8 Cocktail Ingredients That Provide Health Boosts Along With That Buzz

Treating yourself has more than one meaning, you know.

Whoever says drinks and diets don't mix? Whether you’re hoping to brighten up your smile, get a little pain relief, or boost your immune system, the healthy ingredients in these drinks will fix you right up — or at least give you a boost in the right direction. Here are eight of the best health-conscious hotel concoctions across the globe, calling out the key ingredients that you might want to have on hand at home, too.

1.  Key ingredient: Guava

Health benefits: immunity booster, lowers risk of cancer, heart healthy, improves eyesight, aids weight loss

I’m a new convert to guava, but a faithful one. Devotees say it does all sorts of amazing things for your body, like lowering the risk of cancer. At Essensia Restaurant & Lounge, Signature Chef Julie Frans has a cocktail menu featuring “conscious cocktails,” each made with fresh herbs and seasonal fruit plus organic or craft spirits. Try the "Hot & Bothered" margarita, made with Cimarrón tequila, Solerno Blood Orange liqueur, and fresh guava and lime juices.

2.  Key ingredient: Pandan

Health benefits: reduces stress and anxiety, relieves many types of pain, from arthritis to headaches

While pandan might not get the praise it deserves, this tropical plant is a staple in South Asian and Southeast Asian cooking. As such, Singapore’s Warehouse Hotel’s cocktail menu makes good use of it when crafting new cocktails. Their "Singapore Sazerac" is a concoction of Raisin bourbon, pandan bitters, rye, cognac, absinthe, and spiced demerara. Warehouse is actually inspired by the three key moments in the hotel’s history, including the spice trade in the 18th century, so cocktails come with an extra kick.

3.  Key ingredient: Aloe

Health benefits: hydrates skin and body, aids liver function, reduces dental plaque, helps treat mouth ulcers, and heartburn relief

Packed with 12 vitamins, 35 minerals, and 20 amino acids, plus many healing qualities, aloe does a lot of good. Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino offers an "Aruba Mule" at their lobby bar — basically a Moscow Mule with an Aruban twist — infused with aloe from Aruba Aloe. Guests have the option of ordering it “skinny,” without sugar, and using gluten-free liquor. Aloe-obsessed? 

4.  Key ingredient: Matcha

Health benefits: high in antioxidants, boosts memory and concentration, increases energy levels, detoxifies the body and strengthens the immune system

Whether you’ve just landed after a long-haul flight or need an extra energy boost to get you through the day, matcha does the trick. Our bodies crash around mid-day, which is when we need matcha the most. High Note SkyBar, part of the musically-themed Aria Hotel Budapest, touts "The Lonely Trumpet" — a gin version of a Brazilian Caipirinha. It’s finished off with a dash of sweet-tasting homemade matcha tea syrup. At Aria, drinks come with 360-degree views of Budapest, so sit and sip as long as you want.

5.  Key ingredients: Ginger, Kombucha

Health benefits: reduces inflammation, relieves nausea, settles the stomach and relaxes the body

While the taste of ginger is quite strong, a little bit goes a long way. From treating motion sickness, gastrointestinal issues, nausea, and more, this powerful plant will be your best friend. Probiotic-rich kombucha has similar healing properties. Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills in Plymouth features several plant-based cocktails like their "Spiced Peach ‘Bucha,’" made with ginger kombucha tea shaken with spiced rum, peach puree, ginger-simple syrup, and served in a sugared-rim glass with a sliver of skewered peach.

6.  Key ingredient: Chamomile

Health benefits: fights anxiety and depression, helps with ulcers, skin disorders, muscle spasms, and insomnia

Chamomile in cocktail form? Yes, please! Adding a modern twist to a classic cocktail, Qespi Bar has created a list of “cocktails with a purpose.” Each recipe is inspired by locally harvested superfoods, including local produce and Andean medicinal plants, such as coca and salvia leaves, finding ways to add a dash of wellness to the cocktail experience. The "Camomile Honey Old Fashioned" is a big hit, especially for allergy-prone travelers.

7.  Key ingredient: Cucumber

Health benefits: stress reliever, aids healthy digestion, helps lower risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancer

Not a big drinker? Try the non-alcoholic welcome drinks at Colony Club in Barbados. Called the "Cumila," the hotel’s signature mocktail is a refreshing mix of cucumber, mint, agave and lemon with ingredients harvested right from the property’s organic garden. Of course, for an added punch, guests can add a dash of Mount Gay Rum to the wellness drink, designed to promote hydration and digestion. As for the agave additive, it’s surprisingly rich in calcium and even aids in weight loss.

8.  Key ingredient: Watermelon

Health benefits: hydrates skin and body, aids digestion, promotes heart health, helps prevent cancer and macular degeneration, relieves muscle soreness, and works to lower inflammation

If you’re not drinking watermelon, you’re missing out. As it happens, Florida is one of the country’s biggest producers of watermelon, and Opal Sands Resort’s restaurant and bar, Sea-Guini, sources Floridian watermelon for its "Watermelon Mojito." There’s also a dash of mint, which promotes digestion, helps hair growth, repels mosquitoes, boosts memory, and soothes poison ivy. Considering that alcohol dehydrates the body, and that watermelon is 92 percent water, think of it as balancing the scales.

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