Patio season is here and so are the summer cocktails. If you like to enjoy a few beverages in the summer sun but are concerned about the total calories and sugar that come with them, I have some tips to help you out.
- Avoid using sugary bases such as syrups, pop and fruit juice cocktails that are not 100% pure juice.
- Add strong flavours such as lemon, lime, orange peel, kefir leaves, lemongrass, ginger or mint
- Avoid the sugar on the rim
- Add sparkling water to make spritzers and extend the drink
- Blend with ice to add volume
- Purchase light or unsweetened pre-made drinks and mixes such as Socialite. Socialite is a spiked sparking water made with 3 simple ingredients: premium Canadian Vodka, sparkling water and 100% natural flavours. It contains 0 grams of sugar or sweetener and only 80 calories.
Most alcoholic beverages don’t have nutrition facts or ingredient lists on the can or bottle. Socialite does and it would be great if other companies did the same so that we know what we are consuming. Check this out:
Calories in common summer drinks:
8oz long island iced tea 400 kcal
8 oz Margarita 200 kcal
12oz pina colada 600 kcal
3oz Cosmopolitan 165 kcal
5oz red or white wine 125 kcal
1 beer 140 kcal
Light Beer 105 kcal
5oz champagne 100 kcal
1.5oz gin, vodka or rum 100 kcal
Gin and Tonic (short) 200 kcal
Vodka Soda 100 kcal
So-Cialite (4% alc) 80 kcal
Margaritas: when making your own avoid the super sweet drink mixes. Use a mixture of lime juice and 100% orange juice for sweetness. Triple sec will also add some sweetness. A dash of sparkling water can tame the sour from the lime and crushed ginger or a slice of jalepeno can add a punch.
Pina coladas: Avoid the bottled mixes. Skip the cream of coconut and use light coconut milk. Frozen pineapple and banana with ice makes for a creamy frothiness. If you need a touch of sweet, blend in a soft date.
You don’t need to abstain completely as this usually leads to a short-term alcohol fast followed by binging with no habits changed. Instead consider changing some of your habits.
- Have a glass of water first before alcohol so you quench your thirst and allow yourself to savour the alcohol more slowly
- When you have a glass of wine during cooking, pour yourself only half a glass and make it last longer.
- Alternate your drink with a glass of water or Perrier at parties and social gatherings
- Set a limit before you go out. (Offering to be the Designated Driver helps you stick to your goals)
- Select mixed drinks that have low calorie mixes such as soda water, tonic and lemon or lime juice rather than Coke, juice or liqueurs.
- Try out some lower calorie drink options such as SoCIAL LITE. No added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, natural flavours, 4% alcohol, 80 calories per serving. Comes in Grapefruit Pomelo, Spiked Lemon Iced Tea, pineapple mango, lime ginger and lemon cucumber mint.