Life is a circus that pretty much only features 7.5 billion juggling acts. We all juggle. We try to have a successful career, vibrant social life, potent sex life, all while looking like a 10 and not breaking a sweat.
My whole life has been spent juggling the concept of filling my life without overfilling my stomach. I’ve struggled with my weight for years, and in fact, I still do. I am not scared to admit that.
On the flip side, I love vodka and hot Cheetos so much I would Rumpelstiltskin my first-born child away for a bag and a fifth right now.
Everyone makes it seem like if you don’t work out 8 hours a day and completely change your diet, you will never see improvement.
NOT 👏 TRUE 👏
Making a series of small changes over time is:
More sustainable and practical
Leads to longer-term success than going cold turkey
If someone said “complete lifestyle change” to me, I’d be running right to the Long Islands and Hot Cheetos. If someone said “compromise” to me, I’m back to the table with a loosened grip on the bag.
Being successful in making a small change can be the ripple that starts a wave of self- confidence. I want to give you that ripple. In this case, the ripple is not a drop of water. Instead, it's a drop of alcohol.
Alcohol is an easy place to compromise. So many cocktails have more sugar than the good stuff we need to not murder our coworkers on a daily basis. I invite you to entertain the idea that you can get your drink on without taking in unnecessary calories.
Here are five fabulous cocktails that will get you tipsy without tipping the scales:
In my office, if there is a story about booze, I am the one they usually pulled out of the ditch I landed in from the last one to cover it. I've been told it is my sophisticated palette and comically low tolerance that garners me these stories.
Recently, I had the pleasure to attend the launch of Empower Cocktail’s newest concoction: the Empower Cosmopolitan Martini. When my bosses said Martini, I disappeared into a Wile E. Coyote puff of smoke. Naively, I thought this was just another alcohol launch, but it was so much more.
The drink itself is made from Sweet Potato Vodka, locally-sourced from a family-owned farm in Northern California, as well as triple sec, cooling white cranberry and zesty lime, and weighing in at 25 proof with only 80 calories per 3 ounces. What impressed me was not the affordable (21.99!!) low-calorie, premixed drink, but rather what the brand stood for.
Tiffany Hall, a former lawyer, started this brand to empower women alongside her numerous other empowerment and charity ventures including the Voss Foundation, Dress for Success Boston, Kicked it in Heels, the Metro-Manhattan Community Foundation, and many more.
Tiffany said it best: "Empower Cocktails has become a way for me to continue doing that work, in a way that also encourages women to come together, pop open a bottle, and celebrate each other."
As a person that supports women, equality amongst all people, and the pursuit of a good buzz, this cocktail is perfect.
Do yourself a favor and snag a bottle; it’s beautifully crafted, low calorie, affordable, and stands to support and empower women. Do I take care of you or do I take care of you?
Bua’s Red Lemonade (122 St. Marks Place, East Village)
In college, you fear the freshman 15 - the 15 pounds you gain because you drink like a fish and don’t eat your vegetables. I swore I wouldn’t fall victim to the freshman 15. In the end, I stuck to my guns and dodged the freshman 15 like Heisman (casual sports reference *hair toss*).
My secret: Vodka and lemonade or low-calorie Gatorade (also no beer).
Having grown up a little since then, my palate has evolved; enter the Red Lemonade. Bua Bar and Restaurant serves up some sophistication, low calories, and college flashbacks. Their Red Lemonade is brewed simply from vodka or gin, pomegranate juice, and lemon. It’s a cute cocktail that cuts through the bullshit. The natural sugars from the juice and lemon coupled with plain vodka or gin create a sweet treat made sweeter by knowledge of less unnecessary sugars and calories.
The Penrose: Mules and Bucks (1590 2nd Ave, Upper East Side)
This Upper East Side hideaway is hiding some of the city’s best food and cocktails. My personal favorite is their Mules and Bucks. This cocktail has four ingredients everyone can wrap their heads around. Fresh pressed ginger, lime, and soda. They recommend the drink with gin, rum, rye, or vodka. I’m gonna level with you - vodka and gin have no carbs and no fat. If I’m drinking, it’s always those two; dealers choice.
The cocktail is as satisfying as the ambiance. If you need a minute to relax and get away, sneak on over to the Penrose. I won’t tell anyone!
The Dead Poet’s: From Russia With Love (450 Amsterdam Ave, Upper West Side)
I am a wealth of crippling trust issues. The one thing I can trust, however, is that Irish pubs bring good stuff 👏every👏damn👏time👏. Named after the second ever James Bond film (s/o to the OG JB and forever a daddy, Sean Connery), the beverage contains 3 simple ingredients: Tito's vodka, lime juice, Gosling's ginger beer with a lime garnish.
To top it off it comes in a copper mug which, if you are easily impressed by shiny things, makes you feel like a wealthy captain of industry.
The Winslow: The Bee’s Knees (243 E 14th Street, Manhattan)
The classic 20’s expression has come back with a vengeance in the form of a gin cocktail that’s the cat’s pajamas. The Winslow, known for being the prime Gin joint in town, serves up bumblebee realness with this cocktail.
The Bee’s Knees is crafted with Gin, raw honey, lemon, and beeswax. It is one of the many craft cocktails curated by this cocktail castle (say that three times fast!).
If you want to split hairs, honey is full of antioxidants, so you could always write this off as a healthy drink for the day, just saying 💁♂.
While cocktails are tasty and rewarding, if you really want to drink, skip the mix. You aren’t above plain vodka or gin, Carole. Our foremothers founded this country on straight-up liquor and no chasers (they had to) to deal with the forefathers. While sipping on a vodka rocks may seem like the ultimate plunge, it’s probably the best compromise one can get. What’s better than no calories and a premium buzz?
If you hear one thing from me, hear this: plain vodka and gin have no carbs and no fat. This is the biggest life hack I know. It is the one thing that has kept me on track with my weight, and docile enough to deal with the monsoon of minor inconvenience my life rains down on me.
Having a good time and taking care of yourself don’t have to be separate. Love yourself enough to make a comprise. Give yourself the ripple that will - with time and patience - turn into a tidal wave of self-confidence that you can surf on to get to the beaches of a better you.
Yoda moment aside:
[anad]Looking to get your party on this Labor Day weekend, low calorie or otherwise? Well, 'All You Need is Sun" with this epic booze cruise!