Last week I went out for “drinks” with a couple of friends, which means that they drank cocktails while I gave the bartender full artistic liberty to conjure up some interesting and non-alcoholic creations. For the most part, these drinks appeared to consist of various combinations of fruit juice, syrup and soda. They were decidedly tasty and went down easily. And it was more fun than being the lame person drinking water or club soda.

Although I didn’t have a drop of alcohol, lo and behold, I woke up the next morning with a headache and dehydration that could have rivalled the worst hangover. I am convinced this was a result of all the sugar and fruit juice — three large drinks’ worth in total. I normally don’t drink anything other than water, tea or club soda, so the liquid sugar (i.e. fruit juice and syrups) must have been just too much for my body to handle. This begs the question, how much of a hangover can actually be directly attributed to the alcohol, and how much of it is caused by the accompanying sugar, whether naturally occurring (such as in wine) or added (mixes, syrups, etc.)?

The whole experience got me thinking about what sorts of drinks I can enjoy when — correction, if — patio season finally arrives in Vancouver (it is, after all, nearly June and still raining more days than it’s not! :().

Today I played around in the kitchen, and I think I’ve come up with something that is extremely tasty and refreshing, while remaining relatively Paleo-friendly. I cubed various fresh fruits and semi-froze them, then blended one cup of the fruit(s) of my choice with half a teaspoon of either lemon or lime juice, and a cup of club soda. A word to the wise: be careful when you blend club soda in the blender! 🙂

I tried several different fruit combinations, and the definite taste winner for me was cubed watermelon with lime juice, which from a dietary standpoint is also quite low glycemic load, since although watermelon is sweet, it is actually more than 90 percent water, by weight. Anything with raspberry was also really good!

The drinks all had a nice balance of sweetness from the fruit and tartness from the citrus juice and club soda, though some people might prefer to add a touch of honey to sweeten things up.

Here is a photo of my favourite creation:

Watermelon and lime slushie

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