A good happy hour cocktail can do wonders at the end of a rough day. The
trick is figuring out how to responsibly enjoy yourself knowing a couple
of wrong decisions can blow your entire weeks’ worth of careful eating.
The first thing you can do is avoid the fat-filled appetizers tempting
you at every turn. Learn to say no to buffalo wings and fried cheese.
Another popular trick is to creatively lower the calorie count of the
drinks you order.
The easiest way to make a cocktail skinnier is to cut out the sugar. A
gram of sugar has four calories. While that doesn’t sound like much,
it can add up quickly. Mixers make up the majority of most cocktails,
and most mixers are notorious for their ridiculously high sugar count.
Soft drinks have around 39 grams of sugar and 140 calories per 12-ounce
serving. Fruit juices may seem like the ideal alternative, but an 8-ounce
serving of orange juice, for example, contains 21 grams of sugar and 111
calories. Make sure you order your cocktail with diet soda or club soda
whenever possible, and you’ll keep the sugar and calories in check.
Of course, a drink served straight or on the rocks avoids mixer altogether,
but know that lighter-in-color alcohols like vodka and gin have fewer
calories than dark liquors like whiskey and scotch.
Instead of ordering a standard margarita, that perfect storm of high-calorie
sugar and juices, try ordering these alternative drinks. If you choose
an alcoholic drink, remember to drink responsibly and keep your consumption in check.
Skinny mimosa. Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour in 4 ounces of champagne, and then top
off with diet fruit juice, such as diet peach or cranberry cocktail. Champagne
has less alcohol per volume than liquor, so the 4 ounces of bubbly add
up to just 90 calories.
Vodka and soda. In a highball glass with ice, pour 2 ounces of vodka, and fill with seltzer
water or club soda. Garnish with lime. The vodka contains around 96 calories
per ounce, for a total of 192 calories, and the club soda is calorie-free.
This simple cocktail has the added benefit of being carbohydrate-free
since neither the vodka nor the mixer has any carbs.
Bloody Mary. Fill a Collins glass with 2 ounces of vodka and 8 ounces of tomato juice
or vegetable juice. Garnish with a celery stalk. This drink has about
250 calories. The juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, but the drawback
of this drink is sodium. Store-bought veggie juice contains up to 480
milligrams of sodium for each 8-ounce serving. (The American Heart Association
recommends taking in less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day.) Extra
ice can cut the amount of juice added and be sure to ask the bartender
to skip the Worcestershire sauce, with its 167 milligrams of sodium per
tablespoon. When you make these at home, use fresh-squeezed or low-sodium
tomato juice, and avoid packaged Bloody Mary mixers, which contain added sugar.
Red beer. Pour 4 ounces of tomato juice into a large pilsner glass, and add 12 ounces
of light beer. By choosing a light beer, you reduce this drink to around
125 calories. The carbohydrates in a light beer or low-carb beer will
average around 5 grams per 12-ounce serving which is 2 percent of the
Have any other great skinny drink recipes? List them in the comments below.
http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm315393.htm (sodium %DV)
http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064928.htm (%DV of food components)