Summer Cocktails


Summer just wouldn’t be summer without a few sundowner cocktails, but as healthy athletes, we need to be careful what we consume – and not just because we should always avoid drinking and driving. Firstly, let’s take a look at the general daily recommended energy (in Kilojoules) for women and men:

Meal          Women     Men
Breakfast   1000         1500
Snack          500          750
Lunch         1500        2000
Snack           500         750
Dinner        2000        2500
Total           5500        8000

Keep in mind that a snack should be around 500Kj for a woman and 750Kj for a man, and that 15g of carbs is equal to one slice of bread. Now let’s look closer at the energy some popular cocktail drinks contain:

Pina Colada (250ml)
Energy: 2052Kj; Carbs: 64g; Fat: 5.4g
One Pina colada is four times the amount of energy we should be eating as a snack, as well as having the equivalent of four slices of bread in terms of carbs!

Margarita (250ml)
Energy: 1470Kj; Carbs: 17g; Fat: 0g
A margarita generally has three times the equivalent of calories a female should have as a snack and the equivalent of one slice of bread.

Long Island Ice Tea (250ml)
Energy: 1154Kj; Carbs: 35g; Fat: 0.1g
This drink has over double the amount of calories a female should consume as a snack and the equivalent of having two slices of bread in terms of carbs.

As you can see, cocktails can be extremely high in calories and carbs (which are mostly sugar). However, by making some simple changes, you can reduce these counts significantly:
• Use soda or mineral water instead of lemonade.
• Ditch creamy cocktails for icy cocktails.
• Rather use pure fruit juice than syrups.
• Dilute cocktails with loads of ice.
• Use less alcohol.
• Use xylotol or Hulettes SUGAlite instead of sugar. (SUGAlite is a Low-GI, reduced-kilojoule sweetener that replaces sugar on a weight-for-weight basis in home baking. It contains less than half the kilojoules of table sugar and has no bitter aftertaste.)
• Use 250ml glasses, avoid 500ml glasses – cut half the calories!

Here then are a few great alternatives for you to try this summer, which will still give you that lovely cocktail to sip on the beach, but without all those calories and carbs that you know you should be avoiding in order to stay fit and healthy.

Low-sugar Margarita

• 1 tot tequila (30-45ml)
• 2 Tablespoons lime juice – bottled is more convenient, but fresh tastes a lot better
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
• 1 Tablespoon's worth artificial sweetener (or xylotol/Hulettes SUGAlite)
• Ice – small handful
• Salt
Preparation: Combine all ingredients and blend or shake to mix. Wet the rim of the glass and dip into a small plate of salt, then serve either over ice or strained into the glass.

Low-calorie Strawberry Daiquiri

• 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
• 1 Tablespoon lime juice (fresh preferred)
• 30ml rum
• Sweetener to taste – xylotol or Hulettes SUGAlite (depends on how sweet the strawberries are)
• Small handful of ice (not needed if berries are frozen)
Preparation: Put in blender and push the button.

Low-sugar, low-calorie Cosmo
• 1 tot Citron vodka or regular vodka (30-45ml)
• 2 Tablespoons lite cranberry juice
• 1 Tablespoon lime juice (fresh preferred)
• 2 to 3 drops orange extract
• 2 to 4 teaspoons sugar equivalent, e.g. xylotol or Hulettes SUGALite (for taste)
Preparation: Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-full of ice and shake well. Taste for sweetness if using unsweetened cranberry juice, which is highly variable – you may need to add sweetener. Strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a small lime wedge or curl of lime peel.

You can have a good holiday and enjoy yourself without gaining unnecessary weight – just watch what you drink. Happy Holidays!