Friday, June 1, 2012

Skinny cocktails rising in popularity

It’s bathing suit season now and all those glasses of wine, sugary frozen drinks and cocktails consumed at the events, parties, festivals and at your favorite restaurant in the last few months may have wreaked havoc on your waist line. That got us at the Louisiana Restaurant Association to thinking about the best types of alcoholic beverages for the calorie conscious.

One New Orleans area restaurant – Café B—has introduced a specialty menu featuring cocktails from 55 – 157 calories to capture those diners looking to balance the intake of their alcohol and their meal. At the lowest end of the calorie content is the Skinny Sparkler weighing in at a mere 55 calories. Light cranberry juice, iced tea and champagne makes for a refreshing and better for you alternative. Substituting simple sugar for Spenda, the Spendito is Café B’s version of the summer favorite—the mojito.

Last year at Tales of the Cocktail, the seminar H2O Cocktails with Kathy Casey and Tony Abou-Ganim covered low calorie, vodka-based drinks that call for naturally flavored waters instead of mixers. Casey preferred to use chopped ingredients like fruit, herbs and citrus zests and soaking them in water for varying periods of time to add flavor in the case of fruit sweetness. So what are the best spirits for you when you’re dialing back your intake?
2011 Tales of the Cocktail presenter Kathy
Casey shared her suggestions for creating
skinny cocktails and discussed where the
trend is headed.
Vodka, gin, rum and whiskey at 80 proof comes in at 50 calories per 1 ounce, while the 100 proof of those increases the calorie count by 10 per ounce. Mix in fruit juices, other liqueurs and simple syrup to deliver the average 5 ounce cocktail and you could be looking at 200 calories or more. If the size of the glass is larger, you are racking up even more and if you are thinking about having another round, you might consider just not eating dinner.

A 12 ounce regular beer contains 150 calories and the light version contains 100 calories. According to, drinking one beer every night adds over 1,000 calories per week, which results in an added 15 pounds to your belly every year.

Wine service varies by establishment, but the standard glass of wine is four ounces. Dry wine has 100 calories a serving and sweet, dessert wine tops the list with 225 calories. Three glasses of dry wine a week will cost you an extra three miles on the treadmill to burn off the extra calories.

Reality TV Star Bethenny Frankel
created her line of Skinnygirl
cocktails, which is being
distributed across the country.
We were walking around our local Rouses liquor department the other day and they were sampling the line of Skinnygirl cocktails. Bravo’s Real Housewife and Bethenny Ever After reality star Bethenny Frankel launched the line which boasts great flavor and low-calories and now includes a pre-batched margarita, Pina Colada, a White Cranberry Cosmo, and a variety of wine flavors.

While those products are great for those who don’t want the hassle of mixology, the calorie content particularly on the wine products are in line with that of dry wines.

What do you think about the skinny cocktail trend? Are you watching what you drink?

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