With the holiday parties and festivities upon us, I wanted to give you the scoop on alcohol! While there can be health benefits in small amounts, excessive alcohol intake is never healthy. The concern with some alcoholic beverages is the empty calories from carbohydrates. I recently came across this chart below and was astonished at the number of calories in these popular mixed drinks. So, if I’m ruining your buzz, I’m sorry!
Shocking, right? One margarita alone has 254 calories! Most of these calories come from the high sugar content of the mixers. Let’s look at the calories of straight alcohol:
Here are some suggestions that may help keep the calories down:
- Consider using vodka, gin, or tequila, which have the fewest calories per serving.
- Use mixers like club soda, Fever-Tree Light tonic water, Spindrift fruit-flavored seltzers or homemade iced tea. The options for calorie-free tea flavors are endless. Making a batch of sun tea is very easy to do. Place filtered water in a glass container. Depending on the size of your glass container, submerge 6-8 tea bags, (larger pitchers will need more tea bags). Cover and allow to brew while in the sun for a few hours. Immediately refrigerate to cool the tea. The longer you leave the tea bags in the water, the stronger the flavor.
- Add fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs or spices to your chosen drink to boost the flavor. Here are some options to consider: cucumber, mint, basil, lavender, rosemary, lemon, lime, orange, peach, watermelon, grapefruit, mango, berries, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves, spicy peppers, olives and/or citrus peels. Using the actual fruit rather than fruit juice as a mixer will lower the sugar content and the overall calorie count. I love adding a few drops of essential oils as flavoring too. Adding Stevia for a little sweetness is possible as well.
I hope these tips are helpful and will spark your curiosity to make the perfect cocktail. Remember to always drink responsibly when enjoying your drink of choice!