With the new year settling in, millions are writing out their lists of resolutions. The goals at the top of most lists? Achieving and maintaining healthier daily habits. Many feel committed to eating less processed foods, going to the gym every day, and eliminating alcohol (dry January, anyone?). And as if eating better and gym-ing every day 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 - you know who you are). What if instead, we made a compromise? Instead of eliminating alcohol from our diet, we make a few minor changes to the way we drink, therefore we're still 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, ranging from 4 to 6% alcohol by volume. A typical 80-proof liquor is approx. 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 we know, the better decisions we can make about what type of liquor fits our lifestyle best.
Tip#2: Be Aware of Simple Syrups
Most cocktails served in bars and restaurants as delicious as they are, are often packed with calories and sugar. Drinks like mojitos or margaritas are made with a simple syrup (basically just sugar water). Luckily, there are several (healthier) alternatives to choose from that are just as delicious. DIY cocktails can be just as flavorful and exciting as bar cocktails with these recipes: 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 handmade fancy drink. The downside is not knowing what or how much of something is going into that 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 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 anyone forget about all other cocktails and avoid the unnecessary extra calories.
Tip#4: Choose a drink with health benefits
Not only does adding fresh fruit to a cocktail give us a healthful flavor, but it also adds a burst of antioxidants. Mint, lemon, lime, and even cranberries (or cranberry juice) are great options for boosting one's immune system. Anyone who is looking for a drink that's a little lighter than a cocktail, pinot noir, is a great option. 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.”
Overall, it's perfectly normal for one to splurge and even get the sugary cocktail once in a blue moon. No one is perfect, especially with 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"