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Healthy summer drinks – with a twist!

Healthy summer drinks – with a twist!Yep, cold soda tastes good, but there are plenty of equally palate pleasing alternatives that can both refresh and be good for you.

As summer approaches, it’s tempting to reach for a can of soda or a chilled glass of beer, but these drinks are often full of calories and aren’t compatible with any bikini body plan. We look at six alternative drinks to try this summer season and impress your guests at a sunny BBQ.

A Gin & Tonic with Rosemary and Cucumber
A twist on the classic, adding a sprig of rosemary and a few slices of cucumber ensures this drink is even more refreshing! One part gin, three parts tonic with lots of ice, try it with slimline tonic in order to really cut down on your calorie intake.

Cranberry Juice, Soda water and Lime
The health benefits of cranberry juice have long been established, but like many fruit juices, can contain a lot of sugar. Pair two parts cranberry juice with one part soda water with a squeeze of fresh lime for a delicious non-alcoholic beverage. Make sure to buy cranberry juice, not cranberry flavored juice.

The Hugo: Prosecco and Elderflower Cordial
The Italian alternative to champagne, Prosecco is a better value – and some would argue – better tasting than its European neighbor. Add a drop of elderflower cordial to jazz up a glass, and you’ve made the popular cocktail The Hugo! If you can’t find Prosecco or would like a non-alcoholic version, The Hugo is also delicious with three parts soda water to one part
elderflower cordial.

Cucumber Water with Mint
A favorite at spas across the country, so simple yet so delicious. Cut up slices of fresh cucumber and a sprig of mint and add to a glass of ice cold water. This can’t be beaten on a hot day! If you’re feeling fruity, add in some frozen berries – packs of which can be found in your local grocery store freezer section.

White Wine Spritzer
A lighter way to enjoy a glass of wine. Use two parts white wine and one part soda water, add ice and voila! Spritzers work best with fruity wines, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
A summer favorite, try freezing grapes and putting in the glass instead of ice cubes!

Coconut Pineapple Rum Punch
Take two parts coconut water, one part pineapple juice and one part white rum, add ice and whizz for 30 seconds in a food processor. Too sweet? Add in some soda water with the ice to tone it down. If you want to keep this alcohol free, replace the white rum with water or an extra part of measurement of coconut water.

As with any health-conscious eating plan, all of these drinks should be consumed in moderation. Steer clear of any juices that have a high level of processed sugars, and try where you can to use organic, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Rachel Rowney reviews six to tempt the taste buds.

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