Fourth of July celebrations are about having a good time – but flooding our bodies with the artificial junk found in many summer cocktail recipes sounds more like a nightmare than a party. We’re gearing up for this weekend’s festivities by declaring our independence from those lamentable libations, and embracing our freedom to make better choices (not just sacrifices). The following tips make it easy to healthify the summer cocktail recipes we’re already attached to. If you’re looking for a fresh start, be sure to try the Watermelon Gin Fizz recipe below; hydrating, fruity and so. damn. cute. in a coconut, this booze-optional beverage might just be the perfect summer cocktail…

When it comes to summer sipping, not every beverage is created equal. While we should be turning to water to keep us hydrated and feeling healthy, often those warm, sunny days lead to celebratory nights, when you might find yourself with a glass or can in hand with something bubbly and effervescent inside.

With July 4th looming large in our minds, today we’re sharing a healthy summer cocktail that will hydrate and nourish while still making you feel festive. And the best part? This summer drink is just as delicious served alcohol-free. Whip up a few for your next backyard party and let the good times roll…

How to Make a Healthier Summer Cocktail

Pick a Healthy Base

What’s really in that cocktail you’re holding? The answer is often sugar, sugar, and… you guessed it, more sugar. Instead, opt for a healthy base, like coconut water. Yes, it contains natural sugar, but it also arrives complete with ultra-hydrating electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and tons of other benefits you can learn about here. Plus, when you drink it straight from the source (i.e. the actual coconut) you know exactly what you’re getting (no weird fillers or preservatives). Other great options include grapefruit juice and aloe juice, just be sure to check the label to ensure you’re purchasing 100% of the product advertised.

Skip the Soda

Instead of topping off your drink with sugar-laden soda, choose a flavored seltzer or plain club soda. You get all the bubbles without the high fructose corn syrup!

Garnish with the good stuff

To spice things up, garnish with fruit, herbs, and edible flowers. Summer fruit — like watermelon, blueberries, late-season strawberries, and melon — hydrates while adding flavor and vitamins and herbs add interest and peak summer flavor.

Go high quality + clear

If you’re adding alcohol to your drink, choose a high quality, clear liqueur — like one of our favorites, Garden Flora Gin. Clear liqueurs, like gin and vodka, contain less sugar and none of the potentially harmful sulfites of wine and beer, plus they blend easily with fresh juices and seltzers.

Skip it all together

A great cocktail is a great cocktail, but if you’re not feeling it, take your drink booze-free, the recipe below can be made with or without alcohol, making it a great choice for all your guests.

Watermelon Gin Fizz
Serves 2


1 whole coconut, halved, coconut water reserved
3 oz gin
1 cup diced watermelon
juice from 1/2 lime
4 large mint leaves
club soda or seltzer
Blueberries, watermelon chunks and blackberries, to garnish


Divide watermelon pieces evenly between the two coconut halves.

In a cocktail shaker filed with ice, combine coconut water, gin, lime juice, and mint leaves. Shake vigorously. Pour into the coconut halves over the watermelon and top off with seltzer.

Garnish with lime wedges, mint leaves, and fruit skewers.

Find more creative recipes and summer-ready inspiration at Free People’s blog, BLDG 25!

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