Trying to shred those holiday pounds can be stressful; It almost makes you want to have a glass of wine or scotch just thinking about all that work. The challenge here are the extra calories that alcohol tacks on. What to do? Fear not—we’ve got your New Year’s resolution solution. Follow this simple guide of low-calorie liquors, cocktails, and other drinks. You will be able to enjoy a drink or two, in moderation, without going overboard with your daily calorie intake.
Tequila with Lime Juice
Calories: Less than 200
Tequila is one of the lowest calorie liquors available. 1.5 ounces of tequila contains roughly 98 calories. Compare this to vodka (106 calories) and whiskey (113 calories). Keep in mind that pure agave tequila (100 percent agave) is lower in sugar than other tequila varieties. Most tequila varieties are around the same caloric range. We recommend Jose Cuervo, Don Julio, or Herradura Reposado.
Who doesn’t love a margarita? Your typical ‘rita is loaded with calories and sugar, anywhere from 160 to 400 calories (depending on whether it’s made with fresh juice or a pre-made syrup). For a low-calorie version of the Mexican classic cocktail, use tequila with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This will blend in juice rather than syrup and will ensure your calorie count stays under 200.
Vodka Soda with Lemon
Vodka is another low-calorie liquor option. One of the more diet friendly vodka cocktails is a simple vodka soda with lemon. Tonic water is a no-no for those who want to trim their calorie count. It adds about 80 calories and 21 grams of sugar to your cocktail. Go for soda water or seltzer instead. This will still give your drink some fizz, without the extra calories. Add a squeeze of lemon for a flavor boost.
Vodka Mojito without the Syrup
Calories: Less than 100
Mojitos normally contain about 168 calories, but if you forgo the syrup you can cut back on anywhere from 40 to 70 calories per cocktail. To make this drink less than 100 calories use light rum and a teaspoon of sugar (or a sugar substitute like Stevia).
You can also add extra mint and fresh lime juice to enhance the flavor, without adding calories. Rum tends to be on the higher-end of the calorie scale, so we recommend you use vodka in this recipe instead.
Light Bloody Mary
Calories: Less than 100
A Bloody Mary is a great option as a light brunch sipper. We recommend mixing a low-cal Bloody Mary yourself, as a premixed or packaged one can range anywhere from 200 to 400 calories.
You can ensure your Bloody Mary stays at, or below, 100 calories by combining one ounce of vodka with a smaller portion of fresh tomato juice, and adding just a dash of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce.
Spices can be great to add a little heat. Just be sure not to go overboard with too many garnishing like olives or bacon. You’ll want to stick to celery sticks or cherry tomatoes.
Scotch (1.5 ounces)
Scotch whiskey is not at the top of the list for lowest calorie liquors, but it’s still a contender ranking in third behind tequila and vodka. One ounce of scotch whiskey contains about 64 calories if it’s 80 proof, or 80 calories if it’s 100 proof. The proof is double the alcohol concentration; so, 80-proof scotch is 40 percent alcohol while 100-proof scotch is 50 percent alcohol. Remember that adding mixers such as coke or a sweet-and-sour mix can tack on 100 or more calories. If you’re really looking to fit in those old jeans in 2019, drink your whiskey neat, on the rocks or with a bit of water or club soda.
One great tasting scotch that balances quality and value is Macleod’s Single Malt.
Diet Gin & Tonic
Tonic water will add on a few extra calories with the amount of sodium it has. If you can’t part with tonic water, you can still keep the calories low by choosing a diet tonic water. By doing so you can cut at least 60 calories. Another option is to swap diet tonic water for a light sparking water. Tip: Add a spread of fresh rosemary or a small wedge of grapefruit to spruce up your garnishing game (and flavor).
Martini (2.2 ounces)
With the classic mix of vermouth and gin, a martini is a favorite among those who are looking to cut back on their calorie intake. For those new to martinis, making it “dry” means you’ll get less vermouth and more liquor. Olives are optional.
Need an expert liquor-picker? Ask the friendly mixology experts working at your nearest Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods.
Cheers to the New Year!