Photos by L.G. Patterson
Healthy drinking — it’s hard to think the two can be talked about together because alcohol is toxic no matter how you use it, but there are ways to incorporate nutrients while enjoying an adult beverage.
Alcohol in any form is going to be a toxin to your body. If you are going to moderately enjoy an alcoholic beverage, I suggest doing it in the healthiest way possible. From gluten-free beers, biodynamic wines, kombucha cocktails and mocktails to helpful hangover remedies, I have you covered!
Let’s start with your basic gluten-free beer and hard kombucha options.
Glutenburg beers are created in a 100% gluten-free environment, as are the ingredients used, which is great for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Omission gluten-free beers taste the most like a traditional beer, but they remove the gluten after brewing the beer, which can cause medical issues for some people who are allergic to gluten. Allkind hard kombuchas have natural ingredients, without added sugars, preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors or natural flavors (run from this ingredient name!) which add probiotics to your drink. Pulp Culture Juice is a hard, cold pressed juice with the same standards for ingredients as Allkind Kombucha, while adding in superfoods like adaptogens. Yes, please!
Then there are the classic hard ciders, just look out for high sugar contents, preservatives or artificial flavoring.
These are all great options but can be difficult to find in cities with smaller populations or with limited health food stores.
There are three certifications for healthy, non-modified wines right now: natural wine, organic wine and biodynamic wine. Natural wines are made with the least possible use of chemicals, additives and overly technological procedures. That includes chemicals in the field, such as pesticides, as well as things like sulfur or any of the almost 200 allowed additives that are legally permitted in wine. Organic grape growing means that no pesticides or chemicals are used in the vineyard. However, many additives can be added during the bottling process. Biodynamic grape growing is a type of organic viticulture that uses special preparations of herbal sprays and composts, with applications timed according to the lunar calendar.
I love adding berries to a glass of bubbly or fruit to a glass of white or red wine to add extra antioxidants and vitamins. For me, when it comes to buying wines, I look for natural or biodynamic wines. We sell all of these types of wines at Nourish Cafe & Market.
Then there are some days when you just need a good cocktail, so why not add some extra nutrients?
I love making mimosas with fresh squeezed orange juice or a cold pressed immunity juice from Nourish. Speaking of cold pressed juice, I mix tequila with our glow juice that is made with beets (local Happy Hollow Farm beets in the last few months), kale, apples and carrots. Is there any better way to have an adult beverage than with organic local veggies?
I only drink tequila because of my gluten and corn intolerances, but I am sure other liquors would go great with cold pressed juices. I also like to make tequila cocktails with kombucha, or mineral water and lime juice. Any cocktail that traditionally uses soda water or tonic water, I substitute with mineral water for extra minerals. When I go out for a drink and look at a cocktail menu, they are usually full of sugar, preservatives, artificial colors and flavorings that are so harmful to our bodies, which is why creating healthy beverages means so much to me.
We are all human, and sometimes even the best of us wake up with a hangover. Here are some of my favorite hangover remedies.
Coconut water is hydrating and full of electrolytes to help you feel better. The detoxifier drink at Nourish Cafe & Market has lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, spirulina and chlorella. All of these ingredients help detoxify the body, especially the liver and blood. Chlorophyll drops might protect healthy cells and bodily tissue by increasing phase II biotransformation enzymes. These promote optimal liver health and the body’s natural elimination of potentially harmful toxins. Activated charcoal is another great option. While activated charcoal does not adsorb alcohol, it does help quickly remove other toxins from the body that contribute to poisoning. Consumption of alcohol in its pure form is rare; mixers that include artificial sweeteners and chemicals are common. Activated charcoal treats poisoning by removing these toxins.
Dandelion root tea and milk thistle tea both are helpful the day after drinking. Dandelion root benefits your liver, helping protect it from oxidative stress and keeping it working effectively. One study done in Korea showed that dandelion extract prevented damage to the liver caused by alcohol toxicity in both liver cells and mice. As a liver support and liver aid, milk thistle acts as a powerful liver cleanser by rebuilding liver cells, reducing liver damage and removing toxins from the body that are processed through the liver. The Morning Rescue Bailout shot at Nourish is another quick and easy remedy!
I hope all these healthy drinking tips make your drinking experiences much more enjoyable!
Kimber Dean is co-owner of Nourish Cafés in Columbia and Sedalia, and the author of Happy Food and Happy Baking and Desserts. She is trained in both culinary arts and personal nutrition. Check out her cooking show “Nourished” on YouTube for more recipes.
- 4 ounces chilled orange juice
- 6 ounces bubbly sparkling white wine
- Mix your bubbly and orange juice in a glass and enjoy!
- 4 ounces bubbly sparkling white wine
- 4 ounces kombucha (your favorite brand and flavor)
- 1/4 cup fresh berries (optional)
- Mix your bubbly and kombucha in a glass. Add berries if needed and enjoy!
Red Bird Glow
- 4 ounces Glow cold pressed juice
- 1 ounce tequila
- Mix the glow juice and tequila together, pour into a glass and add ice if you’d like.