The skinny on low-cal cocktails
BY DONNA VICKROY firstname.lastname@example.org July 27, 2011 4:50PM
The 'Cutini', a cucumber martini, one of the skinny cocktails offered at Houlihan's Restaurant in Orland Park. | Art Vassy~Sun-Times Media
1 jigger (1.5 oz or 3 tablespoons) Citron vodka or regular vodka (nutritional analysis uses 80 proof)
1 ounce (2 tablespoons)
diet cranberry juice
(NOT “light,” must say diet)
OR 2 teaspoons unsweetened cranberry juice and 2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 to 3 drops orange extract
2 to 4 teaspoons sugar
equivalent in artificial sweetener (to taste), liquid preferred
Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-full of ice. Shake well. Taste for sweetness if using unsweetened cranberry juice, which is highly variable. You may need to add sweetener. Strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a small lime wedge or curl of lime peel.
Nutritional Information: Each serving has 2.5 grams effective carbohydrate and 105 calories.
Recipe from lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/beverages/r/lowcarbcosmo.html
In this story
ChicagoBlu, 19917 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort; (815) 469-2204; chicagoblu.com/skinny
Houlihan’s, 16153 LaGrange Road, Orland Park;
(708) 364-7650; houlihans.com
Blarney Stone, 15400 Cicero Ave., Oak Forest;
Colette Cocokios’ Weight
Watchers class meets at 10 a.m. Mondays at Park Hill Plaza, 9224 W. 159th St., Orland Park; weightwatchers.com
Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl Margaritas, skinnygirlcocktails.com/index.php
Updated: January 23, 2012 3:11AM
Ahh, a refreshing fruity cocktail, something to look forward to after a long day at work, something toast on a summer evening, something to wreck your diet?
A strawberry daiquiri can pack 300 calories onto your meal. A margarita, almost 200 calories.
No wonder the skinny versions of these cocktails are gaining popularity.
“We thought they’d be popular around New Year’s, what with people dieting, but they’re really popular now, in the summer,” said Jay Rodriguez, co-owner of ChicagoBlu in Frankfort.
People who are really passionate about watching their weight don’t seem to mind the additional $1 charge for a lighter version of their favorite alcoholic beverage.
ChicagoBlu offers seven such cocktails on its menu. The more popular drinks are the skinny cosmo, the skinny sour apple martini and the skinny strawberry margarita.
Houlihan’s has eight skinny cocktails, all under 125 calories.
In addition to the skinny margarita, there’s the superfruit martini, the Lemon Collins and the Diet Vanilla Coke. The biggest seller, though, is the Skinny Cutini, said manager Matt Vega.
“Not only is it low in calories, it’s cool and refreshing at this time of year,” he said.
Over at the Blarney Stone in Oak Forest, they don’t offer any specific low-cal cocktails on their menu, the bartenders steer weight-conscious customers toward rum and diet coke drinks, manager Jillian Olney said.
Want to make a skinny cocktail at home? There are several options, starting with Bethenny Frankel’s line of Skinnygirl margaritas, which are 100 calories for a 4-ounce serving. The mix is available at Homewood Liquors and Orland Park Wine and Spirits, to name a few places.
Colette Cocokios, who leads a weekly Weight Watchers class in Orland Park, said there are several ways you can minimize the calories when out on the town.
“In mixed drinks, it’s not the alcohol, it’s the mix,” she said. Vodka, whiskey, rum and tquila are not necessarily high in calories but add soda, sugary mix or milk and their caloric counts soar.
Opt instead for light beer or wine, doused with a shot of diet or club soda. Not only will a spritzer be lower in calories, the addition of soda will make it last longer.
Cocokios also said to be mindful of alternating alcoholic beverages which are dehydrating, with water. Add ice to a beverage, even a glass of wine, to help hydrate yourself.
A rule of thumb, she said, is one glass or bottle of water to every alcoholic beverage.
Last thing, remember that alcohol stimulates the appetite, Cocokios said. There’s no sense in going to great lengths to cut the caloric intake of your cocktail if you only top it off with fatty bar foods.