Everyone loves a good drink. The problem is, by indulging in common cocktails, the pounds pack on. Many drinks contain as much as 500 calories. Additionally, it's hard to have just one drink. As one cocktail often isn't enough, it's important to be smart when it comes to choice of beverage. Below, you will find the best and worst cocktails while dining out - also 3 great cocktail recipes you can make at home.
1. Margarita: If you're planning on ordering that margarita you may want to think again. This one drink has about 750 calories and 56 g carbs. Substitute it for a Corazon Blanco tequila on the rocks with a splash of lime.
2. Long Island Iced Tea: How about that Long Island Iced Tea? You may want to reconsider. A long Island Iced Tea has about 750 calories 44 g carb. Try substituting this for rum mixed with Diet Coke and topped with a slice of lime; it will save you more than 600 calories.
3. Pina Colada: Your Pina Colada is costing you 650 calories and 90 g carbs. Instead, substitute this one with vanilla-flavored vodka and Diet Coke/Sprite, and you'll save yourself more than 500 calories.
4. Cosmo: Although Cosmos only have 150 calories and 10 g carbs, we all know that a Cosmo isn't the only drink you'll be having tonight. It may not have as many calories as the other drinks on our list, but you'll drink this one quicker and find yourself ordering it again ... and again. If you want to keep fitting into your sexy outfit, a simple solution is to order vodka with diet cranberry juice (yes, you can get diet cranberry) instead.
1. Gin and Tonic, Vodka and Tonic or Rum and Diet Coke: It's a three-way tie with only 65 cal per 8 oz. glass! This is because when you drink a one-ounce pour of most liquors and top them off with a non-calorie mixer, you have a drink that's pretty low in calories, no matter what the combination. Be careful, as many places pour 1.5 ounce shots in drinks. Ask for a 1 oz. pour or a skimpy pour and you won't pour out of the top of your jeans. Whether you choose gin, vodka, whiskey or rum, top it off with a mixer that adds nothing: club soda, Diet Coke or diet tonic waters. Make them special with infused alcohol flavors, baby splashes of juice or sugar-free syrups (though the latter two will add a few calories).
2. Mimosa: Half champagne and half orange juice, the Mimosa is at its best when made with the freshest-squeezed juice imaginable for only 75 cal per 4 oz. champagne glass. Don't even worry about which champagne. In all honesty, it doesn't matter. If it makes you happy to buy the expensive stuff, by all means, knock yourself out. The rest of us will be skinny and richer.
3. Kahlua and Coffee: The Starbucks coffee craze has gotten people thinking up crazy calorie-filled concoctions but luckily, one of the old standbys of classic cocktails can fulfill your alcohol needs and your caffeine needs with substantially less calories: 91 cal per 6 oz. Kahlua is the most famous brand of coffee-flavored liqueur, but any type will do, and the addition of coffee adds zero calories. With such a light drink, you can afford to add a bit of skim milk to make it creamy. You can enjoy this mixture in a steaming mug on a cool night, or ask your bartender to serve it iced in a tall glass. Iced Kahlua and coffee makes a stimulating slimming drink on a hot summer day, and you'll see the results on the scale.
4. White Wine Spritzer:Fashion models, celebrities and trendy barhoppers order spritzers when they want to cut their wine calories in half. The concept of the spritzer is simple: white wine mixed in equal proportions with club soda, but depending on the wine you use, it can be refreshingly pleasing and only 100 cal per 5 oz. glass. And while some might think it's an atrocity to mix a nice Pinot Grigio with anything, it's your body, and if you prefer a spritzer to a beer gut, it's your prerogative. Make a spritzer pretty and pink with a blush wine, or add a squeeze of orange or lime juice for oomph. However many you have, it'll be half the calories of drinking regular wine.
Cocktail Recipes to Try at Home:
1. Skinny White Wine Sangria"Summer and peaches go hand in hand. Every year I hand this recipe out my patients and they love it!"
The Breakdown: 125 calories, 45 g of carb, 6 g of fiber
Ingredients: -1 Bottle of Wine (Riesling, Albarino, Chablis, Gewurztraminer, Rioja, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Savignon Blanc) -1/2 cup of Peach Schnapps -2 peaches, sliced -2 nectarines, sliced -1 green apples, sliced -1 pint of raspberries -1/2 cup of Splenda -.5 L of Diet Sprite
Pour wine and Schnapps in the pitcher and ass sliced peaches, nectarines, apples and raspberries. Next add Splenda and stir gently. Chill mixture for at least an hour. Add Diet Sprite before serving.
Serve and Enjoy!
2. Vodka with Fresh Oranges and Raspberries"This drink recipe is super low in calories but strong in taste."
Serves 4 The Breakdown: 150 calories, 6 g of carb, 2 g of fiber Ingredients: -1 cup of vodka -1 1/2 cups of Crystal Light, Orange Sunrise flavor - 1/2 cup fresh raspberries - 1/2 cup fresh oranges -Ice, crushed
Preparation: Blend together vodka, crystal light, fruit and ice. Pour into tall glass. Add fruit to garnish. Sip and Enjoy!
3. Van Gogh's Garden (Image Available) "A new favorite! This cocktail makes you feel like you're indulging, without having to worry about packing on the pounds."
The Breakdown: 125 calories, 10 g of carbohydrate, 1.5 g of fiber
Ingredients: -Slices of cucumber -Slices of Kiwi -8 packets of Splenda -1 1/2 oz Lucid Absinthe -1/2 L Club Soda
Preparation: Muddle two slices of cucumber and two slices of kiwi with Splenda in a whiskey glass. Fill with ice, add shot of Lucid Absinthe and top with club soda. Garnish glass with an unpeeled kiwi slice and/or cucumber slice on the rim.
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of Skinnyandthecity.com. She is also the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto www.FFactorDiet.com.
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.