From Dalgona coffee to Kombucha
, the DIY trend has picked up in recent times. Singapore’s booming night scene may be home to some of the world’s best bars1
, but with restrictions that prevent alcohol consumption after 10:30pm2
still in place, it’s no wonder that many people are learning to make their own drinks too.
Have you heard of functional cocktails? Even if you don't normally drink alcohol, you might be interested to know that cocktails can have health benefits too!
What’s in a drink?
What makes cocktails different from plain alcoholic drinks like beer and wine? Cocktails are actually made from a combination of spirits, liquor and other ingredients (called mixers) such as fruit juices and flavoured syrups or cream.
Some cocktails even include flowers, herbs or even spices in the mix for an extra kick. These mixers add flavours and sweetness while also lowering the volume of alcohol in the drink, giving your tastebuds a tantalising treat.
The unexpected health properties of cocktail ingredients
While alcohol should always be consumed in moderation, ingredients used for cocktail mixers are often healthier than you expect.
Flowers and fruits
Flowers in cocktails serve more purpose than just beautifying your drink — the petals of blooms such as the chamomile3, elderflower4 and rose5 can add a unique fragrance to your tipple. Moreover, chamomile is an ingredient that’s widely thought to help people relax and fall asleep, while elderflowers are used in traditional medicine to relieve sinus symptoms6.
In fact, adding juices or actual fruit slices (lemons, apples or even peaches) into your drinks can also provide your body with a dose of vitamin C and keep you healthy.
You might have seen plenty of bartenders adding fresh herbs like basil and mint7 to their alcoholic concoctions for a refreshing taste. For those with more adventurous taste buds, you can even have your cocktail infused with herbs like ginseng8 or ginger9 too! And they don’t just add a stronger flavour punch — these herbs are also known for their nourishing benefits.
Ginger has powerful medicinal properties; when used in natural ginger ales or as a garnish for your cocktails, it has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can aid in digestion and calm nausea10.
If you prefer your drinks with a stronger bite, you can even try those made with spices like peppercorn or even chilies!11 Capsaicin is an active ingredient found in chili that has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the risk of heart disease.12 Just a note: it’s not for the faint-hearted.
If you’re a tea lover too, try tea-based cocktails13 that combine the benefits of both beverages. Black tea, including Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and Ceylon black tea have brain boosting properties, improving focus and alertness14.
With its distinctive sweetness, rooibos tea makes a good mixer to even out the bitterness in alcohol. It also contains no caffeine and is a rich source of antioxidants that helps to balance blood sugar levels, which may help those with type 2 diabetes.15
The health benefits of different spirits
Apart from the mixers, different alcoholic spirits also have known health properties.
Gin is a popular spirit that’s made from juniper berries16 — it’s also what gives gin its distinctive flavour. Full of antioxidants and aids in digestion, the flavonoids found in juniper berries can also help prevent heart disease and improve blood circulation as you get older.
Made from fermented grain, whiskey is another popular spirit widely enjoyed all around the world. And in countries like Scotland, they’re also often used to fight colds. Hot toddies — whiskey mixed with hot water, lemon, and honey — can be quite good for relieving flu symptoms17. The best part? Whiskey alone also contains no fat and no carbs18!
Researchers have found that Armagnac brandy, a liquor made by distilling wine, from Gastony, France, could also possibly contain anti-platelet properties19 that reduces the chance of a heart attack by preventing abnormal clotting in the arteries.
Making your own
Looking for a new hobby, or reluctant to go out? With plenty of recipes to be found online, you can even try making your own cocktails with a basic mixing set.
If you’re serious about becoming a cocktail connoisseur, you can even join a bartending workshop to learn to make the classics, or even experiment and concoct your own recipe.
Just like making your own cocktails, tailoring your insurance portfolio requires the same kind of attention to detail. How else will you find out what fits your preferences and needs best? Speak to a Financial Consultant
This article is for your information only and does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any persons.