With after-work happy hours, backyard barbecues and outdoor concerts, the summer months present plenty of opportunities to booze with friends and family. Obviously, we’re all for having a few drinks with friends. But no one wants to wake up with a pounding headache and queasy stomach.
Luckily, with a few simple swaps and tips to keep in mind, you can still enjoy alcohol without the regrets the next morning. Keep reading to find our advice for healthier summer drinking, as well as a light and delicious cocktail recipe from the Montage Deer Valley’s beverage manager, Dave Wallace.
One danger of summer drinking is the fact that you’re probably already dehydrated — especially if you’re grabbing a post-ride or post-hike beer! Drink a big glass of water before you reach for the booze, and try to alternate each drink with a glass of water throughout the evening.
Practice mindful drinking.
Mindfulness can extend beyond the yoga mat or meditation pillow. Before heading out to happy hour or a party, take some time to check in with yourself. Ask yourself how you’re feeling, and what your intended number of drinks will be tonight — a limit can help keep you on track. Also, think about who you’re looking forward to chatting with at the event. Being engrossed in a conversation can also help you avoid over-drinking.
As you begin to drink, savor each sip. Notice how the drink tastes, what it smells like and, most of all, how you’re feeling. This mindful approach to drinking can not only help you enjoy your drinks more, but also help you drink less.
Sip the right wines.
Not all vino is created equally. Red wines have more calories than others (even though they also have added health benefits), while drier wines like Pinot Grigio or Reisling tend to be lower in calories. To lower the calorie count even more, consider mixing your wine with some club soda or even LaCroix.
Go for light beers.
Beer drinkers can also go with lighter options that also taste delicious. For example, the Montage offers Bohemian Brewery’s Czech Pilsner, “a light, crisp, full bodied, well-aged lager,” Wallace notes. Or go for Squatter’s Juicy IPA, which is packed with bright, citrus aromas and notes of ripe stone fruit, and is also on the lighter side.
Lighten up your cocktails.
Chances are you know that a sugary strawberry daiquiri isn’t the healthiest drink you can order. But just because you’re trying to keep things light doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor.
Most bars offer creative, delicious drinks that are also healthy. For example, at Montage’s Apex you can order the Juiced Up Gin (recipe below). With cucumber juice and cilantro, it provides added health benefits as well as an extra hydrating factor. “Cucumber also contains vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling,” Wallace adds.
At the Vista Lounge, guests can enjoy the Alpine Squeeze made with Ketel One Citroen, St. Germain elderflower and grapefruit juice, which is another healthy and light choice, Wallace says.
- 1.5 ounces Hendrick's Gin
- .5 ounce Green Chartreuse
- .75 ounce simple syrup
- .75 ounce lime
- Cilantro (lemon-sized bunch)
- 3 slices cucumber
- Club soda
- In a mixing glass, muddle cucumber and cilantro.
- Add gin, chartreuse, simple syrup and fill with ice.
- Shake vigorously to incorporate all ingredients.
- Fine strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice and top with seltzer water.
- Garnish with a cucumber wheel and sprigs of cilantro.