With the new year settling in, millions of us are writing out our list of resolutions that we swear we'll stick to. And the top of everyone’s list? Eat better, exercise more. Many of us feel committed to eating less processed foods, going to the gym everyday and eliminating alcohol (dry January, anyone?). And as if eating better and gym-ing everyday wasn’t hard enough - ditching cocktails this January is a BIG ask.
Giving up Saturday night cocktails, tequila Tuesdays and the “book clubs” that moms go to (only to get wine drunk and use their books as a coaster - don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about). What if instead, we made a compromise? Instead of eliminating alcohol from your diet, you could make a few small changes to the way that you drink and still be able to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your waist slim during cocktail time.
Tip #1: Be Aware of the calorie-to-proof ratios
We’ve all heard about the calorie differences in our drinks; the basic beers, wines, and ciders are all approximately around 150 calories per standard serving size, but they range from 4-6% alcohol by volume. A typical 80 proof liquor is going to be around 96 calories per 1.5oz shot. A 90 proof is 110 calories, and 100 proof is 124 calories per 1.5oz.-you get the point. The more you know, the more you can make better decisions about what type of liquor fits your resolutions and lifestyle best.
Tip#2: Be aware of simple syrups
Many cocktails served in bars and restaurants, while as delicious as they are, are packed with calories and sugar. Drinks like Mojitos or Margaritas are made with a simple syrup (basically just sugar water). Luckily, there are numerous alternatives to choose from that taste just as good, without all of the sugar. If you’re at home and making cocktails yourself, here are a few clean recipes to try: a Mojito using agave nectar and keto friendly Margaritas that use Stevia (or Monk fruit sweetener if you prefer).
Tip#3: Add real, natural flavors
Going out for a cocktail usually means being able to splurge a few extra dollars to order a fancy drink that is handmade for you. The downside is also that you may not always know what or how much of something is going into your drink. There are easy ways to fix this, such as sticking to a simple custom drink, such as a vodka soda with lime or adding a splash of cranberry juice. Choosing a flavored sparkling water or adding fresh fruit to your drink are great ways to boost your cocktail flavor. This recipe for a Strawberry Lime Vodka Spritzer will make you forget about all other drinks, while still avoiding all of the unnecessary extra calories.
Tip#4: Choose a drink with health benefits
Not only does adding fresh fruit to your cocktail give it a healthful flavor, but it also adds a burst of antioxidants. Mint, lemon, lime and even cranberries (or cranberry juice) are great options for giving your immune system a boost. If you’re looking for a drink that's a little lighter than a cocktail, pinot noir is a great option to go with. The Daily Mail consulted with Ben Appleby, the top sommelier at Abe & Louie’s in Boston and confirms that “pinot noir has the highest concentration of the highly touted antioxidant resveratrol. It is pretty easy to make the case for pinot noir being the healthiest choice among red wines.”
At the end of the day, no one is perfect-especially when it comes to resolutions and that’s okay! Experiment with new drink ideas, go to those mom book clubs and take time to enjoy that drink (or three) that we all STILL desperately need in 2021.
Author : Jennifer Dutton, Blog Writer, DrinkLyte Co. "Helping Grow CPG Brands Beyond Their Potential"