OK, let’s admit it. Our waists are bulging, our skinny jeans resemble sausage sleeves, and our moon-pie face inhaled one too many pieces of Christmas fudge.
It’s time to put that 2016 “better living” resolution into practice. From wine and beer to cocktails, we’ve got top tips to help take the stress out of drinking and the elastic waistband of your yoga pants.
Wine: Keep your glasses see-through with white wines in your low-cal quest. Varietals like pinot grigio, gruner veltliner, vino verde, and riesling register at a very happy 107 calories to 143 calories per 6-ounce serving. (Just watch the sugars on whites like moscato and sweeter chenin blancs)
On the dark side, look to dry reds like pinot noir for lower calorie counts of 135-165 calories per serving. That big, bombastic Napa cab you love? Heavy hitting, high-alcohol wines (think syrah and zins, too) can register up to 195 calories. Reserve the port and sauternes for special occasions if you are dieting, as those delicious devils can crank the meter up to 275 calories. Tip: See the helpful Wine Calorie Chart at winefolly.com
Cocktails: Look no further than our local craft culture for mouthwatering concoctions that keep your calorie counter in check. Try these recipes at home, or head to each hotspot and let the experts handle it:
by Joe Bailin at Saltbox, Hotel Palomar (perfectly wintry with a touch of SoCal spirit)
1¼ ounces Espolon Reposado tequila
¾ ounce juniper-Infused Splenda Simple Syrup
8-10 fresh cranberries
3 generous sprigs of fresh sage
Total calories: 96
by Cameron Harris at Pacifica Del Mar (for warm weather)
1½ ounces watermelon-infused vodka
1 teaspoon agave syrup
½ ounce lemon juice
Total calories: 116
Mexican Air Force
by Andy Luymes at JSix (spirit-forward and not for the faint of heart)
¾ ounce blanco tequila
¾ ounce Averna Amaro
¾ ounce Cynar
¾ ounce lime juice
Total calories: 130
Beer: To keep that waistline slim, the general thought is to look to lighter choices. Pilsners, kolsch, saisons, Berliner-weisses and even session IPAs are thirst-quenching options at between 105 to 155 calories per 12-ounce serving on average. However, the key to calorie counting is in lower alcohol content, no matter the color (shoot for 3.5-5.5 percent). So don’t be afraid to go to the dark side! Black lagers, porters, and stouts, at low alcohol contents between 4-6 percent can be great low-cal options too.
Enjoy your liquid diet!
With 18 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 850 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to firstname.lastname@example.org.