Summer is here. Time for pool parties, trips to the beach and glistening tan lines ... and being completely preoccupied with the thought of breaking out my bikini and squeezing into it — in public, no less.
This time of year is harrowing for many. It's swimsuit season! Can I make up for the cheeseburger I ate last night by hitting the gym every day this week? And what about that cupcake I had for dessert, which I justified as healthy and a legitimate serving of the fruit group since it had strawberries in it? My work-out schedule just escalated to two-a-days.
We live in a time when food shoppers have a tendency to look at labels for a low-calorie/ low-carbohydrate/gluten-free/organic status check before glancing at the brand or even the price. You can find the low-fat version of almost any guilty pleasure (cheesecake yogurt, really?).
Thus, it stands to reason that the same would apply to your favorite cocktails. If a daily jog and a tofu burger aren't included in your strategy for watching your waistline this summer, you can still manage to be pseudo-healthy by keeping your cocktail calorie-count down to a less panic-inducing level. At least, that’s my story — and I am sticking to it.
The Bikinitini at Fleming’s
This light, citrusy cocktail is a combination of Svedka Clementine Vodka, lemon juice, orange juice, Splenda and soda. At under 100 calories, I don’t have to feel bad about skipping my morning run or treating myself to the mini-marshmallow garnish.
The Skinny Margarita at Ocean’s
Margaritas are usually made with high fructose corn syrup, and the typical restaurant margarita has more than 500 calories in a 4 oz serving. That sounds like a lot of sit-ups to me; so I opt for the skinny edition please. While the concept of the skinny margarita is not new, the spin owner Jorge Alvarez puts on his version offers something different — a crisp, orange flavor versus tart lime. There is no aftertaste, which is a bonus, and the group I sampled it with gave it a big thumbs up.
The Mod French 75 at Del Frisco’s
Made with Hendrick’s Gin, simple syrup, lemon juice and Angostura Bitters, the Mod French 75 is topped off with Moet Champagne. It is a “healthier” alternative to a champagne cocktail at only 150 calories. Totally acceptable — 10 minutes in the Houston heat and I am sure to burn those calories right off.
The Skinny Mojito at Cyclone Anaya’s
Cyclone Anaya's head mixologist, Mike, and his team have come up with a skinny adaptation of the classic mojito. It's substantially lower in calories than the regular rendering due to the omission of simple syrup, and fits perfectly into my slimming summer drink criteria. At first sip, I noticed that the drink was very light, but as tasty as a tropical thirst-quencher — minus the heavy rum flavor. I sweetened things up a little by adding an extra packet of Splenda to the ½ packet already mixed in, which made my drink perfection.
Do you have any tricks for cutting the cals in your cocktails?