Nothing is more festive in the summer than sipping a refreshing cocktail at a backyard barbeque or under a beach umbrella. But with cocktails packing as many as 600 calories each, you may not want to worry about the extra intake. Well, you may not have to after all. Mixologist Jeff Bell showed us that we can have a healthier happy hour.
When people are looking to cut calories in their cocktails they typically revert to vodka tonics or diet soda mixers, but according to Bell, you can have a tasty and creative cocktail by taking a “culinary approach” to mixing up a summer refresher. By choosing fruits and vegetables that pair well with low alcohol content liquors, you can have all the flavor and a fraction of the calories. This means muddling strawberries, peppers or cucumbers to mix with your liquor of choice and avoiding prepackaged mixers, which are packed with extra hidden additives like corn syrup and can skyrocket a drink's calorie count. When you make your mixer fresh, you know exactly what is going in the shaker.
Bell mixed up a few cocktails for us including his signature drink, the Americano, which contains the oh-so hot right now liqueur: Campari. This bitter Italian liqueur is most commonly found in Negronis or mixed with soda but Bell found that Campari and tequila can be friends. Mix the two with muddled cucumber, simple syrup and lemon juice and you have a tasty adult beverage that isn’t going to go straight to your waistline.
Also, don’t overlook the importance of staying hydrated. Keeping a one-to-one ratio of alcoholic beverages to water can help you to stay hydrated when you are enjoying that barbeque with your friends or relaxing poolside this summer.