Gentlemen. By now, if you’re reading this, you’re part of an exclusive minority of people who haven’t given up on their New Year’s resolution to get fit and lose weight. Kudos to you. It was a long and tough winter, and we know that finding the motivation to keep active in the gym and eat right was super difficult. But alas, here you are, and we’re proud as hell of you.
But summer is here. It means it’s time for the jackets to come off and those guns you’ve been working on to come out. It means relaxation and tanning in the warm summer sun.
Most of all, it means grilling and day drinking. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that the fastest way to put the brakes on a solid workout stint is by eating and drinking too much. But if there’s another thing we know, it’s that we don’t want to miss out on good times just because we’re trying to trim down and watch our weight.
So what’s a health-conscious guy to do? Well, we may not know how to make grilled chili dogs any healthier, but we can help you drink healthier.
Here are 5 Lean Cocktails That Won’t Derail Your Summer Body
This one is a classic because gin is one of the lowest calories booze out there (alongside vodka and white rum). While the very popular gin drink is a gin and tonic, you might be surprised to learn that tonic water is probably one of the most unhealthy mixers under the bar at your local cocktail lounge. It might sound like a refreshing spritz of bubbly water, but most store-bought varieties are chockfull of calories, sugars and even high fructose corn syrup. Blegh.
When we’re looking to keep things lean while letting the good times roll, a Gin Rickey is great because it’s nothing more than gin with soda water and a splash of fresh squeezed lime juice. It’s low calorie, contains almost no sugar, and has zero carbs, but offers plenty of taste. Some recipes advise using a little bit of sugar syrup, but we don’t feel there’s any need for the extra calories.You can substitute gin for vodka and lime for lemon, but we like the way gin and lime blend together.
When you think about all your favorite fruit juices, there’s a good chance cranberry doesn’t make the short list. Why? Because as with most things in life, the best-tasting stuff is always the worst for you, and vice versa. Cranberry juice is usually bitter, with hints of sweetness that touch the tip of your tongue and turn to bitter regret mere milliseconds after. BUT, it’s low calorie and contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. It’s a little heavy on the carbs, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
Plus, fortunately enough, when you mix cranberry juice with a splash of orange juice, some Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice, it really does make for quite the palatable, if not tasty, and healthy cocktail.
While this recipe calls for a “dash” of orange juice and Rose’s lime juice, you can also leave out the orange juice and substitute Rose’s for fresh lime juice. However, we think the extra calories and sugar from the splash of orange juice and rose’s are pretty negligible, especially considering how integral they are to this cocktail’s over flavor. Either way, the world is your oyster, baby!
Tequila Highball w/Lime and Orange
The margaritas you’re used to getting served are usually packed with sugary additives, high fructose corn syrup and all types of unhealthy pre-mixed ingredients. But believe it or not, a real margarita is nothing more than tequila, Cointreau and fresh lime juice, and clocks in somewhere in the 150 calorie range, depending on how thirsty you are.
But for an even leaner cocktail—which is exactly what we’re looking for right now—nothing beats a tequila and soda with lime and orange. This drink proves you don’t need much in the way of sweet and bitter to make your healthy cocktail go down easy. All you need is tequila, club soda, and fresh lime and orange wedges. Once you mix your tequila and club, squeeze your lime and orange wedges into it, then toss them into the drink and muddle them with your straw.
The terms “low calorie” and “manly” don’t often get used in the same sentence together, and we can’t really blame anyone for it. But we’re going to make an exception here and say the Rob Roy may perhaps be the single-manliest low calories diet-conscious cocktail on earth. This classic includes just three ingredients—scotch, vermouth, and bitters—and depending on the scotch and vermouth you’re using, could come in anywhere from 140-170 calories.
It’s not the healthiest diet cocktail we’ve ever heard of, but if you’re insisting on something brown going down, Rob Roy will never, ever leave you hanging.
Rum and Diet Coke
Finally, we have everyone’s favorite diet cocktail, the rum and Diet Coca-Cola. Not only can this cocktail sneak up on you, but it’s also one of the most flavorful diet-conscious cocktails on this list (or anywhere, for that matter). Most importantly, it’s damn tasty, even if you’re not trying to lose those extra pounds of winter weight.
Diet soda is usually zero or nearly zero calories. And rum is generally between 60 and 70 calories per one-ounce shot, depending on the brand and maturity of the rum you’re using (Tradition calls for a more aged rum, but you’re free to use whatever rum you want!). All you have to do is decide whether you want a single or a double. Personally, we’re always drinking doubles.
The classic ratio is typically three parts Diet Coca-Cola to one part rum, but again, every rum is different, so feel free to add more or less to taste. From there, garnish with some lime, and call it a day.