Over the last few years, I’ve become less attracted to alcohol. The effect, taste, and reasons why I drank have all changed. I used to drink for a buzz, and to have fun. I also used to drink simply out of habit. and due to social pressures.

Now that my diet, lifestyle, and priorities have shifted, so has the frequency at which I drink alcohol. It’s more about the experience, occasion, and taste, and less about the awful side-effects.

Don’t get me wrong, the perfect glass of wine or cocktail can truly make a meal and experience memorable, I don’t disagree. So, in preparing a special dinner for my partner, Rob, I thought about doing the same without using alcohol, while still adding a little flare to the meal, so I came up with a deliciously refreshing mocktail called the Grilled Grapefruit Mint Lime Sparkler.

There are so many possibilities for mocktail combinations using fruits and vegetables, you’ll never get bored. This recipe is one of my new favorites, it combines grapefruit, lime, and mint to provide a whole range of benefits:

Limes are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, helping to fight and flush out free radicals which attack healthy cells
Mint leaves are a well-known appetite suppressant, helping you judge whether that feeling in your stomach really is a sign of hunger or just dehydration
Grapefruits are high in fiber and low in calories, and they contain bioflavonoids and other plant chemicals that protect against serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and the formation of tumors.

The health benefits of grapefruits are wide-ranging and nearly unmatched by any other fruit. Not to mention some of the more obvious benefits like the refreshing taste and pretty colors. Something about a colorful drink just makes me more likely to keep drinking it. Luckily in this case, that’s exactly what I’m going for.

Enjoy this Sparkler all summer long!

Grilled Grapefruit Mint Lime Sparkler
Serves 2
Prep: 5 minutes
Grill and Rest Time: 13 minutes
Total: 18 minutes

Juice and pulp from 1 large pink grapefruit (halved and grilled*)
Juice from 1 medium-size lime (halved)
6 fresh mint leaves
1 ½ cup chilled sparkling water
Grilled grapefruit wedge and mint leaves (optional)

*To grill the grapefruit:
Take 1 large pink grapefruit, cut in half across the center, pick out the seeds, and place directly on grill on medium heat for 8 minutes. Remove both halves from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before extracting juice for recipe.

Muddle the mint leaves in the bottoms of two glasses. Fill the glasses with ice. Take one half of the grapefruit and extract (squeeze) the juice into the glass by folding fruit in half as you squeeze to ensure all of the juice goes in the glass. Allow the pulp and juice to settle to the bottom. Squeeze 1 half of the lime, extracting juice into the glass with the mint and grapefruit. Pour half the chilled sparkling water over the ice, grapefruit, mint and lime juices and stir gently to mix. Repeat this in the second glass with remaining fruit halves and sparkling water.

Garnish with mint leaves and grilled grapefruit wedge, if desired.