Time for a Highland Spring Mocktail? Make Sam’s a Winter Berry Wonderland

Highland Spring mocktail

Drinking and (NOT) driving is always a big topic in December, so this year we’ll be replacing some of the usual Christmas cocktails with mocktails.  Much as we all love our festive bubbly, your body (and your head) will thank you in the morning…not to mention your skin!

Beauty journalist Samantha Hadadi embarked on the Highland Spring Christmas Pretox Challange for The Beauty Shortlist two weeks ago and here’s how she got on…


Sam (as glam as ever!) is the co-founder of fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog I AM INTO THIS




Sam Hadadi’s Highland Spring Christmas Pretox Challenge

We can already hear the sleigh bells ringing and, if you strain your ears ever so slightly, the glasses at the bar are clinking.

While the festive season is a time for great joy and plenty of socialising, the reality is, our livers can take a real bashing. There are always countless parties at this time of year, meaning that most nights, you can take your choice from tankards of Baileys hot chocolate, steaming mugs of mulled wine and endless flutes of champagne and cocktails.

It’s all well and good, but it doesn’t seem to do your looks (or body) any favours, does it? I don’t know about you, but after a relentless party season, I really start to notice the effects on my skin. My face takes on a grey, pallid tinge, my T-zone becomes red and blotchy, and my eyes puff up like vol-au-vents.

Of course, we all know that alcohol wreaks havoc on our skin, but how much of a difference does switching to water really make? And what about ditching the cocktails in favour of a delicious mocktail instead? Will you really see the benefits and reap the beauty rewards?

Being pregnant this Christmas, it seemed like the perfect time to take the Highland Spring Pretox Challenge and find out. As part of the challenge, I had to cut all alcohol (being pregnant made this part easy) and drink up my 2 litres of water a day.

This part wasn’t quite so easy. I’m generally rubbish at drinking my water quota for the day and staying hydrated. I usually complain that I’m too busy and too run-off-my-feet to even think about it, yet I always find myself complaining about my lack of energy, or my dull skin.

Anyway, for two whole weeks, I relentlessly drank my 8 glasses of water a day. I started my day with a glass of warm water and lemon, then replaced coffee with tap water. I even got creative and enjoyed sparkling with various cordials when friends or loved ones were downing the cocktails.

Throughout the challenge, I charted the differences I saw in my skin and body (I even took photos, but no one needs to see pictures of my first thing…!) and I was amazed at the effect my extra water intake was having.

The more water I drank, the better my skin was the next morning. It looked plumper, fresher and far more evenly-toned. My make-up even stayed in place for the entire day since the curse of the oil slick T-Zone seemed to calm down almost straight away.

After just one week, I looked more radiant, as if I’d been lit from within. My eyes were brighter and less dry, and the fine lines seemed to disappear. I know it sounds like utter rubbish, but it was true – friends and family started to comment on my glow, and I was even complimented by strangers as well (well, my husband’s colleagues!)

Amazingly, considering that I actually enjoyed less sleep (one snoring hubby does not make for a happy wife), I also noticed that my energy levels started to rise quite significantly. No longer did I hit that 3pm slump where my forehead was at my keyboard and my eyes drifting shut.

I did some research on the beneficial effects of water and found that in addition to boosting the skin and energy levels, some of the other benefits of drinking more water include these:

  • Since water helps the body to transport waste fluids, drinking up your 2 litres a day can help the kidneys to eliminate toxins and other nasties.
  • Being properly hydrated can stimulate sluggish digestive systems better than any probiotic drinks.
  • Substituting high calorie drinks, such as cocktails or fizzy drinks, for water can be an effective weight loss tool and helps to cut back calories.

So, if you truly want to look like a stunner in that LBD this Christmas, why not join me in a December/January Pretox? Apart from the health and beauty benefits, NOT reaching for the nearest cocktail will save you money (for the January sales?!)

I loved the Sparkling Winter Mocktail recipes on Highland Spring’s website – so trust me when I say that it doesn’t mean things have to be boring either.

So when everyone else is at the Winter Pimms or downing the (often very dehydrating) champagne, try this Highland Spring Winter Berry Wonderland Mocktail for size:

You’ll need:

25ml Belvoir Spiced Winter Berries cordial

1 wedge fresh lime

50ml cranberry juice

Highland Spring sparkling water

Fill a tall glass with cubed ice, then squeeze the wedge of fresh lime on top. Pour in the cordial, then add cranberry juice and top with sparkling water.  Stir, then serve and enjoy.


Most of us don’t drink enough water whatever the season – we should be drinking more, so keep a bottle of Highland Spring at your desk to combat the effects of central heating and dry “inside” winter air. Five ways lack of water can sabotage our wellbeing include:

1. Dehydration affects concentration, sabotages our energy, leading to fatigue

2. Adequate water intake can help control stress – cortisol levels rise when dehydration sets in and even a 2% decrease in hydration can depress cognitive function and energy levels, say experts

3. Water helps keep our mucus membranes moist, they’re the gatekeepers when it comes to catching colds or flu, so by keeping your body hydrated you will also be helping ward off the dreaded winter bugs!

4. Drinking enough water can help regulate your blood pressure.

5.  Studies have shown that you can speed up weight loss – and increase the weight lost – by drinking a couple of glasses of water before meals.

Winter Berry


You might also like….?

A HIGHLAND HUGO – all you’ll need is a bottle of Bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial, fresh mint, Highland Spring sparkling water and a lime.

Recipe HERE

highland hugo

Best enjoyed with candles, a roaring fire and a cashmere tartan throw…









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