by Diana Leah Wilson, MS, RD, LD
Want to add a few sips to your spooky celebration? A Halloween cocktail can not only liven up a ghoulish party, with the right ingredients and garnishes, it can also have some health benefits.
Here are our favorite recipes for Halloween cocktails that pack an antioxidant punch.
Just be sure to serve and imbibe responsibly.
Serve up a pint of blood with this popular red wine based drink. Resveratrol is a powerful andtioxidant found in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces LDL cholesterol, and prevents blood clots.
- 2 cups sparkling water
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1 lime, sliced in thin circles
- 1 lemon, sliced in thin circles
- 1 shot brandy
Mix all ingredients in a tall glass pitcher. It can be served at room temperature or over ice.
Did you know that resveratrol actually comes from the skin of grapes? That means you can make this with grape juice instead of red wine and still get the same antioxidant kick!
Lychee Eyeballs (see below)
While you could squish real bugs to make a protein shake, this slimy lime alternative is less likely to scare off your guests! Limes are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is one of one of the main antioxidants found in food and the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body.
- 2 ounces lime juice (key lime juice looks slimiest )
- 1 ounce tonic water
- 2 ounces white tequila
- 1 ounce Cointreau
Shake with ice for about 10 seconds in a cocktail shaker. Strain and serve in a highball glass. If served under black light, this ghoulish drink will glow in the dark. Add a little sugar if the bug guts are too sour for you!
Bleeding Heart (see below)
For high class vampires, a Bloodtini is the perfect thirst-quencher! Tart cherries are ranked among the top 50 foods for highest antioxidant content per serving. They also contain the highest concentrations of anthocyanins 1 and 2 which help block enzymes associated with inflammation.
- 3 ounces tart cherry juice
- 1.5 ounces vodka
Shake for about 10 seconds with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain and serve in a martini glass.
Candy licorice spiders frozen in ice cubes. While there are some antioxidants found in licorice root, this garnish is more for fun than it is for health.
Related: "Bad for You" Foods That Fight Fat
Cranberries and blueberries rank among the fruit with the highest antioxidant content. Antioxidants found in berries include anthocyanins, which give berries their unique red, purple, or blue colors.
- 1 can (16 ounces) peeled lychees
- 20 large blueberries or cranberries
Drain lychees. Place a blueberry or cranberry into the hole of each lychee to create a slimy eyeball.
Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betalains have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
- Small pickled beets
- Cocktail swords
Pierce the beets with cocktail swords and use to garnish clear or light colored beverages. The beet will “bleed” in the cocktail.
What will you be sipping on Halloween?
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Diana Leah Wilson, MS, RD, LD, is the ninja behind Project Eat Me, a health blog for college students and lifelong learners.