Cut Calories in Your Summer Drinks with These Tips and Recipes
Posted byDiane Hoffmaster
Summertime means block parties, barbecues, and a few too many opportunities for cocktails garnished with tiny umbrellas. Drinking all those extra calories may increase the number you see on the scale. There are many ways to avoid the hidden calories in your summer drinks and still enjoy an occasional adult beverage. Here are a few tips to help you avoid those extra calories from your cocktails as well as a few recipes to try out the next time you entertain.
However, before beginning, please note that you must be 21 or older to drink legally in the United States. Always drink responsibly.
Skip Premade Mixes
Premade drink mixes make summer drinks quick and easy; however, they’re also loaded with sugar. You can reduce the calories in your summer drinks by making them from scratch and reducing the amount of sugar called for in your recipe.
Serve Drinks in Tall, Skinny Glasses
According to Cornell University, the shape of the glass you’re drinking out of really makes a difference! A study of 86 professional bartenders revealed that they tend to pour 20.5 percent more alcohol in short, wide glasses than they do in tall, skinny glasses.1 Pour your drink into a tall, slim glass, and if you want to be exact in your portions, use measuring utensils like a jigger to keep servings accurate.
Dilute with Seltzer Water
Liquor, by itself, contains calories: about 96 calories per 1.5 ounce serving of 80-proof distilled spirits, according to SF Gate.2 Then on top of that, a splash of fruit juice, soda, tonic and other popular mixers in summer cocktails tend to be high in calories, too. To reduce the caloric intake of your drinks, leave extra room at the top of the glass for some ice cubes and cold seltzer water. The chill and carbonation will make your drink more refreshing as well as lower in calories. Good + Simple has an easy, two-step recipe using seltzer. All you need for a skinny pina colada is coconut rum and pineapple bubbles.
Set a Limit
Just like most healthy eating tips, moderation is key. Set yourself a two-drink limit before you leave the house and then switch to water. No amount of trying to reduce the caloric count of your summer beverages will help if you’re consuming too many of them.
Mocktails, Not Cocktails
Alcohol of all varieties is fairly high in calories. Many mocktails will use lighter calorie alternatives and might be a better choice for your summer beverage consumption. Not to mention the fact that you will stay more hydrated in the heat of summer if you skip the alcohol completely. The cucumber ginger mocktail on 40 Aprons is a delicious way to enjoy a summer beverage without too many unnecessary calories.
Light or Diet Options
There are many low-calorie options when it comes to summer cocktails. Light beer, lower calorie wines, and cocktails made with stevia instead of sugar would be good options to choose if you’re watching your caloric intake this summer. With Salt and Wit blends the flavors of coconut and milk in a toasted frozen coconut mojito recipe that is made lighter with stevia.
If you plan on making your own summer cocktails, consider making one with fewer calories than traditional cocktail recipes. With a little bit of planning and experimentation, you can enjoy light summer cocktails and have all the flavor with less of an impact on your waistline!
1Wen, Vince. “Glass Shape Illusions: Short, Wide Glasses Induce Us to Over-Pour Despite Serving Experience.” Cornell University, Food & Brand Lab. http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/discoveries/glass-shape-illusions
2“What Alcoholic Drinks Have the Least Amount of Calories?” SF Gate. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/alcoholic-drinks-least-amount-calories-3432.html
- Posted by Diane Hoffmaster
- On August 9, 2017