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November 6, 2012 | Issue 425

Holiday Mocktail


The holiday season is full of food, family and full glasses. But limiting alcohol is a good way to promote better health and lower cancer risk. Researchers have linked regular alcohol consumption to head, neck and liver cancers, and believe it may be a culprit in higher risk for colon, rectal and breast cancers. Instead of overdoing it on the bubbly, try this delicious fizzy mocktail, featuring fresh ginger, anise and cinnamon.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving (includes 2 tsp. sweetener per serving): 54 calories, <1 g fat (0 g sat fat),
14 g carbohydrates, <1 g protein, 0 g fiber, 3 mg sodium.

  • 1/3 cup (3 oz.) thinly sliced, fresh ginger
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 3-in. piece stick cinnamon
  • 1½ cups cold water
  • Agave, maple syrup, honey or sugar*
  • 1 lemon, cut lengthwise into 4 wedges

To serve hot:
3 cups hot water

To serve cold:
3 cups cold seltzer or club soda


  1. Place ginger, star anise, cinnamon and water in small saucepan. Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover, and set aside to steep for 30 minutes. Strain hot ginger concentrate into heatproof measuring cup.
  2. To serve hot, divide hot concentrate among 4 mugs. Add 3/4 cup hot water to each, and sweeten to taste. Add lemon wedge to squeeze into hot gingerade.
  3. To serve cold, cool ginger concentrate to room temperature. Divide among 4 tall glasses. Add 6 ice cubes to each glass, then pour in 3/4 cup club soda. Sweeten cold gingerade to taste, add lemon wedge to each glass, and serve.
  4. Unused concentrate will keep, tightly covered in refrigerator, for 3 days.

* If using sugar, combine 3/4 cup with 3/4 cup cold water in a small saucepan. Set the pot over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar dissolves, 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature, then use the syrup or refrigerate, tightly covered. This simple syrup keeps indefinitely.

Grocery list

Fresh ginger
Cinnamon stick
Agave, maple syrup, honey or sugar
Seltzer or club soda

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Did You Know?

Preliminary laboratory studies suggest the antioxidant gingerol, found in ginger, may help destroy cancer cells and block cancer-related inflammation.

AICR 30 years

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