Healthy Eating

5 Tips on Making Summer Drinks That Won’t Spike Your Blood Sugar Levels + 3 Delicious Recipes

Cocktails, mocktails, and lemonade included!

By: Rebecca Jacobs

With the official start to summer underway, refreshing drinks are finally in season — you know, those fancy fruit drinks and tasty summer cocktails. But here’s the thing — while these bevvys are super yummy and perfectly refreshing for the dog days of summer, they are often loaded with added sugar. The good news? We’re letting you in on our top five secrets on how to make healthy summer drinks you can feel good about enjoying all summer long. 

Plus, we’re sharing three of our favorite delicious summer drinks we’re totally craving as the weather heats up. 

5 Simple Hacks For Making Refreshing Healthy Summer Drinks 

#1 Swap Out Refined Sugar For Healthier Lemonade 

Lemonade is a summertime fav, but it’s often loaded with sugar. The good news is that you can totally have this summertime treat without all the added sugar. 

Try swapping out refined sugar for one of these healthier sweeteners instead. 

  • Raw honey 
  • Pure maple syrup 
  • Coconut sugar 
  • Maple sugar 
  • Monk fruit or stevia (for a lower carb option) 

And, instead of using a store-bought lemonade pack, make your own homemade version (recipe below!) 

#2 Enjoy Healthier Mocktails 

Summertime calls for a refreshing margarita on the beach every now and then, are we right? But, let’s take a healthy spin on some of the go-to summer cocktails and ditch the alcohol and go for something a little less calorically-dense. 

Here are some of our go-to tips to make healthier mocktails that you mind find yourself reaching for time and time again this summer. 

  • Use unsweetened sparkling water and add some freshly squeezed lime juice, finely crushed mint leaves, and a drizzle of raw honey for a minty mocktail. 
  • Make an alcohol-free sangria using ½ 100% real grape juice and ½ sparkling water. Add your favorite fruit, chill, and pour into a wine glass. 
  • Enjoy a mimosa sans alcohol — simply mix 100% orange juice with some sparkling water. Yep, it’s that easy! 

#3 Get Smart About the Fizzy Drinks 

Those sparkling waters or “healthier” sodas may seem like the perfect drink on a hot summer day, but many of them contain added sugars. Make a healthy swap by sticking to some healthier varieties (our fav picks below) or going with plain old unsweetened club soda and sweetening it up a bit with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and a drizzle of raw honey. 

Here are some of our favorite fizzy healthy summer drinks we’ll be reaching for all summer long. 

  • Perrier
  • Spindrift
  • Vita Coco sparkling
  • LaCroix 

#4 Use These Hacks When Drinking Summer Cocktails 

When you are in the mood for a summertime cocktail, there are some healthier ways to go about enjoying them. 

  • Skip the store-bought mixers — instead, use one of the sparkling water picks above mixed with fresh fruit and a natural sweetener like raw honey. 
  • Use real fruit juice without added sugar or artificial colors. 
  • Skip the soda and use sparkling water with freshly squeezed lemon or lime.

#5 Go For Fresh Fruit When Possible 

There are all sorts of yummy fruit in season this time of year that would make a delicious way to sweeten up many healthy summer drinks. Or, if you have a juicer (or even a blender at home), you can make your own freshly squeezed fruit juice! 

To make in a blender, simply blend the fruit, and add water as needed. Strain through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. That’s it! You can now enjoy it as is or add some sparkling water to make it even fancier. 

Here are some yummy summer fruit picks. 

  • Watermelon 
  • Mango 
  • Pineapple 
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Papaya 

3 Refreshing Healthy Summer Drink Recipes  

Ready to pour yourself a refreshing drink to cool off with? Yep, us too. Here are some simple but super delicious recipes that make whipping up healthy summer drinks something that you can feel good about enjoying. 

#1 Simple DIY Lemonade 

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • Juice from 4 lemons
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • ¼ cup raw honey 
  • Ice for serving 

Add all ingredients minus the ice to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. 

Serve over ice in a tall glass and enjoy! 

#2 Healthier Alcohol-Free Margarita 

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp raw honey 
  • 1 cup unsweetened sparkling water
  • Crushed ice for serving 

Simply add the lime juice, orange juice, and honey to a blender for about 10 seconds. 

Pour over crushed ice into margarita glasses, filling halfway full. 

Add sparkling water to each glass, filling the glass about ¾ of the way full. 

Sip and enjoy! 

#3 Grape Spritzer 

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup 100% grape juice
  • 1 cups unsweetened sparkling water
  • Ice for serving 

Add the juice and sparkling water to a glass over ice and stir well. 

Sip and enjoy! 

Cool Off With Healthy Summer Drinks All Summer Long

Turns out, healthy summer drinks do exist. So, stock up on fresh fruit and unsweetened sparkling water because making those summer drinks just got healthier.