America’s sugar addiction is not easing up despite the warnings of physician organizations, government sponsored studies and global comparative studies. And some studies suggest that almost half of the sugar consumption in America is through the consumption of sodas and alcohol mixers, including seltzers and tonic water.

Ask almost any doctor and they will tell you one of the fastest ways to control one’s weight (and lose a few pounds) is to monitor and restrict sugar intake within one’s diet.

Z’Scoop has found some tasty alternatives to soda and alcohol that offer a variety of flavors and tastes for the drinking of sodas, alcohol and the seasoning of foods with alcohol.

According to wellnessmama.com, in 2015, the average American drank 56 gallons of soda per year, more than a gallon per week, and each single can of soda contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar.

As an alternative to sodas, jwtintelligence.com states that over the past decade, American sales of bottled soda fell more than 25%, while soda water have enjoyed a flavorful renaissance citing the surge in sales at Lacroix, a flavored sparkling water from Wisconsin.

The report adds that new launches, including Sparkling Bitters, are flavoring their sparkling waters with cocktail bitters. In addition to their unique flavor profile, the bitters also promise digestive health benefits. According to the website, the drink does everything from relieving heartburn to stimulating enzyme production.

Another new addition to the market at the recent Summer Fancy Food Show was a sparkling drinking vinegar created by Kombucha company’s Live Beverages. The vinegars are infused with prebiotic fibers, a complement to kombucha’s probiotics, and come in a variety of flavors.

Asi Tea, one of the food show’s newest products and the first ready-to-drink yaupon tea, is based on ancient recipes with modern brewing techniques. Once enjoyed by Native Americans, yaupon tea contains powerful antioxidants and is a natural source of caffeine. A cousin of yerba mate and guayasa, yaupon is North America’s only known plant that contains caffeine.

Also included in the jwtinteligence.com summary of the Summer Fancy Food Show was birch water, one of the most buzzed-about products on display. Companies like Säpp are touting the water as the next organic super-drink. Made with birch tree sap, birch water has a light sweetness and a range of nutritional benefits from proteins to vitamins and minerals. The company also makes two herbal infusions — nettle and rosehip — that expand on its health proposition.

But what about alcohol – another one of America’s favorite forms of beverage? According to marketwatch.com, in 2016, North Americans bought 33.8 billion liters of alcohol, with vodka continuing to be by far the strongest seller by almost 2:1. According to studies by Euromonitor.com, up to four times more calories are consumed from alcoholic drinks than soft drinks.

From across the pond via thedadventurer.com, come three delightful alternatives to three of my favorite summer cocktails – the Lemon Drop Martini, the Strawberry Daiquiri, and the holiest of all Mexican grails – the Margarita.

Lemon Drop Martini Alternative — The Tropical Splash

Ingredients (to serve 2):

  • 300g Iceland Frozen Tropical Fruits Smoothie Mix (mango, pineapple and kiwi)
  • 3 Lemons (2 to juice, 1 sliced for serving)
  • 200ml Orange Juice
  • 100ml Water
  • 300ml Diet Lemonade

1) Put the frozen fruit mix into a blender, along with the squeezed lemon juice, orange juice and water. Blend until smooth. (N.B. You may wish to defrost the frozen fruit first so that it’s more of a juice than a slushy).
2) Pour the mixture from the blender into a jug through a sieve in order to remove the bits.
3) Pour half the mixture into a glass, then top off with lemonade.
4) Serve with a slice of lemon, drink and enjoy!

Strawberry Daiquiri Alternative — Mixed Berry Punch

Ingredients (to serve 4):

  • 300g Iceland Frozen Berry Mix Of Red Fruits (raspberry, blackberry, redcurrant and blackcurrant)
  • 300g Iceland Frozen Strawberry And Banana Smoothie Mix (strawberry and banana)
  • 1 liter Ginger Ale
  • 300ml Cranberry Juice
  • 100ml Water
  • 2tbsp Granulated Sugar

1) Put the frozen fruit mix into a blender, along with the cranberry juice and water. Blend until smooth. (N.B. You may wish to defrost the frozen fruit first so that it’s more of a juice than a slushy).
2) Pour the mixture from the blender into a jug. (N.B. Use a sieve if you wish to remove the bits – I didn’t).
3) Add the ginger ale to the jug. Do this very slowly as it will fizz up.
4) Pour the drink into a glass and add a couple of berries from the frozen fruit mix to keep it cool.
5) Drink and enjoy!

Margarita Alternative — Melon Margarita

Ingredients (to serve 2):

  • 100g Frozen Melon Balls
  • 2 Limes (juiced)
  • 200ml Orange Juice
  • 200ml Apple Juice
  • Salt

1) Rub the inside of a cut lime around the rim of each glass. Pour salt onto a plate and dip the rim of the glass into the salt. Place in the fridge to cool.
2) Put the melon balls into a glass and add the squeezed lime juice. (Note – The melon balls will need to have thawed).
3) Use a muddler (or the end of a rolling pin) to mash up the melon balls to release the flavor and juice.
4) Add the orange juice and apple juice to the glass and give everything a good mix. (Note – Use more apple juice than orange juice if you want it to be less citrusy).
5) Take the salted glass out of the fridge and use a strainer to pour the drink directly into the glass.
6) Drink and enjoy!

So enjoy some wonderful — and flavorful — beverages this summer. And maybe lose a few extra pounds in the process without giving up the flavor of your favorites! Skol!

7 Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health – livescience.com
The 10 Worst Drinks For Your Body – 1019ampradio.cbslocal.com
More Calories Consumed by Alcoholic Drinks than by Soft Drinks – Beveragedaily.com and Euromonitor
10 Reasons to Avoid Drinking Soda – wellnessmama.com
Lighter Libations – jwtintelligence.com
3 Mocktail Recipes for Summer Drinks – thedadventurer.com
Alcohol Substitutes –Los Angeles High Tech News
Alcohol Substitutes – thebalance.com
The World is Drinking Less Alcohol – Except Americans – Marketwatch.com

Products are also available at amazon.com. Click on product name for more information.
Sparkling Bitters
Kombachu Live Beverages
Asi Tea

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