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Lake Effect’s Joy Powers chats with Venice Williams, the executive director of Alice’s Garden and the Fondy Food Center, about gardening, herbal remedies and healthy cooking.

Dig in!: Consider a mocktail this summer

Mocktails can provide a healthier and nutrient filled alternative to their alcoholic counterparts.
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Mocktails can provide a healthier and nutrient filled alternative to their alcoholic counterparts.

Milwaukeeans love their cocktails, but over the past few years, there's been a growing trend of people drinking mocktails and other non-alcoholic drinks instead. It's a trend that Venice Williams welcomes as an opportunity to drink more healthily.

Williams is the executive director of Alice's Garden and the Fondy Food Center, and she regularly joins us for a series we call Dig In!

"Mocktails have so many wonderful benefits in the same context and settings that many people drink cocktails, so it still can be a very social drink, minus the alcohol," says Williams. Some of those benefits include better hydration, less calories, more nutrients and minerals and no hangovers.

However, it's important to realize that not all mocktails are healthy drinks and that the ingredients are the crucial factors that determine a drink's nutritional value.

Williams recommends avoiding beverages made with soda, corn syrup or energy drinks because they are high in sugar and caffeine. Instead, focus on drinks that contain more natural ingredients like freshly squeezed juices, organic juices, coconut water and kombucha. Another healthy option is using spices to make base syrups for your mocktails from spices and herbs like cinnamon, clove, turmeric ginger, nutmeg, basil, lemon thyme, rosemary and mint.

If you're looking for somewhere to buy a mocktail, Williams recommends Boone and Crockett, Lost Whale and HoneyBee sage Wellness Apothecary Cafe. If you're interested in some books that dive deeper into mocktails, Williams also recommends reading "Dry" by Clare Liardet, "Growing Your Own Cocktails, Mocktails Teas and Infusions" by Jodi Helmer, "Baby Proof" by Nicole Nared-Washington and "Drinking For Two" by Diana Licalzi and Kerry Benson.

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Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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