You’re relaxing at home, and you could go for a cocktail. Only problem is you’re watching your weight, and cocktails can load on a lot of unwanted calories. If you’re like us and there’s absolutely no way you’re giving up your evening drink, you need some options to reduce that drink’s calorie count. We did some research to find out just how to do that without sacrificing flavor.
Three kinds of simple syrup, one bottle of infused Angel’s Envy Bourbon, multiple diet sodas, and eight cocktails later, we’ve decided upon the three tastiest ways to slenderize your cocktail.
Just so you know, our research has been in the form of perusing grocery store aisles for diet products and hosting cocktail tasting parties. We barely qualify as healthy individuals, let alone health experts, and we have discovered along the way that we’re going to leave the bartending up to to the professionals. It should also be said that trying the original cocktails next to the skinny ones has only doubled our calorie intake, so we don’t recommend trying them in the rapid succession like we have. But like we said, we took one for the team, and here’s what we found out:
1. Low-calorie simple syrup is best for complex cocktails
In the simpler cocktail, the Gin Fizz, the sweeteners seemed to override the flavor of the gin. The Truvia version tasted way too sweet and even dominated the citrus component of the cocktail, which should have been a pronounced lemon flavor. The Splenda version maintained this lemon essence, but left us with a metallic aftertaste.
In the Whiskey Smash, however, while we could certainly taste flavor differences between the three cocktails, we couldn’t tell which simple syrup was which. The robust whiskey and fruit flavors in the drink masked syrup flavors well.
On average, one ounce of simple syrup has about 60 calories, which you’ll save by making it with one of these brands of sweeteners. We won’t lie, though, these sweeteners alter the cocktail’s taste ever so slightly. The more cocktail ingredients, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to taste the taste alteration. If you, too, are experimenting with low-calorie simple syrup, we recommend putting it into a bold cocktail that incorporates a variety of flavors (Long Island Iced Teas, anyone?).
2. Diet soda is your friend
We know, diet anything doesn’t taste like the real thing. It’s a sacrifice we often have to make, though, when we’re counting calories. And if you’re going to make that sacrifice, we say do it with your soda. We found that we love the fizzy sweetness of diet grapefruit soda, and it lent itself to a fruitier, more colorful Paloma. You can also try Hansen’s Natural Diet Cola in a Cuba Libre.
3. Infusions inspire creativity in the kitchen, and wont make you dread the bathroom scale.
We infused a bottle of Louisville Distilling’s Angel’s Envy Bourbon with fresh blackberries, and found that infused spirits are perfect for sipping neat, or on the rocks. The added flavor from the fruit meant that we didn’t have to add any sugar, or really any other cocktail ingredients. Not to mention the booze-soaked fruit was a dangerously delicious garnish on the glass. The possibilities for infusions are endless — try cucumber- or basil-infused gin, or citrus-infused vodka. Actually, try anything — you wont be disappointed. (See top bartenders’ favorite infusion recipes.)