Mojitos, daiquiris, cosmopolitans…Did someone say happy hour? It’s no doubt that these classic drinks go hand in hand with the outings we tend to look forward to at the end of the work week, but they also come with the age old warning that they’ll “ruin your diet”. What particularly is it about your favorite cocktail though, that plagues them as such?
One pitfall of these happy hour headliners is the added sugar largely responsible for the flavor and characteristic beauty. The sugar in just one cocktail can range as high as 20-30 g. So how can you still take advantage of half off cocktails with coworkers without worrying that you’ll blow your sugar allowance for the rest of the week? Be mindful of your mixers! Most liquors on their own have a low caloric and sugar content, but adding in the soda, liqueurs, and syrups that give our favorite drinks their unique tastes, simultaneously adds in loads of sugar. Here are some alternative mixers to turn your happy hour into a healthier hour.
1. Try a splash of seltzer water
Instead of sugary sodas, use seltzer water to amp up your drink with a little carbonation. Flavored seltzer waters may even be offered as a way to mimic your favorite cocktails--lime flavored water is particularly good to mix with tequila for a low sugar remix on a margarita.
2. Choose flavored alcohols
With so many great flavors of vodka on the market--ranging from whipped cream to green apple--there is a variety to satisfy every taste. Ditch the flavored syrups and liqueurs for a flavored liquor to get a sweet treat with virtually no added sugar.
3. Choose muddled fruits for a natural sweetener
Rather than adding pre-bottled, pureed fruit mix to a cocktail, try muddling fresh fruit at the bottom of your glass to satisfy that craving with a natural sweetener that won’t spike your blood sugar levels through the roof!