Summer’s in full swing, which means two things – health kicks and calorific cocktails!
However if you’re wondering why you’re struggling to shed the pounds (even though you’ve been hitting the gym) we have some sad news: your favourite cocktail tipples contain a ton more calories than you thought. The scrumptious combination of spirits, juices, fresh fruits, and creamy mixers aren’t just a recipe for an unwelcome hangover, but an unwelcome, expanded waistline too!
Just check out the infographic below to see if your favourite drink made the list,
Embed this infographic:
The unhealthiest cocktails
Topping the unhealthy chart is a Long Island Iced Tea, boasting a whopping 720 calories a glass! That’s the equivalent to two Gregg’s sausage rolls! To put in to perspective, if this is your go-to drink during happy hour, then two contain almost 60% of a man’s recommended daily calorie intake, and a staggering 72% of a women’s daily calorie intake.
There are a few reasons for the skyscraper sized calorie count; the first being a Long Island Ice Tea is easily one of the booziest cocktails – containing vodka, gin, triple sec, rum and tequila – and alcohol. It’s sadly packed with sugar. The second is largely down to the tall glass it’s traditionally served in.
In a close unhealthy second place comes the Margarita at 680 calories. Or a roast dinner, for those seeking a tangible comparison.
It should be mentioned that the calorie count will vary considerably depending on the drink and how it’s served. In the case of the Margarita, the glass size factors massively, as Margaritas are often served in ‘fishbowls’ or pitchers. Another contributor is the type of mix used: pre-made mixers are crammed with sugar. So it’s always best to knock up a batch from scratch – it could cut your calorie intake by half!
Other juice-based cocktails, like Sex on the Beach and Zombie, wrack up high counts too, thanks to multiple spirits and sugar-packed juices served in tall glasses. Unsurprisingly, creamy cocktails are horribly calorific. For example, a Pina Colada’s calorie count is the equivalent of a single portion of a microwave lasagne meal. Whilst a White Russian’s calorie count equalled that of a medium portion of onion rings.
The ‘healthier’ cocktails
G&T drinkers will be pleased to hear this ranked towards the lower calorie end of the spectrum, but only if you opt for slim line tonic. Forgetting to order diet or slim versions means adding at least an extra 100 calories to your drink.
It’s the same situation for the Cuba Libre (AKA a rum and coke), which is the lowest calorie drink you can have – if made with diet cola.
How to be drink calorie savvy – tips and takeaways
If you’re looking to cut calories, then (unfortunately) fancy cocktails with fresh juices and various spirits should never really be on your list of drink options. If you can’t resist though and you simply must have a cocktail, then sticking to one spirit and a diet mixer is the way to go (we recommend trying a diet ginger ale for a bit of a kick!)
Avoid pre-made mixers and frozen drinks: these are packed with sugar and will undo all your hard work in the gym. Instead, we’ve found that the best calorie-cutting option is to make the mixer from scratch.
If you’re set on a fruity tipple however, then reduce the calories by opting for fresh juice over concentrated fruit juice and when serving, go for smaller glasses laden with ice.
If you’re a sucker for creamy cocktails – go for a low/no-fat milk option in place of cream. It might skimp slightly on flavour, but your waistline will thank you for it later!
Have any tips on cutting calories? Let us know by commenting below