With rising temperatures and summer around the corner, patio season is officially upon us. Patio season means coming out of hibernation, grabbing a “quick drink” with friends and before you know it, you’ve made plans to have drinks three times in a week. Being more social than normal makes it harder to stick to a proper diet and regime; that’s why when I go out, I try making “healthy choices” when selecting my cocktails. Healthy and alcohol are definitely an oxymoron because it’s loaded with empty calories, however you can make wiser choices. Below I list 5 BeautyCubed approved drinks that make your guilty pleasure a little less guilty.
This is my go to drink when I’m out. Vodka has approximately 96 calories per 1.5 ounces and soda water has none. Sprinkle some fresh lime and you have any easy sugar free cocktail you can order anywhere. I like adding a fresh sprig a mint to add more flavour. Also, no sugar means no horrible hangovers the next day.
Have you ever wondered why champagne is the top choice for supermodels? Not only does it look fancy, but a 4 oz glass has only 90 calories! When picking champagne, drop the rosé and go for Brut or Extra Brut. Brut contains less sugar and Extra Brut contains less sugar than Brut (say that 5 times fast).
As an FYI, Sparkling Wine, Prosecco and Champagne are all the same – Champagne is a name reserved for Sparkling Wine coming out of France, while Prosecco is from Italy. And champagne doesn’t have to break the bank either – there are a tonne of great sparkling wines in the $20-$30 range that are as good as Veuve (yes, I said it!).
For my fellow Torontonians, I highly recommend Ontario sparkling wine – it’s absolutely delicious and very reasonably priced. You can’t go wrong with LCBO’s top picks in the vintage section!
For you beer drinkers – Guinness is one of the “healthiest” beers. It contains 128 calories per 12 ounces and is loaded with nutrients. In fact, some research suggests that it holds many of the anti oxidation properties as red wine!
4. Red Wine
We’ve all heard that a glass of red wine is actually good for you because it’s packed with anti oxidants, while also being low in calories. A typical five ounce glass ranges from 110 – 130 calories. But be careful with the sugar content. Stick to dry wines that typically have 12 grams or less of residual sugar per litre. If you’re not sure, ask the liquor store or the bartender, but generally, to be advertised as dry wine it must be under 12 grams.
5. Old Fashioneds
I can’t forget my favourite bourbon cocktail. I like my Old Fashioneds made with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, orange zest, fresh cherries and a dash of brown sugar to cut the burn and highlight the sweet, oaky nature of bourbon. You’re looking at around 150 calories per cocktail.
- When picking cocktails, avoid sugary drinks or mixing with sugary sodas – sugar is the the real killer.
- When possible, always request to make the cocktail less sweet – kind of like ordering a half sweet vanilla latte from Starbucks!
- If you find something like Vodka-Soda too bitter, add in a dash of fruit juice to give it sweetness.
- If you must, dilute your go to vodka-cranberry or say vodka-sprite by putting in 75% water and 25% sugary drink of your choice – you’ve just decreased your sugar intake by 75%!
Happy drinking and remember, drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive!