Last winter, I found myself on the heels of a pretty serious relationship, one in which my physical complacency got the better of me, while I juggled a full time cooking gig and an exec board position, all the while taking fifteen credits. To make matters worse, my penchant for PS2, beer, and Chinese delivery trumped any desire I had to make the uphill hike to the campus gyms.
Eventually, I decided I was through with being a fat ass and I was going to cut back to my model size in time for summer. Getting back into the gym wasn’t difficult, but giving up carbs was. And even when I could make acceptable, low-carb substitutes to my diet, not boozing proved to be insurmountably difficult. I had to get creative with my drinking habits.
Without further ado, here are 10 of the best drinks for all the other ketogenic ballers like me.
Honorable mention I: Michelob Ultra
At only a couple grams of carbs per bottle, Ultra is the lowest carb beer you’ll regularly find at your local watering holes and beer stores. The best part is, it tastes like any other beer. You just have to deal with the stigma of drinking Michelob Ultra.
Honorable mention II: White Wine
If you find yourself trying to rub elbows at a pretentious vineyard, or your girl drags you to some bullshit, froo froo party, you’ll want to stick with pinot grigio. White wines have lower carb counts and fewer calories than their red counterparts.
10. Captain and Diet Coke
This is the most ubiquitous carb-free beverage on the planet, save for water. This recipe calls for four things: rum, diet soda, ice and a glass. You can order it for yourself without fear of repercussion, and the girl next to you is surely not stranger to the ensemble, either. For some whiskey business, sub out the Captain for Jack or Maker’s.
Even simpler than rum and diet, you have scotch on the rocks. Just make sure it’s single malt, peasant.
8. Jameson and Diet Ginger Ale
Jameson and ginger ale is my all time favorite drink, slightly edging the flaming Dr. Pepper bomb. Regular ginger doesn’t taste much different from diet. “Jame and diet” has been more than a passable substitute these last few months.
As a sidenote, my favorite bar just started a Pirate’s special aimed at killing my liver to spite my checking account: $3 Jameson drinks when Jameson Taillon is on the mound. One shot per hit given up should keep things interesting this summer. I hope his next game is a complete one.
7. Gin and Soda
If you’re 56, balding, and a big fan of James Taylor, I guarantee gin and tonic is your drink of preference. Replace the tonic with soda and this drink can be zero-carb, too. If you’re an old soul who likes the taste of gin outside the prospect of a Long Island iced tea, this should be your go-to for the next 40 years.
Speaking of which…
6. Strong Island Ice Tea
With this version of the long island, we need to tweak the recipe. First, you’ll want to go light on the OJ. In my opinion, Coke, triple sec, sours mix, and OJ makes for one unnecessarily diabetic drink. Swap the Coke for some diet, replace the triple sec with lemon juice, ditch the sours and you have a strong, low-carb alternative. Long islands are all about the alcohol content, anyway.
This one is more for general knowledge. Martinis have fallen out of favor with younger generations, especially among guys who wish to not bear the stigma of ordering anything ending in “tini.” Make it with gin or substitute vodka. Both drinks will have a couple carbs per serving, thanks to the dry vermouth, but the carb count is almost negligible. I’m not a fan, but I’ll take your olive if you’re not going to eat it.
Skip the premixed shit; it’s just sugar water with some salt. Have the bartender salt the rim of your glass and ask for some decent tequila. 1800 is a good start. Avoid the bottled lime juice you’ll find at the state store (if you’re from the commonwealths) in favor of juice from an actual lime. Add a small splash of triple sec and pour over ice. I promise you won’t miss the extra sugar.
3. Firefly Arnold Palmer
Firefly Sweet Tea vodka is gaining traction with the fairer sex (or so I’m told) and they have a “skinny” version with no sugar. All this drink takes is sugar-free Firefly and some fresh lemon juice.
2. Dry Manhattan
As its name suggests, a dry Manhattan foregoes the sweet vermouth in favor of the dry variety. Like the martini, the vermouth adds a couple grams of carbs, but not enough to be at all worrisome. A dash or two of bitters completes the drink. Hope you’re feeling lean and manly.
1. Old Fashioned
Go light on the sugar here, and man’s favorite drink can be low-carb, too. If none of the diet drinks above tickle your Y chromosome’s fancy, go for the old fashioned and keep your diet intact..
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