As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 starts off fresh, ring in the new year with your health goals for 2018 in mind. Whether you’re looking to be calorie conscious or just more aware of what types of ingredients you’re using, here are some healthy-ish tips to sipping consciously this New Year’s Eve.
If you’re focusing on your overall calorie intake, avoid complicated mixed drinks and stick with beer or wine. The average regular beer contains between 150 to 200 calories, while the average 5oz glass of wine only contains about 125 calories. A shot of hard liquor contains about 65 calories, but cocktail recipes typically call for 1.5oz so it takes the calorie count up to around 100. If you’re mixing your own, opt for a 1oz shot instead of a 1.5oz, or ask your bartender to help you out.
Light or Dark
Lighter alcohols like gin and vodka, contain less congeners, which scientists believe can worsen hangovers. So to make sure you’re up for that morning run on January 1st, stick with clear liquor to avoid starting 2018 hungover.
Keep It Simple
As for the actual cocktail itself, stick to simple recipes. Fruity, sugary drinks are your enemy if you’re trying to find a healthy-ish cocktail. The shorter the ingredients list, the more likely it’s slightly healthier. Try out things like:
- Vodka + seltzer (add a splash of 100% fruit juice for a unique flavor)
- Gin + tonic
- Old Fashioned
- Glass of red wine
If you’re playing bartender, having control over what goes into your cocktail is a bit easier. So if recipes call for simple syrup, opt for a honey recipe versus a straight sugar one. Honey is still sweet, but at least it contains antioxidants. It’s all about small healthy choices, right? Replace 1.5oz of simple syrup with ½ tablespoon honey mixed with ¾ tablespoon warm water.
Mixers can be where everything goes to hell. Sugary juices and sodas can derail a diet quicker than a donut shop. So choose your cocktail mixer wisely. Try to stick to fresh-squeezed or 100% juice options. And always choose seltzer water over other carbonated options that can contain additives like sodium which can cause bloating.
Too much alcohol dehydrates you so ensure you rehydrate during your New Year’s celebration. Sip water throughout the evening and drink a good 8oz before heading to bed. This will help you avoid a hangover in the morning.
Have a wonderful New Year’s! As always, remember to drink responsibly and never drink and drive.