Healthy Recipes & Cooking / August 16, 2012

Low-Calorie Summer Drink Options

By Charles Platkin, PhD

Summer Drink Options

Cotton Candy

Source: SkinnyTinis by Teresa Marie Howes (Wiley, 2009)

Ingredients:

2 ounces vanilla vodka
2 ounces light ruby red grapefruit juice
1 ounce 2% milk

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain into a 5-ounce martini glass.

Notes from the book: “The Cotton Candy came to fruition at a girls’ night/ slumber party. The ultrapink, ultragirly combination of vanilla and sweet citrus makes this the perfect dessert-style cocktail to share with your fun, fabulous girlfriends. You can also blend this cocktail with ice for a fun ‘fluffy’ effect.”
Nutrition:

Calories: 145

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 38
Bike: 21
Run: 15
Swim: 18
Yoga: 50
Dance: 25

Skinny Chocolate Martini

Source: SkinnyTinis by Teresa Marie Howes (Wiley, 2009)

Ingredients:

2 ounces strong brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
2 ounces vanilla vodka
1 ounce 2% milk
2 teaspoons fat-free hot cocoa mix

Method:

Combine the cooled coffee with ice in a cocktail shaker. (Hot liquids can have an explosive effect when shaken in an airtight container.) Add the remaining ingredients and shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain into a 5-ounce martini glass.

Notes from the book: “A standard chocolate martini contains Irish cream, vodka and chocolate liqueur, all of which come at a high caloric cost. In the ‘skinny’ version, the coffee mixed with hot cocoa provides a nice coffee-chocolate flavor, and the 2 percent milk gives it a rich consistency. You can use fat-free half-and-half for an even richer cocktail, with just 5 more calories. These clever replacements maintain the familiar flavors, and you’ll only lose the calories! For a special touch with just 8 extra calories, drizzle 1 tablespoon of sugar-free chocolate syrup on the inside of the glass in a design of your choosing before you strain the martini into the glass. Original recipe: 453 calories; skinny recipe has 67 percent fewer calories.”

Nutrition:

Calories: 148

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 38
Bike: 21
Run: 16
Swim: 18
Yoga: 51
Dance: 25

Mexican Mojito

Source: SkinnyTinis by Teresa Marie Howes (Wiley, 2009)

Ingredients:

1⁄4 ounce agave nectar
1 lime wedge
Fresh mint sprigs
1 1⁄2 ounces white tequila
3 1⁄2 ounces club soda

Method:
Add the agave nectar, lime wedge and mint sprigs to a cocktail glass and muddle (mash up) the ingredients to bring out the flavors and pull the mint flavor into the liquid. Add ice and top with the tequila and club soda.

Notes from the book: “Similar to the traditional mojito — with its refreshing combination of muddled mint, sweetener and lime juice — but with white tequila and pure agave nectar instead of rum and sugar cane syrup, for a more Southwestern flair. The Mexican Mojito is 100 percent natural and perfect to serve on a warm sunny afternoon, garnished with fresh mint.”

Nutrition:

Calories: 128

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 33
Bike: 18
Run: 14
Swim: 16
Yoga: 44
Dance: 22

Agave-Sweetened Orange-Orange Pekoe Tea

Source: Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry (Da Capo Lifelong, 2009)

Makes 12 to 14 servings

Ingredients:

12 cups cold water
2 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
12 tea bags of orange-flavored black tea
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1⁄2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1⁄2 cups agave nectar
Ice cubes
Thin orange wedges, for garnish

Method:

In a stockpot, combine the water and cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately add the tea bags, orange juice, lemon juice and agave nectar. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid, allow the tea to cool, and remove the tea bags with a slotted spoon.

To serve, ladle into pint-size canning jars filled with ice and garnished with orange wedges.

Notes from the book: “Ma’Dear, my maternal grandmother, would sun-brew gallon jars full of Sweet Goodness on sweltering hot summer days. Recollections of those containers full of cinnamon-colored tea sitting on her back porch bring back sweet memories of simpler days. This version will satisfy the snootiest of Sweet Tea connoisseurs (read: my mom) and won’t give drinkers an insulin spike since it is sweetened with agave nectar.”

