The Drinks Are On Us
Whether you are entertaining at home or out for an evening of fun, drinks are usually part of the social occassion. Enjoying a cocktail or a glass of wine or beer has always been part of parties, both at home and away.
However, beverages can add to your daily calorie count at an alarming rate. A sweet, creamy drink can pack in as many calories as a cheeseburger. Making smart choices can save calories without spoiling the occassion.
We need simple strategies to choose the best beverage for the occassion. This can be as simple as choosing a glass of wine or light beer, or ordering a mixed drink. We want to have fun, but minimize the calories.
Here are a few tips for selecting drinks when you're out with friends:
- Go non alcoholic - choose a alcohol free version of a cocktail, or stick to a diet soft drink, or even plain water with a slice of lemon or lime and ice.
- Don't order creamy drinks such as an A&J Cooler, which has 3 scoops of ice cream, Bailey's Irish Cream and vodka.
- Plan ahead and work the excess calories into your daily total. You could include an evening out as part of a higher calorie day.
- Don't order a drink on impulse or because the people you are with insist. Order it because you planned for it and want it.
At home, serving interesting drinks will show off your skills as a host. Having a theme, such as margaritas or martinis, with a variety of these drinks, can be lot of fun. Always offer an alcohol free version as a choice so that the designated drivers in the group can enjoy themselves too. Keep your beverage menu simple. An open bar arrangement with people mixing all kinds of drinks looks messy and offhand, and requires more glassware. Again, planning ahead makes for a party to be remembered.
Don't be afraid to try new things. If you've never had it, consider making sangria, a fruity drink from Spain. It is made with wine, brandy and triple sec, mixed with fresh fruit, lemon or lime soda, and red wine, and lends itself to a non alcoholic presentation easily. About.com shows us how: How to Make Traditional Sangria. It can be versatile too. I especially like a white wine sangria, made with sliced fresh peaches along with the other fruits.
We've searched the archives for both classic drinks and innovative ideas, all contributed by Calorie Count members using the Recipe Analyzer.
- Virgin Mary - The non alcoholic version of a Bloody Mary. It's easy to make and very low in calories too. Serve it ice cold with a celery stick stirrer. A regular Bloody Mary includes vodka.
- Kiwi Margaritas - A traditional drink with a new twist. The pretty green color is festive, especially if you garnish the glass with a slice of lime.
- Peach Fizz - Mimics a rich and creamy drink with the addition of fat free milk. Add vodka to make an alcoholic version.