Cheers to Healthy Cocktails

Go ahead, order a strawberry margarita at happy hour tonight.

Apart from being a party-in-a-glass, it turns out that fruit-laden cocktails -- passion-fruit margaritas, cranberry Cosmopolitans, pina coladas, salty dogs -- just became guilt-free.

A new study shows that most of those fruity cocktails that come with an umbrella are (you guessed it) suprisingly healthy, especially when they contain high levels of antioxidant-rich ingredients, such as blackberries and citrus.

The reason? Apparently, the alcohol content in tequila, rum, vodka, and strong types of booze improves our bodies' ability to absorb antioxidants. The ethanol found in alcohol boosts the antioxidant levels, so a cranberry-and-vodka may just be a lot healthier than a glass of cranberry juice.

Reseachers in the U.S. and Thailand stumbled into this happy news by accident. Seems that they weren't trying to debunk our current view on cocktails; instead they were seeking ways to preserve fruit. As a result, I'll raise my umbrella-graced glass and make a special toast to those guys tonight.

Now, I'm sure that this is the point where I should mention that all alcoholic beverages should be consumed in moderation. I should probably remind you that we need to drink responsibly. Or that antioxidants are actually no match for a nasty hangover. And that most of these cocktails have more calories than a Big Mac -- some exceed 750 calories a drink.

Then again, you already know all that anyway. Besides, chances are some researchers somewhere are currently stumbling onto new and startling data that tells us otherwise.

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