It’s already late July, but there’s still time to squeeze into that skimpy bikini or those tiny trunks with minimal embarrassment. But dieting is a pain and exercising is a drag. It’s no fun, and you’re hungry and tired all the time. You sure could use a drink, huh?
So here are a few calorie-conscious cocktails to help get you through the summer and turn you into the waifish Autumn branch you know you can be. Toss one back and then have another one for me.
With staggering step and 80-proof breath,
Your Fairy Ginfather
2. 1. Gin & Tonic Fizzbomb
A fairly simple take on an old standard.
- 3-4 cubes of ice, depending on size
- Gin (I recommend Bombay Sapphire, although Gordon’s will do just fine)*
- Diet tonic
- A wedge of lemon*
- Grapefruit bitters (I highly recommend The Bitter Truth’s grapefruit bitters)
- Place ice cubes gently into the tumbler
- Squeeze wedge of lemon over the ice, leaving the used wedge in
- Measure out two shots (two ounces) of gin and pour
- Fill with tonic to within ½ inch of the lip
- Carefully add 3-4 drops of bitters
- Stir once slowly
Total calorie count: ~146 calories
- For an even more standard take on this, substitute Bombay/Gordon’s for Hendricks and substitute lemon for cucumber. Bombay tends to pair well with citrus while the subtle sweetness of a slice of cucumber is true magic when paired with Hendricks. Definitely worth the pretty penny if you’re feeling indulgent.
4. 2. Negroni
I’ve seen this Prohibition-era classic achieve an astronomical (if slightly puzzling) resurgence in popularity over the last few years. I wasn’t particularly surprised to see it on the menu of Portland’s Clyde Common (far and away the best restaurant/bar in Portland), but was certainly amused to see it advertised as the drink special one night on the chalkboard at Oak’s Bottom Pub (a divey sports bar in the largely suburban neighborhood of Sellwood specializing in greasy burgers and tater tots). The Negroni at the former was superb; the Negroni at the latter smelled like old urine like off-brand Robitussin garnished with the zest of a rotten orange peel. I ordered two anyway.
- Martini glass, chilled if possible
- Cocktail shaker
- Gin (again, Bombay or Gordon’s)
- Campari (it’s red, it tastes weird, it smells like cough syrup: but trust me)
- Sweet vermouth
- Thin, circular slice of orange
There is some sort of standard recipe that involves half-measures and blah blah blah, but I never understood the arithmetic required to convert “measures” into “shots” (SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS) because what is math? So, this is my way:
- A few cubes of ice in the cocktail shaker
- Pour two shots of gin, one shot of Campari, one shot of sweet vermouth
- Stir gently a few times (do NOT shake: clear liquors should NEVER be shaken)
- Strain into martini glass
- Float slice of orange on the surface*
- Down in one (do not down this in one)!
- I have had Negronis served to me with the slice of orange floater or with a twisted garnish of orange or lemon peel (though strangely, never both).
Total calorie count: 193 calories. Not too shabby for a nightcap if you’re a bit shy of your daily dose.
6. 3. Bourbon Screwball
Great for a drunk-n-dash, perfect for a languid hour on the divan watching Gossip Girl. Simple, honest, and delicious.
- Bourbon (any bourbon will do)
- Orange juice
- Fill glass with ice
- Pour in two shots of bourbon
- Pour in two shots of orange juice
- Stir (with your finger, preferrably)
Total calorie count: 165 calories
7. 4. Peach Piper
This one’s a true late-summer treat without any of the barbequey guilt (“Slam me another hot dog, bro,” or whatever it is bros say at BBQs). Sunset approaching, you’ve drawn a tepid bath and lit a few candles. You prop your laptop dangerously close to the edge of the tub on a rickety stool you found in your parents’ attic and watch Roman Holiday. You know, standard living. This one is a take on the Venetian Bellini (apparently a favorite of Hemingway’s) that I invented myself.
- Bellini (sold in bottles at Gelson’s and probably other froofy schmoo-schmah markets across these here great United states – it’s essentially sparkling wine with peach purée)
- Gin (don’t scamp this time, definitely go with Bombay Sapphire)
- Sliced peaches
- Diet tonic (I found the best tonic for this is Hansen’s Diet Tonic: it comes in a six-pack of the most adorable little cans you’ve ever seen)
- Cups, ice, duh
- 3-4 ice cubes at the bottom of your glass
- Place one slice of peach in the ice-filled glass
- Pour in two shots of gin
- Fill with Bellini (or peach champagne, in a pinch) to around an inch around from the lip of the glass
- Top with half an inch or so of diet tonic
- Garnish with peach wedge on the rim
- Take a bath, wash yourself.
Total calorie count: 175-185 calories (depending on the size of your glass)
10. And always remember:
Disclaimer: this is in no way meant to serve as a nutritional guide. Eat small, healthy portions. Exercise often. Count your calories (I recommend the My Fitness Pal app). Or, like, don’t. Pound a 24 pack of PBR with yr ~*~*~bros~*~*~ (calorie count: 3,408) for all I care. See y’all at da clubz (I never go to “da clubz”).