Magazines capitalize on telling us which drinks we can drink for under 200 calories, and Bethenny Frankel has made a business out of her Skinnygirl Margaritas, but “healthy cocktail” still sounds like an oxymoron to me. Of course, some drinks are undoubtedly healthier than others – Mai Thais and Piña Coladas pack more sugar and calories than a vodka soda, for sure – but outside of using common sense to avoid high-calorie beers and sugar-ridden mixers, how obsessed are you really with ordering a your scotch on a diet instead of on the rocks?
Alcohol itself packs calories no matter how you cut it; the higher the proof, the more calories come with it:
- 80-proof vodka (40% alcohol; the most common type) has 64 calories per 1oz
- 86-proof vodka (43% alcohol) has 70 calories/1 oz
- 90-proof vodka (45% alcohol) has 73 calories/1 oz
- 100-proof vodka (50% alcohol) has 82 calories/1 oz
And, as you’re already likely aware, the mixers you choose are where you’re likely packing on the pounds: Soda, juice, fruit syrups, and coconut milk are high in sugar and calories even without the alcohol.
Of course, many of us justify a daily glass of wine by weighing the calories against the nutritional benefits; several studies say that resveratrol (found in red wine; unfortunately, not in your cuvee) contains compounds that protect against aging, heart disease, and certain types of cancers. But even those antioxidants aren’t calorie-free: The typical glass of wine contains at least 125 calories.
But at the end of the day – you know, when you’re tired, moody, or just happen to be sitting at a bar with your friends – sometimes you just want a drink, regardless of whatever your diet book says. We don’t think that’s a bad thing (unless you’re binging on alcohol every day), but we want to know: Do you really care about ordering a “healthy” cocktail when you’re in the mood to unwind?
Tell us how you take your unwinder:
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