Can cocktails be healthy? They may not compete nutritionally with a superfood salad, but these five (relatively) healthy cocktails will quench your thirst without wrecking your diet plan.
Finding a healthy cocktail to complete your day is a bit of an oxymoron, but there is no question that you deserve a little downtime after the workouts and work days are complete. I mean… you’ve probably got a few brain cells you weren’t using anyway.* 😉
*I hate to be a buzzkill, but I have to be responsible and remind everyone that there’s a line. There are serious health issues associated with heavy drinking and long-term alcoholism. Be smart.
Let’s be real. After a long day, I want to enjoy a beverage without a worry about the number of calories it contains. Online you can find the mathematical formula for converting the alcoholic content of your preferred poison into the number of calories it contains. This probably doesn’t require a Ph.D., but it had me flummoxed. My brain is tired these days!
My suggestion? Just look it up. Many drinks (schnapps, triple sec, etc.) contain added sugar, while wine contains natural sugars. This is further complicated by alcohol content. The higher the drink’s proof, the more your waistline will feel it the next day.
According to Delish, you might want to avoid Everclear (190 proof; 285 calories per shot… not to mention the epic hunch punch hangover), Schnapps (30 proof, 195 calories per shot), Triple Sec (60 proof; 225 calories per shot), Cream De Menthe (72 proof; 187 calories per shot). Remember, a full grown man should aim at an average of about 625 calories per meal, so two shots of Everclear and a glass of wine (~125 calories) is a third of the calories you might need in a day.
In contrast, straight-to-the-point booze is a better option. A shot of 80 proof whiskey (my personal favorite) has 64 calories in it, relatively the same amount of calories in a shot of gin or vodka, although they have less alcohol (40 proof).
However, other health considerations come into play when you consider a current rash or recipes that have come around combining alcohol with grilled pineapple, whey, blended cucumbers, or raw beet juice.
I did some googling and found a few of interesting options:
- You could do worse than a Mint Julep, according Greatist. Simply “muddle together 12 fresh mint leaves and 1 tablespoon of simple syrup. Pour in one shot of Kentucky bourbon and 2 shots of seltzer water.” Of course, you must serve in a pewter cup over the requisite crushed ice.
- How about trying a Vitality Vodka Lemonade? It starts with a juicer, blending together one cucumber, two celery stalks and one head of romaine lettuce. It includes detoxifying lemon juice, “one small piece of fresh ginger and two green apples. Then, add vodka to taste.”
- Here’s an interesting one from Liquor.com. The drink, with Russian roots is called the Napitok Bogov. It includes gin, yogurt or kefir, lemon, lime and honey. The name is said to mean “drink of the gods,” which is a name borrowed from a kefir and honey recipe that has long been called the “food of the gods.”
- Another Liquor.com concoction is called the Old Glory. More of a traditional American drink name, but the ingredients are far from traditional. The blazing magenta-colored drink includes Del Maguey Vida mezcal, raw beet juice, lime, agave and a “barspoon” of Greek yogurt, which rounds off the taste to provide “a smooth, tart edge.”
- Health offers recipes for five drinks under 220 calories, including this alternate version of a Cuban Mojito cocktail, which can contain up to 250 calories if made the old fashioned way. This trimmer version (150 calories in this one) includes one cup of ice, six lime wedges, 1 ½ T of lime juice, 2 T of “torn fresh mint leaves,” a dash of honey, 2 ounces of rum, 4 ounces of club soda. Sounds worthy of a try, no?
Bottom line, each drink calorically represents another a little more exercise, but don’t obsess over it. What’s the point of being healthy if you can’t live a little, right? Especially with the holidays upon us!
For more info on incorporating balance into your diet, check out this post on macros – complete with a free macro calculator!
If you do happen to ever indulge – I have a few tried and true (not that I would know… *cough cough*) hangover cures for you. 😉
What’s your favorite “healthy” drink? Vegas argues that a Bloody Mary is basically a salad.
Would you drink a cocktail that contains yogurt? I might draw the line there…