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The two sources of the “freshman fifteen” are terrible campus food and copious amounts of alcohol. I won’t pretend that alcohol is good for a diet, because your metabolism prioritizes alcohol before any other nutrients in your body and amplifies that fattening effect of carbo-loaded foods. But, if you’re like me, you just can’t avoid the bottle for very long. The challenge then becomes finding ways to balance your drinking habits while maintaining a respectable physique. For everyone that works too hard to get in shape and stay there just to let keg beer ruin the fruits of their efforts, here are ten more summery drinks to stay once shot ahead of the notorious dad bod.
Honorable Mention: Bloody Mary
The only reason the Bloody Mary doesn’t make the list below is because it’s not a cold drink to have at the bar with some coworkers; it’s a drink to have with Easter brunch when you’re almost too hung over to sit up. At its simplest, it calls for tomato juice and vodka. You can throw some pepper, Worcester sauce, or Tabasco in there as well. Just be aware of the tomato juice you use, as some of it has a lot of added sugar for no reason.
10. Guinness Stout
Bear with me. Guinness is a departure from the preceding list of low carb drinks and the list below. Guinness, while not particularly low in carbohydrates, is lower in calories than other, comparable heavy beers at only 128 calories per 12 oz. That’s not why it made the list, though. According to BBC News, Guinness can actually prevent blood clots and reduce your risk for heart attack. Considering Guinness used to be loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, this is welcomed news to grandfathers who enjoy the heavy beer. A Guinness a day keeps the cardiologist away.
9. Kentucky Lemon
Simple and with very little sugar, the Kentucky lemon was a personal favorite of mine last summer, especially considering it’s simplicity and price. It’s just bourbon and lemon juice. I preferred to make it with fresh juice and shake it with the half lemon (which can be used to garnish). Standard juicers are only a couple bucks at the dollar store and well worth the money. This drink is only for people who prefer tart cocktails over the sweet ones.
Another sweet, summery drink that is diet-friendly if you swap simple syrup for some Splenda. Muddle a dozen or so mint leaves and add a few dashes of zero-cal sweetener with some light rum and seltzer. This is another drink that can have a mint garnish if you so wish to add one so you can put if on your fucking Instagram followed by #fitfam.
7. Tom Collins
Gin lovers are a rare breed, especially those in their early-to-mid twenties. A Tom Collins is a staple gin cocktail and calls for gin, lemon juice, and seltzer. Like with other drinks that call for juice, squeeze the juice yourself. It goes a long way towards enhancing flavor while eliminating the chance that some added sugar will sneak into the mix.
6. Hot Toddy
This name is just fun to say. “What do you say we head back to my apartment, have a couple hot toddies, and listen to some old Motown records?”
If you’re in the business for a hot drink, consider the hot toddy. It’s similar to the Kentucky lemon, except replace the sweetener with a little bit of honey. While honey is pretty sugary, it has some benefits like antioxidants and shit. The tiny bit of honey isn’t much to worry about, and you can have a few toddies without much regret.
5. Pina Colada
Once again, bear with me before you fire off in the comment section about how this shit’s loaded with sugar and I should be burned at the stake for spouting such inaccuracies. With a little creativity, you can drop the sugar count to next to nothing.
Pick some straight rum (don’t go for Malibu to avoid a step). Find some sugar-free pineapple juice (Da Vinci makes a good, zero-calorie pineapple syrup) and mix it with some coconut cream. Blend it with ice to make it a frozen drink.
4. Whiskey Sour
The appeal of the whiskey sour is its creamy consistency. It’s made in a blender with the same ingredients as a Kentucky lemon, but add an egg white and little more sweetener. It’s a classic, no frills whiskey drink that you should love on a Friday after a week of dealing with the idiots at your job or internship that you’re accustomed to.
3. Seven and Seven
I rank the diet seven and seven so high on the list because it’s sweet, simple, and cheap as hell. Most dive bars (assuming they have diet Seven Up) won’t charge you more than three or four bucks for these cheap little whiskey miracles, and Seagrams 7 sells for under $10 per fifth should you decide to stay in and drink.
2. White Russian
Choosing your ingredients carefully opens up so many opportunities to make vodka-family drinks. With some skim milk, the white Russian becomes low cal and low carb. Do NOT make your white Russians and mudslides with Kahlua or any off-brand or pre-mixed coffee liqueurs. These flavored liqueurs are loaded with sugar. Make your coffee drinks with actual, chilled coffee/espresso and some heavy cream.
1. Whiskey Smash
Not only is a whiskey smash timeless, it can be made low carb and it has the coolest surname of all the cocktails in the world. Muddle a lemon and add Elijah Craig whiskey, mint leaves, and some zero-calorie sweetener. Then serve it up in a rocks glass with a few mint leaves to garnish if you’re feeling extra pretentious..
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