You may have a cocktail book or two (swap in a website or app if you want). It's probably hundreds of pages long with interesting names and fascinating ingredients. Those cocktails sound really nice given unlimited time and resources.
You've probably perused a cocktail menu at chain restaurants... maybe even tried one. It probably tasted good the first couple of sips until you realized that you were drinking so much sugar it might as well be syrup. Margaritas from these places can 700+ calories and 50+ grams of carbs!
You probably have a few bottles of booze in the cabinet above the refrigerator; high enough that you have to get a stool to see past the first couple. Many of them have been there since you moved in.
This is the problem with cocktails in the really real world: information isn't very informative; the calories are too high; and your inventory is too low. Even complete liquor nerds like us deal with these same problems. So here are 5 cocktails that are easy to make, low calorie, and you can do in your home! That's real, practical help!
- Soda and Liqueur: take an 1 to 1.5 ounces of your favorite liqueur-it can be anything from orange to peach to elderflower... even anise liqueurs like Galliano-and top it with 6 - 12 ounces of soda water. This is even more awesome if you have your own Sodastream or similar. This is easy, it tastes great, you can make it as strong or as weak as you like, and the calories are limited to the liqueur itself. If you like mixing with things like cola or lemon-lime soda, this is your ticket.
- Hot Water, Honey, and a Flavored Vodka: take a coffee mug, heat some water in a microwave for about 10 - 15 seconds, mix with honey, plus one ounce of just about any (reasonably) flavored vodka. We like citrus vodka the best. This makes a warm, delicious, tea-like drink that is perfect in just about any cool or cold setting. It'll make you forget all about any cough or sore throat you've had.
- Vodka & Soda with a Twist: eschew the tonic water and scorn the pop; just find anything that says vodka on it, top it with soda on rocks, and put a twist of lime on top. This is the original skinny drink... it has zero carbs, no sugar, and the only calories come from the vodka itself (usually around 70 calories an ounce depending upon the proof). It doesn't get easier than this; it doesn't get skinnier than this; and you'll be surprised how often you'll go back to it.
- Coffee and Rum: get yourself some coffee-some cream/sugar if you must but that's on you-and a dollop of rum. Any rum is fine: spiced, gold, white, silver, aged... whatever. For all those incomprehensible adventurers out there who mix energy drinks with vodka, this is the real deal with alcohol and a caffeine kick. Plus, it's all-natural. Even easier if you have a Keurig. Substitute tea if you like.
- Tequila and Beer: pour a shot of tequila then follow it up with a beer. Seriously. We learned this trick from tequila distiller who promised us that this drink would always lead to love, often that very night. A little age on the tequila doesn't hurt and a smoky mezcal is the best of all but anything will improve a beer. You have to take the calories of the beer plus the 70 or so calories of the tequila but you get the double whammy and it tastes awesome. Now you have something to do with that leftover tequila.
We often make this drinking thing way too hard. Hundreds of bottles of liquor, thousands of recipes, and tens of thousands of garnishes and mixers. Don't over-think things! At the end of the long day pull out your flowered, plastic glass, find something you like-as our grandfather used to say-"put a stick in it!"