Most cocktails are a sugar bomb and cause more trouble than they’re worth. Because of this, I like to stick to recipes that are simple and use just a handful of healthy ingredients and better-for-you liquors, like gin.
If you like to enjoy a drink every now and then, but want to choose one that’s healthier, I recommend this refreshing basil lemon gin and tonic that’s has properties that are actually beneficial for you.
How to Enjoy Healthier-for-You Cocktails
- While gin is an alcohol, and any alcohol in excess is never good for you, small doses of this spirit that is distilled from juniper berries can have potent health benefits. Like most other berries, juniper berries are sources of antioxidants which help to combat premature aging and fight free radicals, which help to protect our cells against damage and illness. Studies also show that juniper berries have anti-inflammatory effects on skin cells. and may improve heart health as consumption reduces total cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Many tonic waters are often have added sugars. To avoid these, we swapped it with sparkling water.
- In this recipe, we’re also using lemon and basil. Lemon juice is highly alkalizing and a great detoxifier. It’s rich in vitamin C and natural bioflavanoids, too. Together with the lemon, basil helps temper the gin while bringing a bright and aromatic aroma to the drink.
- If you want to shake this recipe up a little bit, replace the lemon with another citrus such as grapefruit or orange, and swap out the basil with rosemary or thyme. Not only do these alternatives taste great, they also look beautiful as garnishes for the perfect cocktail.
- For a bit of sweetness, feel free to add 1-2 teaspoons of honey. You’ll need to muddle it with a few slices of lemon though (to help break down the honey), then strain it if you don’t want pulp in your drink. I like to leave it in for the added nutrients.
- Make it a “mocktail”: Replace the gin with an equal amount of tonic water and an extra splash of citrus to taste. You could also use a non-alcoholic gin alternative. This is a great option if you’re participating in Dry January or abstaining from alcohol at any time of year.
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup gin
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened sparkling water
- Fresh lemon wedges and basil leaves, for garnishing
- Combine the lemon juice, basil leaves, ice and sparkling water together in a cocktail shaker or a jar with a lid. Shake well.
- Add the gin and shake a little more to combine.
- Strain the drink and pour into glasses with ice, topping with lemon wedges and fresh basil.