Dec. 19, 2018Halloween… Thanksgiving… Hanukkah… Christmas… New Year’s… yes, the last quarter of the year sure is festive, with parties aplenty and holiday happy hours seemingly every other day. It’s enough to make your head spin, or at least enough to leave you with a major headache the morning after — not to mention puffy eyes, breakouts, dehydrated skin… the list goes on.
This season of celebration is known for the indulgence it often brings with it, and while one should feel 100% comfortable forgoing the spiked beverages that often accompany these celebrations, if you’re someone who enjoys a drink or two but doesn’t enjoy the after effects, this article is for you.
First, let’s talk about why boozy drinks — even just one or two glasses of conventional wine — often have negative effects on our skin, overall appearance and general feeling of wellbeing. Conventional wine and bottom-shelf spirits are often laced with additives, like sugar, tannins, yeast, gluten and even animal products. In the case of wine, sulfites are the most well-known contaminant. Some sulfites occur naturally — they’re found on the skin of the grapes and can be found in other foods, too, like dried fruit — what’s not so natural is when producers begin to add sulfites as stabilizers, often in the form of sulfur dioxide. These sulfites, especially when combined with the naturally-occurring tannins in wine, can wreak havoc on our bodies in the form of migraines, headaches and more.
Bottom-shelf spirits, on the other hand, are often cut with sugar and produced using low-quality ingredients. Just like low-quality food can have adverse effects on your health, low-quality alcohol can be even worse for you than it’s top-shelf counterparts. Think of a poorly produced spirit in terms of a GMO-grown carrot: it may look great, but the taste and after-effects will let you down, whereas a spirit produced by a small distiller using organic ingredients will oftentimes taste better and lead to less of a headache the next morning (so long as you sip responsibly and maintain plenty of hydration). Thankfully, there are better choices out there— from biodynamic wine to a cleaner tequila. Read on for our seasonal recs:
For the wine-lover:
If your idea of a quiet night in (or even a wild night out) includes a glass of red or white, there’s a whole new crop of better-for-you wines available from organic and biodynamic producers. One of our favorite sources for organic wine? Thrive Market, who enlists a Master Sommelier to curate their brand new wine selection. With the goal of sourcing clean wines that mirror the ideals of clean eating, the wines offered by Thrive Market boast lower sulfites, making them potentially less harsh on the system. Most organic wine producers have less intervention in their wine-making process than larger, more commercial distributors, making their profiles more diverse and their flavors often more robust.
For the beer connoisseur:
The first organic beer was produced — unsurprisingly — in Germany in — surprisingly — 1979. Yes, organic beer has been around for awhile and could be a great choice for the beer-lover who cares about quality ingredients, not to mention avoiding the potential pesticides that hops for conventional beer is produced with. Will you still get a hangover with organic beer? Yes. But the quality of ingredients and lack of pesticide use could curtail some of the other unwanted effects of beer-drinking. Where do you find organic beer? While some larger US producers have started offering organic options, one online source for small-batch craft and organic brews is Craft Shack, which allows customers of legal drinking age to order their organic beer directly.
For the spirits enthusiast:
Just as craft beers have experienced a boom in recent years, craft spirits, created in small-batch distilleries, often from local and organic ingredients have sprung up all over. Choose organic spirits for at-home cocktails and pair them with mixers, bitters, and accoutrements to keep the sugar content low but flavor profile elevated. Check out Liquor Mart for organic spirits options, or look up local listings to discover what’s being created near you.
Looking for a cocktail to serve that won’t leave you feeling weighed down? Try the bright and citrusy spritz below that makes use of herbaceous rosemary and the gorgeous satsuma oranges springing up in markets this time of year:
Seasonal Satsuma Tequila Spritz
- 1.5 oz. organic tequila
- Grapefruit seltzer
- Juice from ¼ satsuma orange
- Sprig of rosemary
Place ice in a glass and add the tequila. Top with seltzer and a squeeze of satsuma (or any other winter citrus). Gently crush the rosemary sprig between your palms and add to the glass, garnishing with a satsuma round. Sip and enjoy!
Do you have a go-to cocktail for the holidays? Share your recipes with us on social by tagging us on social with @AvocadoMattress and #AvocadoGreenMagazine