There’s a lot to learn about drinks. Not just the various processes and abvs*, but perhaps more importantly, how to imbibe responsibly. Knowing your recommended allowance is one thing, but what is a unit? Is it universal? And how do you put things right if you occasionally go over the limit?

First things first. Drinkaware, the independent UK-wide charity promoting responsible drinking advises no more than three to four units of alcohol in any one day on a regular basis for men; two to three units for women. Then there’s the matter of what a unit actually is. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a single drink, it’s 10ml of pure alcohol which is one measure of spirit, half a pint of beer and one 175ml glass of wine. And that’s the same in any language. Got that? Good. Now let’s move on to the tricky part.

Finding the perfect balance, illustration by Wilfred Jones for The Cocktail Lovers

Most of us have overdone it on the recommended daily amount front at some point – it’s the bits in between and after that make the difference. “I’m healthy, fun, full of energy, love kale, don’t over or under eat, exercise regularly, work in the health industry and guess what? I drink,” says Georgia Sinclair, a health and fitness expert from FIX Consultancy and one half of Better Bootcamp, a fresh initiative devised in association with Claire Smith, Head of Spirit Creation and Mixology at Belvedere Vodka. “Like everything in life though, moderation is key,” Sinclair continues. “I don’t drink every day. I take chunks of time off alcohol, I choose my drinks carefully and make sure my alcohol consumption is moderated. Nail this approach and you’ve found the key to a long and healthy life.”

These are the kind of tips the pair demonstrated to a handful of drinks industry folk during a weekend this summer in Ibiza. Sinclair was on hand to talk about nutrition; fitness advice and workout routines were taken care of by personal trainer Giacomo Farci. If your body is fit then it will manage the effects of alcohol much better, getting rid of toxins and felling better quicker,” says Farci

Interestingly, alcohol wasn’t off the the menu – instead Joe Stokoe from drinks consultancy Heads, Hearts & Tails created a selection of tipples, heavy on nutrients, light in sugar and calories, showing what can be achieved with a little thought and the health of the customer in mind..

“The choice of ingredients came about through some research into ingredients with proven health benefits as well as those reputed to be effective hangover cures,” Stokoe says. “We also gave lots of thought to the sweetening agent we used.”

His recipes all contain 35ml of Belvedere Vodka as a base (“enough for the vodka to be prominent without the unnecessary extra abv and calories” he explains) and a veritable smorgasbord of bright, zingingly fresh ingredients (“Fresh ingredients, as always are the key to a tasty drink,” another top Stokoe tip). Pineapple, kale, coconut, watermelon, beetroot, ginger and tomato are just some of nature’s bounty which he packs into his selection. “If you’re going to drink anyway then why not think more about the ingredients that go into your cocktail and ‘drink better’?” he says. We couldn’t agree more. For more tips on drinking smarter and how to survive the party season, read on.

For more information, see www.fixconsultancy.com; www.headsheartsandtails.com; www.giacomofarci.com.

Better Bootcamp Basics

WHILE YOU’RE OUT

“Match every alcoholic drink with a glass of still or sparkling water,” advises Sinclair. Take your time to sip and appreciate the contents in your glass and it goes without saying, don’t drink to excess. “Avoid salty snacks, they make you thirsty,” Sinclair adds.

THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE

DITCH the hair of the dog remedy

DO go for the Virgin Mary option – tomato juice contains vitamin C and lycopene, just what you need after partying hard.

DITCH the big fry-up

DO reach for eggs – scrambled or poached for much needed amino acids. “Go for good quality fibre and protein – baked beans are a good one in my household,” adds Sinclair.

DITCH the sugary colas

DO rehydrate with water, or try coconut water. Coco Face is about as fresh as it gets – straight from the tree ready for drinking, low in calories and filled to bursting with electrolytes. Order from www.cocoface.co.uk

DITCH the coffee

DO go for ginger or mint tea – fresh if possible, both help to reduced nausea. “Green tea is excellent,” says Farci. Also try freshly-squeezed lemon and lime juice in warm water, “It stimulates the liver in the morning,” says Sinclair.

DITCH the duvet “And avoid the sauna as it will dehydrate you even more,” says Farci.

DO get out and get some fresh air.

Better Bootcamp Cocktails

Vodka comes in at around 55 calories for 25ml. Mix it with fresh fruits and vegetables for a longer, fresher, nutrient packed cocktail.

Piña Kale-Ada

35ml Belvedere Vodka
25ml freshly pressed pineapple juice
25ml freshly pressed kale juice
Dash of fresh lemon juice
10ml coconut nectar
Handful of fresh basil

Method:
Shake ingredients over ice and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a slice of pineapple.

Hail Mary

35ml Belvedere Vodka
25ml freshly pressed/blended watermelon juice
25ml freshly pressed/blended beetroot juice
15ml freshly pressed/blended tomato juice
1 inch red chilli pepper (deseeded)
Dash each of Green and Red Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika
Fresh lemon juice

All ingredients apart from vodka blended into a Mary Mix.

Method:
Build drink over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a celery stalk.

Ginger & Green Tea Punch (Double G Punch)

35 ml Belvedere Lemon Tea Vodka
1 inch muddled fresh ginger, muddled
2 kaffir lime leaves
10ml fresh lemon juice
35ml chilled green tea
1 tsp Matcha green tea powder
10ml coconut nectar
Ice spheres

Method:
Shake ingredients over ice. Double strain and serve. (Can be batched and served in a large punch bowl).

*abv: alcohol by volume or how much alcohol is contained in an alcoholic beverage

 

Taken from issue 9 of The Cocktail Lovers Magazine

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