Gearing Up for The Summertime Cocktail Season
Could the weeks be flying by any faster? I think the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing here in New York (along with much of the country) adds to my sheer disbelief that this Motivation Monday brings us exactly one week from Memorial Day – the unofficial start of summer.
In anticipation of the mercury rising and the sun finally shining in full force, I know I’m looking forward to a little margarita madness and other refreshing get-togethers with friends and family. Always one to promote the everything-in-moderation lifestyle, I also subscribe to the notion that a little preparation can make for a smart season ahead.
So for all my fellow libation lovers out there, here are a few of my go-to ricks for enjoying those booze-infused beverages with less guilt!
- Use Real Fruit for Flavor: Orange, cranberry and pineapple juice are great mixers, but they’re loaded with sugar and unwanted calories. A better bet is to pick your poison and mix it with seltzer and lots of ice. Then add a couple of slices of fresh oranges, lemons, limes or even some pineapple chunks for flavor.
- Other Low-Cal Options: Pick the zero-calorie versions when mixing them with alcohol. At home, I like to keep a pitcher of Crystal Light in my fridge. When I add vodka, I measure the serving with a shot glass to keep tabs on how just how much alcohol I’m drinking. Finally, whether you’re partying at home or at a friend’s house, throw back water, seltzer or diet soda for every other drink to stay hydrated and keep the calorie intake under control.
- The Every-Other-Drink Attack: Whether you’re partying at home or at a friend’s house, throw back water, seltzer or diet soda for every other drink to stay hydrated and keep the calorie intake under control.
On-The-Rocks & Frosty Alternatives:
- When mixing a Cape Codder (vodka & cranberry), replace high-sugar cranberry juice with light or reduced-calorie cranberry juice. For an even “slimmer” version of this summertime classic, mix one shot of raspberry or blueberry vodka with Diet Sprite, Diet 7Up, Sprite Zero or Fresca. You get the berry flavor without all the sugar.
- Use diet tonic water when mixing with vodka or gin.
- For the taste of cream soda with a kick, add a shot of vanilla vodka to a tall glass of Diet Coke.
- Mudslides are delicious, but wow, do they pack a punch when it comes to calories! My recipe replaces the Bailey’s with a Weight Watchers latte flavored ice pop – minus the stick, of course! Put the frozen “ice cream” into a blender, and add crushed ice, 4-6 ounces of skim milk and a shot of vodka. Blend and enjoy! (You can also add Kahlua, but that will up the calories a bit.)