Crafting Hangover-Free Delights: Low Sugar and Sodium Cocktails to Minimize the Aftermath

Crafting Hangover-Free Delights: Low Sugar and Sodium Cocktails to Minimize the Aftermath

Making cocktails is truly an art. Maybe you’ve witnessed master bartenders whipping up concoctions with expensive bitters, egg white foam, and treasure chests full of smoke. Alternatively, maybe you’ve dabbled with the art of cocktail making yourself -- mixing up your own homemade syrups with citrus juices and fun mixers. In any case, making a drink taste really good can be difficult without copious amounts of sugar. In fact, a simple drink, such as an espresso martini or a moscow mule, can range from containing 75-87% of your daily sugar intake… in just one drink! That’s a lot of sugar that will inevitably lead to a killer hangover the morning after. Likewise, some common drinks, such as the Bloody Mary or a margarita can contain over 250 grams of sodium -- inevitably contributing even further to that dreaded hangover. 

Let’s dive into why salt and sugar lead to those dreaded morning after effects. 

When consumed in excess, sugary cocktails and mixers can lead to a more intense hangover due to several factors. Firstly, sugar contributes to dehydration by increasing urine production and depleting essential electrolytes. This, combined with alcohol's diuretic properties, can leave the body severely dehydrated, intensifying hangover symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. Additionally, sugary drinks can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, leading to an initial burst of energy followed by a crash, adding to feelings of fatigue and lethargy the morning after. By opting for low-sugar alternatives, one can minimize the negative impact on the body, promoting a more enjoyable and hangover-free experience.

sugar poured into drink

Salty drinks, such as margaritas or dirty martinis, can also contribute to dehydration due to the high sodium content. When alcohol is consumed in large quantities, it acts as a diuretic, causing increased urine production and fluid loss. This, combined with the dehydrating effects of salt, can exacerbate the dehydrating effects of alcohol. However, it's important to note that hangovers are not solely caused by salt. Factors like the type and amount of alcohol consumed, individual tolerance, lack of sleep, and other compounds in alcoholic beverages contribute to the overall hangover experience. Therefore, moderation and responsible drinking remain key to minimizing the risk and severity of hangovers, regardless of the salt content in the drinks.

salty margarita

Conclusively, it’s apparent that your common elaborate cocktails are not the best idea for preventing a hangover. Instead, we’ve created some recipes that are a bit lower on the sodium and salt, yet still taste amazing. 


The recipes...

Citrus Spritz:

Instructions: Fill a glass with ice. Add Residence Act, soda water, pomegranate juice, and yuzu/lemon juice. Stir gently, then top with prosecco. Garnish as desired.


Tangy Mezcal:

  • 2 oz Ilegal Joven Mezcal
  • Freshly squeezed tangerine juice (or a sugar free bottled version)
  • Pinch of ground Calabrese chili (adjust to taste)
  • Dash of cinnamon powder
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice

Instructions: Fill a shaker with ice. Add Mezcal, tangerine juice, Calabrese chili, cinnamon, and lime juice. Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice. Optional: Rim the glass with salt before pouring.


Oyster Shell Martini:

  • 2 oz Belvedere Rye Vodka (infused with oyster shells if available)
  • 1 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 1 oz Vermouth
  • Splash of caper brine

Instructions: Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add infused vodka, gin, vermouth, and caper brine. Stir gently, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Optional: Add a pinch of sea salt for a subtle salinity.


low sugar spritz cocktail

Elderflower Delight:

  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz Aperol
  • 1/2 oz elderflower liqueur
  • Splash of sugar free pomegranate juice
  • Squeeze of fresh blood orange juice

Instructions: Fill a shaker with ice. Add tequila, Aperol, elderflower liqueur, pomegranate juice, and blood orange juice. Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice. Optional: Mist the top with a sea salt-infused spray for a hint of saltiness.


low sugar fig cocktail spritz

Fig Refreshing Spritz:

  • 2 oz Aperitivo Select
  • 2 tbsp sugar free fig preserves
  • Soda water
  • Prosecco
  • fresh figs, to garnish
  • fresh rosemary, to garnish

Instructions: In a blender, blend the Apertivo and sugar free fig preserves. Fill a glass with ice. Add Aperitivo combination, soda water, and prosecco. Stir gently and garnish as desired.


limoncello breeze low sugar cocktail

Limoncello Breeze:

  • 2 oz Italicus Bergamot Aperitivo
  • 1 oz limoncello
  • Soda water
  • Prosecco

Instructions: Fill a glass with ice. Add Italicus Bergamot Aperitivo and limoncello. Top with equal parts soda water and prosecco. Stir gently and garnish as desired.


japanese negroni

Japanese Negroni:

Instructions: Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add gin, vermouth, and aperitivo. Stir gently, then strain into a chilled glass. Optional: Rim the glass with a twist of lemon zest and a touch of sugar.


Prickly Pear Margarita:


  • 2 oz tequila (silver or blanco)
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 oz NextDay Original
  • Club soda
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedge, for garnish

Instructions: Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add tequila, lime juice, and NextDay Original. Shake to combine. Pour over ice and finish with club soda. Garnish with lime juice.


In conclusion, making cocktails is an art that often involves indulging in complex flavors and elaborate presentations. However, many of these drinks contain high amounts of sugar and salt, which can contribute to intense hangovers and negative health effects. Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can lead to dehydration and energy crashes, intensifying the symptoms of a hangover. Similarly, the high sodium content in salty drinks exacerbates dehydration caused by alcohol. 

NextDay Original

To help you enjoy cocktails with reduced sugar and salt content, we've provided some delicious recipes. These cocktails, such as the Citrus Spritz, Tangy Mezcal, Oyster Shell Martini, Elderflower Delight, Refreshing Spritz, Limoncello Breeze, Japanese Negroni, and Prickly Pear Margarita, offer flavorful alternatives with lower sugar and salt levels while still providing a delightful taste experience. Still, if you find yourself over-indulging, we recommend having a few NextDay cans on hand!


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