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Raise a glass to delicious libations that pack a punch—without packing on the pounds.
Ah, the cocktail! A well-crafted mix of alcohol, fruit juice, soda, and/or cream, the cocktail can be a reward after a grueling day, a symbol of a vacation or a weekend, the glass that helps you ring in a special occasion. I'm particularly partial to a sgroppino, a Venetian summer favorite that's a mix of prosecco, vodka, and sorbet that makes for frosty predinner sipping.
Alas, there's a downside (isn't there always?) to these fun drinks. Both the alcohol and mixers in fancy cocktails are nearly always packed with sugar, carbs, and even fat, and these can translate into a huge calorie bomb that can undo a day of good food choices. Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy amazing drinks without worrying about overindulging. Read on for a few smart-sipping ideas, as well as creative cocktail recipes that won't set you back more than 150 calories apiece. Cheers!
Low-Calorie Cocktail Tips
1. Choose a lower-proof liquor. The lower the proof, the fewer calories. Eighty proof vodka has 65 calories an ounce; 100 proof vodka has about 85 calories an ounce.
2. Avoid bottled drink mixes. They contain lots of corn syrup; make your own from scratch to control the calories and the ingredients. Choose soda water or sparkling water instead of tonic water. Tonic water has 90 calories per cup, club soda and sparkling water have zero, and often come in an amazing variety of no- calorie flavors.
3. Make your wine a spritzer with soda water or seltzer. A spritzer with 3 ounces of wine and 2 ounces of soda water has only 60 calories and help keeps you hydrated.
4. Try flavored liquors. Citrus, chile, berry, and chocolate are just some of the ingredients used to flavor vodkas, gins, or even tequila. And all of them contain the same number of calories as unflavored liquor.