January 5, 2008

Low-Cal Cocktails

Tonight, I got drunk and ate crap. However, I still managed to stay within my calories for the day. How did I do it? I planned ahead to work out and eat lightly before I got to the party (see the zillions of healthy recipes I post on here for some low-cal ideas), and was careful about what I drank. The secret: maximize the alcohol, minimize the calories.

If I were really hardcore, I would drink straight shots, and nothing but. However, it’s kind of hard to do that at a company event when you’re trying not to look like a total lush. Plus, you need something to sip on when you’re making conversation, and for some reason the idea of drinking a shot and then sipping water in between shots just doesn’t appeal. What can I say: peer pressure makes me drink and I would just be too embarrassed if someone saw me drinking water and thought that I was sober. New Year’s Eve, when I had to disguise my vodka as a “water bottle for running” was bad enough. But doing that in a bar or at a party is not really an option.

One of the best things I’ve found is wine. 80 calories for 4 oz, and if you are really sticking to your diet, it doesn’t take that many 4 oz servings to get you drunk. I know that technically a glass of wine has the same amount of alcohol as a beer which has the same amount of alcohol as a shot which has the same amount of alcohol as a mixed drink (of course, exceptions made, especially for my favorite mixed drinks that are designed to get you trashed, but generally all of those things are about the same). Yet somehow, wine seems to get me drunker faster. Plus, when I drink wine, I can pretend to be a wine snob. I took a wine tasting course in my senior year of college (you laugh, but it’s actually the most-failed class at the university, and the exams were by far the hardest of any I’ve taken), which lends me some credibility. Unfortunately, my taste tends to run toward whatever is sweet, so that kind of kills the sophistication and classiness.

However, when I want to avoid coming off as pretentious, I look to mixed drinks. There is definitely nothing pretentious about ordering a Bloody Coochie (note: I have not actually tried this drink; I simply browsed Webtender till I found something vulgar, which wasn’t too hard. Um, Sex On My Face? Who makes this stuff up?). However, the juices and chemicals that go into mixed drinks can be SUPER high-cal, and can really derail a diet. Generally, I try to avoid drinking my calories (no soda, very little milk and juice, etc… I drink a ton of water and sometimes a bit of tea or seltzer). The exception to that rule is alcohol, but ideally, I’d like to mix my alcohol with other things without drinking a lot of calories from the non-alcoholic parts. So what are some good low-cal cocktails?

After some searching, I thought this article might have the answer. Unfortunately, it suggested cutting your wine with seltzer (which takes away the alcohol – no thank you!), and vodka with club soda (what is the point of adding something flavorless? If I’m mixing, I want to cut the taste of the alcohol). So I kept looking.

The next thing I found was called “Low Cal Cocktails: Tastes great, less filling, same hangover.” Bring it, baby! United Spirits (an Indian company) is supposedly offering a version of vodka that has fewer calories but the same amount of alcohol. I’m not really sure how that is possible, but subsequent searches didn’t turn up too much, so it would seem that it hasn’t turned up in the US yet. I can’t believe I have to move to India to be drunk and thin…

The only good solution I’ve found seems to be a proteini. I’m not really sure I can order that at a bar, but perhaps I will institute more drunken running excursions that start with a pre-game at my place. Anyone have any other ideas?


2 thoughts on “Low-Cal Cocktails”

  1. This only really works for pre-gaming, since you can’t find this stuff at the bar, but it certainly is classy!
    I make my own sweet and sour mix (you can find recipes online) and use splenda instead of sugar. With that, you can make thousands of sugar-free cocktails.
    Also, buy the sugar free cranberry juice and you can have low-cal cosmos!

  2. Did you know tonic water has like 100 calories in it? Sick.

    My favorite low-cal drink:

    -DIET tonic water
    -lime juice

    the same calories as a shot, the liminess is great.

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