With the recent pandemic still visible in our collective rear view mirror, many people will be wondering what they can do to boost their immune systems naturally.
Immunity-boosting cocktails could be the answer.
Early on in the crisis, the term ‘quarantinis’ was coined, reflecting the nation’s desire for a stress-busting cocktail made from the limited ingredients buried deep in the back of our liquor cabinets.
Without access to standard cocktail ingredients, imbibers were making up their own cocktails, letting their imaginations run wild and incorporating the random collection of bottles we all have stashed away, to create unique concoctions - aka, “quarantinis”.
Drink to boost your health
But with shops beginning to re-open and standard cocktail ingredients being more readily available, what cocktails can you create at home to naturally boost your immunity?
For your next happy hour, why not try out one of our 5 delicious immunity-boosting cocktails below?
And before you question the juxtaposition of ‘immunity-boosting’ and ‘cocktail’ in the same sentence, it is possible to reap the rewards of natural, immune system boosting ingredients and alcohol. In fact, it’s incredibly common place when we are feeling under the weather to drink to boost our health.
For example, if you have a cold you wouldn't think twice about drinking a hot lemon and honey drink, or even a hot toddy*. Or if you were feeling run down at work you’d drink a glass of fresh orange juice to pep you up.
Loading up on known immune system boosting nutrients such as proteins, vitamins A, C and E as well as zinc, has been something we’ve done for a millenia. Because our immune system needs a helping hand occasionally in order for it to function properly and keep us healthy.
So what ingredients should you be looking to include in your cocktails, to pep them up and give your immune system an added boost?
Natural immune-boosting ingredients
- Turmeric - the benefits of turmeric, the bright yellow bitter spice, as an immune system booster are well known, not to mention it’s an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.
- Ginger - ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, known to settle upset stomachs and aid digestion as well as being an antioxidant.
- Orange zest/juice - orange fruits are infamous for their high volumes of vitamin C. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of your body’s white cells, which fight infections.
- Lemon juice - did you know that lemons have even more vitamin C than oranges, as well as being an antioxidant?
- Grapefruit juice - another ready supply of vitamin C. Fun fact - our bodies don’t produce or store vitamin C, so you need to consume it daily.
- Almonds - these are packed full of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that is key to maintaining a healthy immune system.
- Green tea - in fact both green and black teas work wonders for the immune system as they are packed full of flavonoids, a form of antioxidant.
So these are some of the ingredients you should be looking to include in your evening’s aperitif, but just what should you be mixing them with in terms of alcohol and what quantities?
Here are 5 immunity-boosting cocktail recipes to turn your tipple into a tastebud tingling wellness drink.
5 immunity-boosting cocktails (all serve one)
1. The Grapefruit Pisco One
Lemons and grapefruits are perfect for delivering your daily dose of vitamin C.
- 30ml Peruvian Pisco
- 10ml Aperol
- 5ml lemon juice
- 10ml grapefruit juice
- 10ml sugar syrup
Shake all ingredients together and strain into a tumbler over fresh ice. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
2. The Grapefruit Tequila One
Grapefruit and lime juice are packed full of immune-boosting vitamin C.
- 30ml tequila
- 15ml grapefruit juice
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Topped up with lemonade (optional)
- Sea salt for the rim
Shake the tequila, grapefruit juice and lime juice together, over ice. Run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and dip it in the sea salt. Pour the cocktail into the glass and top up with lemonade if you prefer a longer (sweeter) drink.
3. The Cucumber Vodka One
Nothing beats refreshing cucumber juice for quenching your thirst, and staying hydrated is essential to maintaining good overall health.
- 50ml fresh cucumber juice (juice a cucumber or if you don’t have a juicer, puree a peeled, seedless cucumber in a blender and dilute with a touch of water)
- 20ml fresh lime juice
- 20ml vodka
- Dash sugar syrup
- Topped up with soda water
Combine the cucumber juice, lime juice, vodka and sugar syrup in a tall glass and top up with soda water. Garnish with ice, lime wedges and cucumber slices.
4. The Orange and Ginger Bourbon One
Orange and ginger are an immune-boosting pair that work wonderfully with bourbon.
- Orange peel
- 10ml ginger juice
- 5ml maple syrup
- 20ml lemon juice
- Dash of bitters
- 30ml bourbon
Muddle together the orange peel with the fresh ginger juice, maple syrup, lemon juice and bitters. Add the bourbon and ice and stir to combine. Pour into a serving glass with ice cubes and top up with sparkling water if you prefer your cocktails long. Garnish with fresh mint and orange peel.
*5. The Hot Toddy
We mentioned the hot toddy above, so here’s the recipe.
- 25ml whisky
- 2 teaspoon honey
- ½ cinnamon stick
- Juice of half lemon
- Hot water
Combine the whisky and honey and lemon juice in a heatproof glass. Top up with 100ml hot water. Stir with the cinnamon stick to combine. Add more honey (or water) for taste.