Winston Churchill once said, “I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it, in defeat I need it.” Well, he had the right idea. Everyone goes through victories and defeats in life, and for some of us, a good drink can really help whatever it is go down the right way. But with all the temptation around, and deep fried everything sold in every corner, there’s a rising need to make our celebrations a little bit more of diet-friendly events.
Most types of liqueur weigh in somewhere between 80-100 calories per shot. But most mixers can add almost twice as many calories to that drink and are usually loaded with sugar. So having the freedom to drink just comes down to your choice of additives. To that end, we’ve gathered for you a list of 10 great alcoholic drinks for people wanting to keep their calorie count low, but still have a good time.
This is an easy one, and a very popular drink. You’ll have to tweak the normal recipe, because mojito’s are infamous for their sweetness. Stick to lime and soda and avoid the simple syrup (which is basically just sugar mixed with water, so the drink gets diluted and you end up with more sugar). Add no more than two tablespoons of sugar, and some mint, to make it refreshing. This drink will only set you back about 150 calories.
Sazerac is like a lesser known gourmet drink. This drink is an excellent choice for the whiskey drinkers out there. This recipe uses sugar (again avoiding the simple syrup), bitters, lime and a couple other interesting things, and its only around 140 calories. The original drink, created by 4th generation and expert bartender, Chris McMillian, is 136 calories.
3. Old Fashioned
Another fantastic option for fans of whiskey and bourbon. A classic twist on a classic drink, keep the bitters and the bourbon, add only a teaspoon of simple syrup, and for some natural sweetness, toss in a cherry and garnish with orange zest. This bitter-sweet drink is only 154 calories.
Yes, this drink is as soothing as the name would suggest. Its a variation on the normal vodka-cranberry mix that is ever so popular. Drastically reduce the amount of cranberry juice to 1.5 ounces, and temper the drink with 4 ounces of grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice is not only a great source of Vitamin C but it also cuts down your sugar intake, making this sweet seabreeze only 180 calories, as opposed to vodka-cranberry’s 300. If you use unsweetened cranberry juice, the drink is about 200 calories.
5. Sour Apple Martini
The martini itself is a fantastic drink. James Bond knows the importance of a low-calorie beverage. Just make sure the vermouth is dry and not sweetened to save you a solid 50 calories. In this twist, you jut add a little sour mix and some sour apple liqueur for a low-calorie treat. Or you can try the same drink with unsweetened pomegranate juice and seeds. The sour apply martini and pomegranate martini come around to 160 and 11 calories respectively.
6. Vodka Soda
This is a simple enough drink and may even seem a little boring to you. But throw in a little lime and mint, and you get one refreshing cocktail. It’ll cut down your calorie count by half since soda doesn’t add any calories. So this drink will only be about 100 calories, which is basically just the alcohol.
7. Gin and Tonic
This combo is easy to make and very popular, for good reason. Its low on the calories and easy on the tongue. A normal gin and tonic usually ranges between 120-150 calories. You can reduce the amount of tonic your adding and supplement the drink with soda water instead to get a cocktail that's only 100-110 calories.
The Paloma is a cocktail that tequila lovers can enjoy when they have to say goodbye to the ever classic margaritas (for calorie reasons, of course). It’s a mixture of grapefruit and soda, with tequila and a splash of lime. You can even just stick to lime and soda, and garnish with fruits and veggies for added flavor. The former is about 160 calories while the latter is only 100.
White wine is a better option calorie-wise, as it has less alcohol content, but its not that far off from red wine. One glass of white wine, weighing in at 5 fluid ounces is 120 calories while red wine is usually between 125-140, depending on the sweetness. You can even make your own mulled wine with orange and lemon peels, and spices like cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon for a tasty 115 calorie drink.
Champagne really is the best drink to have in both victory and defeat because its only 85-95 calories per serving, and unlike most other alcoholic drinks, requires no mixers or additives. Also champagne is generally served in small quantities (a standard flute of champagne is about 4 ounces), making it easier to keep track of how much you’re taking in.