wheat beer.
Fever-Tree has recently taken the bar world by storm and for good reason. The handcrafted sodas come in all sorts of flavors, but our money is on this all natural lower-calorie tonic—the world’s first, apparently—which has 58 percent fewer calories than your standard corner store fare thanks to fruit sugars, natural quinine, citric acid, and aromatic botanicals. If you’re a G&T fan, this dapper looking bottle is a no-brainer.
When it comes to beating the heat, few beverages can compete with the classic spicy-sweet, effervescent Moscow Mule (or Dark & Stormy, Mezcal Mule, Whiskey Ginger, you catch our drift). Pick your poison and get down to business with this lively number from Cocktail Crate, a budding Brooklyn upstart originally funded through Kickstarter in 2012. Fresh-pressed ginger juice sourced from real-deal independent farmers provides the kick, while lime juice, cane sugar, and aromatic bitters round things out.
Three measly ingredients—organic agave nectar, zesty sun-ripened limes, and filtered water—are all it takes to produce this palate-pleasing tequila temperer. Pack one of these pretty bottles in your beach bag (along with some 100 percent agave Tres Agaves Anejo, of course) and consider your cycle complete. The award-winning California company also puts out organic strawberry margarita and Bloody Mary mixes if you’re looking to switch things up.
A whole mess of organic juices, herbs, spices, and more go into this curiously smoky hangover-destroyer, including tamarind, hot peppers, ginger puree, vegan Worcestershire sauce, shiitake mushrooms, horseradish, and celery seed, just to name a few. The fiery result lends itself nicely to Bloodies of all shapes and sizes (whether you’re going with classic vodka, the tequila-spiked Bloody Maria, or the gin-based Red Snapper) and, of course, pairs perfectly with a heaping plate of bacon and eggs.
These ingenious little wonders come with everything you need to shake up the cocktail of your dreams. The handy bottles are filled with a precisely measured blend of real lime juice, cane sugar, mint, and filtered water and come stamped with a line indicating how much rum you’re supposed to add to keep the ratios neat and tidy. All that’s left to do is pour it into frosted glasses and top with seltzer for twin bubbly refreshers, or swig (and swallow) it right from the source if you’re riding solo.
If you haven’t already jumped on the drinking vinegar train, you’re in for a treat here. Beloved Portland chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok fame takes his wildly popular creations on the road with this line of mouth-puckering shrubs, including this gem made with local strawberries straight from Mt. Hood and anise-laced Thai basil. Equal parts sweet, sour, and peppery, it’s an amazing companion to a good London dry gin or crisp vodka.
Take your Tom Collins to the next level with this ultra-floral concoction from award-winning Charleston, South Carolina industry vets Joe and MariElana Raya. Inside each classic apothecary-inspired bottle, natural elderflower and elderberry extract join forces with lemon juice, Florida golden cane sugar, and fragrant Centennial hops to make this a home bartender’s secret weapon.
The only thing more appealing than a vibrant, devilishly sweet-and-sour blood orange juice is blood orange juice imbued with top-shelf vodka or gin. Shaken or stirred, this blood orange and key lime mix looks as good as it tastes and is equally suited for adding color to cosmos, daiquiris, and summertime spritzes.