While a mixed drink will contain the additional calories you were initially trying to avoid, life is short, and if you’re going to make sacrifices, it might as well be for the things (if not the people) you love.
The following are a few of my favorite low-calorie mixed drink options. Enjoy in abundance, or until you wake up whispering sweet nothings to half of an order of spring rolls and peking ravioli.
1. Bloody Mary
More fun than your morning workout.
1 1/2 ounces vodka
½ cup tomato juice Worcestershire sauce to taste
Tabasco to taste
Horseradish to taste
Stuff enough celery, tomatoes, and peppers on a swizzle stick to equate the recommended daily portion of vegetables
By far my favorite Sunday morning pick-me-up. When all you want to do is lie face-down on your couch until the spinning stops and the foreign-sounding man has left your apartment without any of your jewelry, it’s Bloody Mary time.
The combination of tart horseradish, searing Tabasco, and healing powers of too much tomato will always be there to hoist you back on your feet. Not only is it an excellent excuse to spend several hours at brunch — but a single serving is only 150 calories and forces you to drink your vegetables. Just like Mother always wanted.
Throw in leftover champagne and all the optimism that comes with drinking before noon.
3/4 cup champagne, chilled
1/4 cup orange juice
optional citrus garnish
If a Bloody Mary is brunch’s alcoholic yet sensible aunt, a mimosa is its floozy cousin. Despite maintaining a low 150 calorie existence, too many might cause you to regale friends with tales of your youth that were never meant to see the light of day. For instance, that time you freed the aquarium’s penguin exhibit. In your defense it was your first time taking mescaline, and the penguin came to you as a spirit animal, begging for liberation. And you had watched Happy Feet the night before.
3. Vodka-Tonic or Gin & Tonic
You skinny bitch.
2 ounces vodka or gin
4 ounces tonic water
1 -2 lime wedges
Like your favorite cable-knit sweater that manages to hide all your love-handles, this drink will always be there for you. Perfect for even those ridden with self-loathing, it’s 0-calorie diet tonic or soda water counterpart never fails to disappoint or leave you with regret. Just slight despair.
So go ahead slugger and knock ‘em back, nothing should stop you besides lingering integrity. And we both know that disappeared a long time ago, along with any self-control. Your decade’s worth of old J Crew catalogues stacked like firewood are a living testament to it.
4. Coconut water and rum
Healthier with every refill.
4 oz rum
8 oz coconut water
Madonna highly endorses this life-giving cocktail, and considering she hasn’t aged in the last few decades by preying on the life-forces of younger men, we should give her the benefit of the doubt. For those of you who are unaware, coconut water has fifteen times the electrolytes of a sports drink, twice the potassium of a banana, and only 60 calories in a single serving.
You can also freeze the coconut water in an ice cube tray and pop them into a glass with rum to break up the monotony. Extra points for drinking this during a Gilligan’s Island marathon.
5. Vodka Diet Cranberry
Boat shoes optional.
3 oz diet cranberry juice
2 oz vodka
Also known as “A Cape Codder” for the more pretentious New Englanders out there (hello Mother) this cocktail tastes just as sweet from the trashiest of open bars to the most sophisticated of seaside dinners. Cranberry juice also contains the magic of a natural diuretic to nip that UTI right in the bud, if you feel like mixing business with pleasure.
6. The Cosmopolitan
For the irritable New Yorker inside all of us.
4 parts Vodka
2 parts Cointreau or Triple Sec
2 parts Cranberry Juice
1 part Lime Fresh Juice
Approximating a glamorous lifestyle is as simple as brandishing a glass in one hand, a long-suffering purse puppy in the other, and forgoing food for that day. Actually living it is another matter, but several cosmo’s later you’re not going to really care. Ah, apathy; the gift that keeps on giving.