A wild night at the bar can leave you with more than swollen peepers and an I’ll pay the tab! financial hangover. Liquid calories have the power to make or break a healthy diet when guzzled regularly. Unfortunately, many sweet drinks rely on skyrocketing sugar content for appeal. But there’s no need to swear off cocktails: we enlisted mixologist Chris Milligan, aka The Santa Fe Barman, to give us the skinny on how to lighten up your drinks.
Watch your mixes
Drinks made from pre-made syrups or mixes are full of sugar, not to mention preservatives and artificial flavours.
They may be convenient, but that doesn’t make them good, said Milligan. Soda and energy drinks are calorie kings as well.
Milligan says pre-made mixers add about 120 calories per two oz. (about 60 ml) serving, which is less than what you’ll use when mixing a drink. That teeny amount has more calories than a light beer.
Fresh is always better
Milligan recommends scoping out bars that consistently use fresh fruits and make their own mixes and purees.
The bartenders will be focused on quality and will be using the best ingredients available, said Milligan. Likewise, at home, don’t cut yourself short on quality.
When making your own mixes at home, Milligan suggests using unsweetened juices to cut down on sugar while still adding sweetness, which he calls a must to a balanced cocktail.
Milligan also gave us the rundown on how many calories are in the average serving of these usual suspects. Check out our guide below.