Add nutrient-rich ingredients. If you want to make the most of cocktail hour, add health-boosting ingredients to your mixes – think blended and juiced vegies. Eg, a mix of beetroot juice, splash of vodka, ice and soda is surprisingly tasty and will give you a dose of detoxifying betacyanin (detox while you retox!).
“Rinse” your cocktails. To get a subtle flavour of alcohol, sans the hangover (yes!), use harder liquor like bourbon as a rinse. Decoded: pour the spirit into a glass, swirl it along the bottom and sides of the glass, then pour it out. You can then top the glass up with a mix of crushed ice, sugar syrup and some bubbly, then add fresh mint, for a lighter bevvie.
Have a champagne cocktail. Champagne or sparkling wine is a lower-kilojoule option – one small glass (120ml) clocks up around 372kJ. If you lower the bubbly volume and mix in health-boosting OJ, you’ll slash the alcohol content, too.
Look at the label. Many wines are naturally lower in alcohol – because of either the variety of grape or the climate or altitude they’re grown in. Look for an alcohol volume below 12.5% - or slightly higher for reds. Our pick: either a German Riesling or a Semillon from our very own Hunter Valley.