Nutrition per serving (one of 14 servings)

Calories: 124

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 32
Bike: 18
Run: 13
Swim: 15
Yoga: 42
Dance: 21

June Fields

Source: Cool Waters, by Brian Preston-Campbell (The Harvard Common Press, 2009)

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled
1 cup still water
1 teaspoon fresh lavender leaves
4 cups chilled sparkling water

Method:

In a blender, puree the strawberries with the still water until smooth, about 1 minute. During the last 10 seconds, add the lavender.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher. Add the sparkling water, stir gently and serve.

Notes from the book: “I look forward to June every year in anticipation of eating as many local strawberries as I can before they disappear from the farmers’ markets. Lavender brings a clean, herbaceous complement to the ripe, red fruit in this recipe, and the sparkling water is a cleansing transport for the combined flavors. Dried lavender is not an acceptable substitute for fresh in this recipe. Look for fresh lavender in natural-food stores and in the herb section of large supermarkets.”

Nutrition per serving:

Calories: 128

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 33
Bike: 18
Run: 14
Swim: 16
Yoga: 44
Dance: 22

Red Cherry Spritzer

Source: Cool Waters, by Brian Preston-Campbell (The Harvard Common Press, 2009)

Makes 5 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and finely chopped
One (4-inch) cinnamon stick, crushed
1 cup still water
4 cups chilled sparkling water
Ice cubes

Method:

Place the cherries, cinnamon and still water in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher. Add the sparkling water and stir. Serve over ice.

Notes from the book: “This spritzer is a sure favorite of both kids and adults; the subtle cinnamon flavor makes this drink taste almost like cherry pie. Use fresh cherries at the peak of season; look for blemish-free fruit with a lot of color. In a pinch, frozen cherries can be used in this recipe, but please don’t entertain the idea of using maraschino cherries! Use a cherry/olive pitter to make quick work of pit removal.”

Nutrition per serving:

Calories: 25.6

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 6.6
Bike: 3.6
Run: 3
Swim: 3.2
Yoga: 9
Dance: 4.5

Perseverance

Source: Wine Cocktails, by A.J. Rathbun (The Harvard Common Press, 2009)

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
Ice cubes
1 ounce vodka
2 ounces dry rosé wine
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Method:

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add the vodka, rosé, maraschino liqueur and bitters. Shake well.

Strain the Perseverance equally into 2 cocktail glasses and serve.

Notes from the book: “Originally a drier, crisp wine made in France and selective other parts of Europe (it’s called rosato in Italy), rosé started to gain sweetness in the middle part of the last century, and then in the United States in the 1970s it experienced a surge in both sweetness and popularity due to the sugary blush wines whose coloring it resembles (though the process used to make them is different). But a good wine perseveres, and the drier, European-style rosé has made a comeback. In this cocktail, whose name matches the wine’s persistence, this dry, delicate flavor pairs with vodka, maraschino liqueur and a bit of bitters for a complex and completely satisfying drink.”

Nutrition per serving:

Calories: 71.25

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 18.5
Bike: 10
Run: 7.5
Swim: 9
Yoga: 24.5
Dance: 12

Cadillac Margarita

Source: Craveonline.com/Drinks Mixer recipes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces tequila
1 ounce Grand Marnier orange liqueur
1/4 ounce fresh lime juice

Method:

Shake tequila with Grand Marnier and lime juice and strain into a chilled salt-rimmed cocktail glass. Serve.

Nutrition:

Calories: 174

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 45
Bike: 25
Run: 19
Swim: 21
Yoga: 60
Dance: 30

St. Thomas

Source: Craveonline.com/Drinks Mixer recipes

Ingredients:

1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce peach schnapps
1/2 ounce Malibu coconut rum
3 ounces cranberry juice
A dash of lemon juice

Method:

Combine vodka, peach schnapps and coconut rum in a cocktail glass. Fill almost to the brim with cranberry juice, add a splash of lemon juice and serve.

Nutrition:

Calories: 180

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 47
Bike: 26
Run: 19
Swim: 22
Yoga: 62
Dance: 31

Detective Fit Tips:

  • Use more or larger ice cubes.
  • Use smaller glasses.
  • Add extra club soda or any other low- or no-calorie soda. (Keep in mind, tonic water has calories.)
  • Drink red or white wine at 25 calories per ounce, or ultralight beer.
  • Steer clear of drinks that are really desserts (creamy liqueurs, anything with cream or ice cream).
  • Alcohol is a double whammy: It lowers your inhibitions so you end up not only drinking more (more calories) but also eating more food (more calories).

Tags:  diet low-calorie Summer Drinks




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