Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cocktail Diet?

Pretty AND Healthy? ain't Snackwells...
(PHOTO: Fritz Hahn - The Washington Post)
I never thought I drank enough to have an effect on my waistline. Mind you, the heaviest I have ever been was when I lived in Dublin, Ireland and the combination of greasy pub food, depression and massive quantities of beer certainly did the trick.

But when I lost my 50 extra pounds of Irish weight (I used to call it Guinness weight, but that is not fair since Guinness is actually a lower calorie beer) I kept the weight at bay with diet, exercise and much much much less beer. Seriously, you cannot drink much when you are only ingesting 1200 calories a day and working out for two hours.

So I started drinking more straight alcohol. And no more White Russian of my youth (except on occasion for a dessert nightcap) and it seemed a shame to mix fine rum with Diet Coke. So I took the stuff straight or maybe with some water.

But when I started cooking using only fresh seasonal ingredients, it became obvious that these flavors should also infuse my cocktails. I avoided new speak-cheesy joints that loaded their cocktails with sugar and never ordered an Old Fashioned from an untested source (no sugar, just a brandied cheer and orange wedge drenched in bitters is how I like it, if you are using Bourbon. One small cube of sugar if using rye).

I pretty much always assumed my drinks were lower in calories because they were smaller, used fresh ingredients and good alcohol. But cocktails tend to be trending to sweet again. There is a huge interest in sweeteners from the good (agave and maple syrup) to the bad (Stevia and Splenda). PS 7 in Washington DC even has very tasty cocktails at lower calories advertised on their menu. They are good cocktails and even being marketed as good for you. Protein due to the egg white? Ok, maybe a tad, but really...(insert eye roll here). If you are using fresh fruit like apples and kumquats, you should not have to add sugar anyway.

This is clearly aimed right between our threaded browns, Ladies, and I am a bit offended. This should not just be for girls. Come on fellas, I have seen far too much beer, or rather Bourbon Belly happening out there.

For my part, I think I going to have to start specifying that I prefer my drinks tart rather than sweet. Or better yet, with nothing but alcohol in them at all. Why waste precious empty alcohol calories on sugar in my drink?

People, like how I handle food and alcohol now, moderation. Enjoy, just don't over indulge!

Ok, I need to get thee to a Gym!

"Slimming Down PS 7's Cocktail Menu"
[Washington Post]

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