Cocktails – A Dieters Friend or Foe?
If you are a cocktail lover trying to lose a few pounds, you might need to be careful when selecting your cocktail of choice or you may find that shifting those few unwanted cocktail calories suddenly becomes Mission Impossible. We often get emails asking whether healthier cocktails actually exist or whether they are just a myth!
It has often amused me that certain friends, who wouldn’t so much as touch a dessert menu after dinner, are often the first at the bar come Happy Hour, getting in their orders for their Pina Colada, Mint Julep, Chocolate Martini and a host of other sweet, creamy alcoholic concoctions. The fact of the matter is that many of the most popular cocktails have just as many calories as several of the most well-known desserts and incredibly many of the big-sellers have more calories than a McDonald`s Big Mac (which averages 540 calories). Furthermore, studies have concluded that alcohol consumption can slow fat metabolism by 76%, thus, consuming alcoholic drinks with high fat content; take a drink such as the classic Irish Coffee, which contains cream, increases the amount of fat that is stored in your body.
Another big problem for the cocktail lover on a diet is the rise of the super-calorie cocktail, which can essentially be viewed as a dessert in the guise of a cocktail. Take the Key Lime Pie Martini, which is sweet, creamy and packed full of cocktail calories, from the rich cream to the Graham Cracker crust rim. In many cocktail bars, the trend towards accessorizing has meant an increase in sugar rims, a greater range of sweet, sticky syrups plus, as several cocktails have gone super-size, extra shots, which in turn has resulted in more & more cocktail calories.
If you exercise regularly and generally watch your diet, a few cocktails at the end of a long weeks work are not going to make much difference, irrespective of what you pick, however, if you are on a crusade to beat the flab, then Social and Cocktail has chosen a list of 5 to remove from your wish-list.
5 Cocktails to Avoid On a Diet
1: Long Island Iced Tea
12 1/2 ml Gin, 12 1/2 ml Vodka, 12 1/2 ml Tequila, 12 1/2 ml White Rum, 12 1/2 ml Triple Sec, 12 1/2 ml Lemon Juice, 12 1/2 ml Gomme syrup, splash of Cola
37 1/2 ml Tequila, 12 1/2 ml Triple Sec, 25 ml Lime Juice, 12 1/2 ml Simple Syrup, splash Egg White, salt
3: Pina Colada
50 ml White Rum, 100 ml Pineapple Juice, 25 ml Coconut Cream, 25 ml Cream, Orange Slice, pinch of Salt
4: White Russian
37 1/2 ml Vodka, 25 ml Coffee Liqueur, 15 ml Cream, 15 ml Milk, Chocolate Powder, Coffee Bean
5: Mai Tai
20 ml Dark Rum, 20 ml Light Rum, splash Demerara 20 ml Triple Sec, 20 ml Lime Juice, 10 ml Orgeat Syrup, Mint sprig, Orange wedge
Even though these particular 5 cocktails are definitely a no-go for those on a diet, that doesn’t mean that cocktails are strictly off the menu. There are several drinks that are relatively low in cocktail calories and can fit in with a diet conscious night out, just as long as you don’t decide to grab a 16” pizza on the taxi ride home!! The following 4 cocktails can help you avoid that diet disaster:
4 Cocktails Good-To-Go On a Diet
1: Bloody Mary
37 1/2 ml Peppered Vodka, 15 ml Sweet Vermouth, 35 ml Tomato Juice, splash Red Wine, 6 splashes Worcestershire sauce, 10 dashes Tabasco sauce, 25 ml Lemon Juice, 10 dashes Salt, 10 dashes Pepper, 3 Cucumber slices
2: Skinny Cosmopolitan
37 1/2 ml Citrus Vodka, 12 1/2 ml Triple Sec, 30 ml Cranberry Juice Light, 1/2 squeezed lemon, 5 ml Sugar Syrup
50 ml Bourbon, 10 ml Sweet Vermouth, 10 ml Dry Vermouth, 2 dashes Angostura Bitters, Orange peel
4: Gin and Diet Tonic
50 ml Gin, Diet Tonic Water, 2 Lime wedges
As well as avoiding certain cocktails and sticking with healthier cocktails, there are also tips you can follow when preparing cocktails that result in drinks with lower calories and hence are suited for those watching their waist-line.
4 Tips for Healthier Cocktails
- When preparing fruit-based cocktails, try to used freshly squeezed or 100% fruit juice as this can dramatically reduce sugar content in the drink. A further tip is to dilute juice with water or ice to cut back on cocktail calories.
- Many cocktail recipes call for flavoured syrups but as an alternative try to use whole fruit instead, as this will cut down on artificial sugars plus it will add vitamins and fibre.
- Opt for seltzer water over other carbonated water to reduce added sodium and other additives. For cocktail recipes that require soda always opt for the diet version.
- Simple syrup is a popular ingredient in cocktail making but try to use honey as an alternative to sugar as it will add antioxidants to the drink plus it can give you greater control of the sugar content of the drink.