Pomegranate Mulled Cider ~ and giving up alcohol

Pomegranate Mulled Cider is a delicately spiced, antioxidant rich, and delicious way to ring in the New Year ~ this healthy mocktail has helped me give up my daily drinking habit!

Mulled Pomegranate Cider in a mason jar with rosemary sprig

So I’ve made a pretty big change in my life lately ~ I’ve given up my nightly wine. It’s definitely been challenging, but I feel really good about it. Let me just say I didn’t realize how much I looked forward to the ritual of settling down at the end of the day with a couple of glasses of wine, and to be honest, it was the highlight of my day!

I made the decision after the latest round of news about the ill-effects of drinking came out last month. It’s been so confusing ~ I always thought red wine was supposed to be heart healthy, and that’s the story I clung to for years. Now that the connection between alcohol and other health issues like cancer are coming into focus, especially for women, I decided to do a little research and reconsider my habits.

I was surprised to learn that what I considered to be light or moderate drinking was actually an unhealthy amount. Especially since I’m a woman, and at 5’2″ a small one at that,  I learned that the alcohol in my nightly drink or two was affecting every cell in my body, and not in a good way. Men and women metabolize alcohol differently, and women’s bodies don’t break it down as effectively. It means that glass of wine is effecting me more powerfully and for a longer period of time than it does the guy sitting next to me with the same drink. Totally unfair!

Mulled Pomegranate Cider in a large white pot with ladle

I figured I had a few choices ~ I could reduce the amount of alcohol I drank daily, I could give up alcohol entirely, or I could decide to drink only on social occasions, which is what I ultimately did. I think it helps to be honest with yourself and pick a strategy that works with your personality and lifestyle. I didn’t want the daily will power struggle of trying to keep to a very small glass of wine. I didn’t want to give up drinking completely because it gives me a lot of pleasure and I do believe it can be healthy. So for me, occasional social drinking seemed like a good compromise.

I didn’t make a big announcement about it to friends and family, I just quietly stopped one day and replaced my wine with water. I’m not even sure my husband noticed right away. I will admit that the water thing got old really quickly, and it hasn’t been a super easy process. I still think about that glass of wine every evening at about 6:30. But I’m really happy I followed through ~ it’s given me more energy, I feel more alert, and I sleep better. My body tells me in a hundred ways that I made the right decision.

some tips to help you reduce or give up alcohol ~

  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated so you don’t turn to alcohol out of sheer thirst.
  • Find a substitute non alcoholic beverage to stand in for your cocktail so you can maintain your sipping routine. It might be a mocktail, or a cozy after dinner latte.
  • Reward yourself with something small to take the place of your booze, I get myself a spoonful of Nutella after dinner 🙂
  • Brush your teeth ~ this is really effective! I’ll brush earlier than usual and that helps to signal the end of the eating  ~ and drinking ~ day.
  • I make a ritual out of brewing a really good cup of coffee first thing in the morning and I look forward to it the night before.
  • It helps to do this with a buddy, if possible, I’ve teamed up with my sister.
  • Be clear about why you want to stop drinking…and remind yourself of it regularly to keep motivated.
  • Don’t be worried about false starts, it might take you a few tries to accomplish your goal.
  • Every little bit helps and even if you just give up drinking for a week or a month it gives your body a chance to detox and reset. You’ll gain a valuable sense of control over your health, too.
  • Pat yourself on the back for having the resolve to change an unhealthy behavior. Feeling good about yourself makes the effort easier.
Non-alcoholic mulled pomegranate cider in mason jars

Luckily there are other ways to get those good antioxidants that are present in red wine without the unhealthy ethanol…

  • pomegranates
  • cranberries
  • red and purple grapes
  • red, blue, and purple berries

all have high levels of heart healthy and cancer fighting superpowers so I’ve been experimenting with using them to make delicious non alcoholic drinks. One of them is this hot Mulled Pomegranate Cider. I’ll make up a batch, keep it in the fridge, and microwave a cup when I feel like it.

10 things to do with a pomegranate

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’m still cooking with wine and I’ll still post cocktails and other alcohol related recipes ~ the key here at tvfgi is moderation, and that holds true for everything, including alcohol. If the news improves on the health benefits of red wine any time soon, you’ll know where to find me 😉

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3.86 from 34 votes

Pomegranate Mulled Cider

Pomegranate Mulled Cider is a delicately spiced, antioxidant rich, and delicious way to ring in the New Year ~ this healthy mocktail has helped me give up my daily drinking habit!
Course beverage
Cuisine American
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 15 servings
Calories 134kcal
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 128 ounces apple cider
  • 16 ounces pure pomegranate juice
  • several sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 10 green cardamom pods crushed
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns

Instructions

  • Put the juices in a large pot, or slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring up to a simmer. Turn down the heat and let steep for at least an hour.
  • Strain before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 330mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Here are some other anti-oxidant rich non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails ~

BLOOD ORANGE AND POMEGRANATE THYME SPRITZ

THE POMEGRANATE SIPPER

CROCK POT CRANBERRY CIDER

GREEN TEA LATTE

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62 Comments

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  • Reply
    Tammy
    February 7, 2022 at 7:20 am

    As the daughter of an alcoholic father, and a drug addicted brother, I am forever conscious of my family tree in this regard. I went from red wine to hard seltzer – less calories. But after my annual dry January this year, which I tweaked to allow for either a glass of wine or a seltzer at our Friday night out dinner, I have found that not drinking at night has improved my sleep immensely! For that reason alone, I’m sticking to my Friday night out cocktail being the only alcohol I drink. I drink water and feel no need for a replacement treat.
    One side note though, it’s been 6+ weeks and I haven’t dropped a single pound. Disappointing!

    I’ll be saving this beautiful drink for fall, when the fresh cider hits the orchard stands. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Reply
    Linda
    November 17, 2019 at 5:12 am

    Thank you for your honesty. I’m in exactly the same position, buying and by he case and believing it was good for me. I’m going to make a batch of mocktails for those nights when a craving hits. Also I love your recipes. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Paula
    October 30, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    I am so glad I found your site, I have been wanting to give up my nightly wine so I can lose some weight. Two glasses a night is 1/2 of a bottle, I really love my nightly wine. After reading your post I feel I can do it! Thank youso much for your post

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 30, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      Good luck Paula, as I write this I’ve settled on a glass a night, and it’s been working out better for me. I’m sure that cutting down on your wine will help you lost weight, but the trick, as I found, is not to substitute dessert for the wine!

  • Reply
    Inger @ Art of Natural Liivng
    July 6, 2018 at 6:45 am

    When I cut back (about 3 years ago–my goal is to limit to 2x/week), I got a soda stream which helped with my alternative rewards! And I also tested a ton of alcohol free beer to find what I liked best. Can’t wait until pomegranate season to try your recipe!

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