It can take some of the spontaneity out of an evening, but if you’re planning to drink it’s best to plan ahead, tally the calories and budget accordingly.
ICE IS NICE
Lisa McRee, a former “Good Morning America” co-anchor who now publishes the popular recipe and diet tip site The Skinny, remembers being on a “no white foods” diet and being miserable since that included “no white wine.” These days she eschews fad diets for a sensible regime of good food cooked well, heavy on the vegetables.
“The philosophy really comes down to eat more things that grow and fewer things that walk,” she says.
Cutting carbs and other empty calories leaves a little room for alcohol. And when she wants to enjoy her favorite chardonnay she slips an ice cube or two into the glass. That makes the drink last longer and also dilutes the alcohol, an important point since alcohol is a notorious sapper of willpower.
In summer, she’ll do the same with a light red wine. While you probably wouldn’t want to do this with a heavy red wine such as cabernet sauvignon — or in front of your vinophile friends — serving wine over ice is not without precedent. McRee first came across it while traveling in Italy in 100-degree weather and seeing the locals chill their wine with a few cubes.
GET ON THE FRESH EXPRESS
Jacques Bezuidenhout (Beh-ZWEE-den-out), the master mixologist for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, has an easy tip for trimming calories from drinks: Keep it simple.
“When I approach healthy drinking, I focus on what goes in the glass,” he says. “Is the juice fresh squeezed? Are we using quality spirits? When you look at those key factors then really look at what kind of sugar you add to the drink! Sugar is the first thing that will start to tag on the calories or assist in a poor feeling in the morning.”