Low Calorie Cocktail Ideas

As is, liquors are fat-free beverages with very low sugar contents. They’re relatively low in calories but they’ll pack on the pounds anyway. That’s because those calories from the alcohol are ‘empty’ calories; the calories are there but the nutrients are missing. Nothing packs on the pounds as fast as empty calories.

Weight-conscious drinkers are always looking for low calorie cocktail ideas and there are actually many ways to enjoy happy hour and maintain an hourglass figure at the same time.

Modern processing techniques have taken about half the calories out of many beers. A 12-ounce serving of regular beer is about 160 calories. Light beers vary in calorie count but most of them contain about half that calorie count.

Many beer drinkers complain of feeling bloated after downing a few. That’s because of the carbonation in the beverage. Drinking out of a glass instead of a bottle or can relieves a little of this bloating by allowing the bubbles to dissipate before you drink them.

One 5-ounce serving of wine averages 125 calories. Drink your wine as a spritzer to cut calories and add refreshing variety.

To make a spritzer, fill a tall glass with ice, pour in a serving of your favorite wine, and top it off with club soda. Squeeze in a little lemon or lime juice for a lively burst of flavor. Club soda has no calories. Use less wine and more club soda to reduce calories even further.

Substitute your favorite lemon/lime-flavored soft drink instead of the club soda for added spritzer flavor.

Make a pitcher of lemonade or limeade using sugar substitutes, such as Splenda, to sweeten it and enjoy it on the rocks with vodka, rum, or tequila.

Diet colas and other soft drinks are great low calorie mixers for most hard liquors. Rum and Coke is a classic; make yours rum and Diet Coke. Seagram’s 7 and 7-Up (7 & 7) is just as tasty made from Diet 7-Up.

Gin is not as compatible with a variety of mixers as most other liquors are but gin and tonic is a classic. Use diet tonic water to spare calories.

Distilled liquors come in different proofs, or alcohol content. The higher the alcohol content, the higher the calorie count. A 1.5-ounce serving of 86-proof liquor of any kind averages 105 calories. To reduce calories, choose the lowest proof when selecting a distilled liquor.

Some liquors are great served straight, especially the whiskeys. Experiment with different kinds of whiskey to find a favorite. Bourbons and sour mashes, made in the United States from corn, have bold flavors. Blended US and Canadian whiskeys blend corn and rye for smoother, more mellow, flavors that many people prefer.

Scotch whisky’s smoky flavor comes from slowly smoking barley, its main ingredient, over peat. The barley in Irish whiskeys is also smoked, but over smokeless coal, so no smoky flavor. The Japanese whiskies are made from barley smoked over peat, like Scotch, but they have a more subtle, elegantly balanced flavor.

Drinking hard liquor straight may not seem appealing but keep it in mind for low calorie cocktail ideas anyway. It may take some getting used to but the higher-quality liquors are great for savoring slowly. You may find yourself drinking less but enjoying it more.

But straight isn’t the only way to enjoy premium liquors. Try your whiskey and rum, brandy, or tequila, too, over ice or mixed with water instead of calorie-rich mixers. And don’t forget the zero calories of club soda, which is good with almost all liquors.