January 5, 2012

proof rum, lighten-up will you, Vol. 67

It’s day five of the New Year – have you been sticking to your resolution? We’re not trying to be party-poopers here – we’ve just got your back. After all of the holiday excess, you may want to shed those few extra pounds. Although we cannot necessarily help with your willpower, we can offer you a few relatively healthy ways to cut down on calories. For the month of January, we will be featuring ‘light’ cocktails, along with their calorie count. If you did not get your fill of ‘bubbles’ over the holidays, you will welcome this light and sparkly drink. 
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vanilla spritz 1 oz proof vanilla-infused rum* • 5 oz Lime Perrier • 5 raspberries (raspberries are 1 calorie each)
Muddle raspberries in the bottom of a highball glass. Add 3-5 ice cubes, proof vanilla-infused rum*, top with Lime Perrier and garnish with a lime curl. total: 70 calories | 0 carbs

TIP: If you do not like raspberry seeds you can strain your drink – the essence will remain. (we like to leave them in – toothpicks were invented for a reason)

*vanilla-infused proof rum To create proof vanilla-infused rum, add one vanilla bean to a bottle of proof rum. Leave the vanilla bean in for 2 - 3 days. The bean can be left in for up to two weeks. We like to use vanilla bean because it is a natural sweet fragrance, which can actually help in lowering cravings for high-fat foods. proof rum has a lot of citrus notes which work perfectly with the vanilla.

TIP: No vanilla bean handy? One drop of pure vanilla extract can do wonders in your glass.


homeade seltzers You may prefer making your own naturally-flavoured seltzers. The only equipment that you will need is a soda siphon or seltzer dispenser and chargers. You can purchase these at a variety of retail shops. We purchased our mesh siphon at William Sonoma (check out their SodaStream Penguin – cool!), and the vintage red siphon at Morba (www.morba.ca) on Queen West. Morba carries one of the best vintage siphon collections we have seen in the city. BYOB also on Queen may have what you need. (http://byobto.com). New ones are sold at a variety of kitchen and department stores. Check out: iQ Living (www.iqliving.com) and William Sonoma (www.williams-sonoma.com). You can purchase two types of chargers at iQ Living for 10/$6.99-$8.99 (each charger produces 1 L of carbonated water)


If you are going to go through the trouble of making your own water, why not experiment with flavours. We normally keep pitchers of flavoured ice waters in the fridge. We use things like mint, lemon, lime, orange slices, cucumber, melon and rosemary to add subtle, but amazing flavours. What you can do is add your ingredient of choice to a pitcher of filtered watered. Let it sit overnight and then strain it into your siphon. Make sure to strain out all of the bits, because the siphon’s tube is very small and will easily get blocked.

A lot of people assume that a cocktail is higher in calories than a glass of wine or light beer. Depending on the type of mix used, this can definitely be the case. But if you choose a light mix in your drinks, a cocktail can actually contain less than half the calories of the others. Not only that, straight spirits contain zero carbs. 

Here is a listing of the calories & carbs in wine, spirits & beer:

 Vodka - 1 oz or 30 mL - 64 calories| 0 carbs
Whisky - 1 oz or 30 mL - 64 calories| 0 carbs
Rum - 1 oz or 30 mL - 65 calories| 0 carbs
Red wine - 5 oz or 150 mL - 127 calories | 5.5 carbs
White wine - 5 oz or 150 mL - 120 calories | 5.5 carbs
Sparkling wine - 4 oz or 118 mL - 78 calories | 1.2 carbs
Light beer - 12 oz or 355 mL - 102 calories | 5 carbs
Beer (5%) - 12 oz or 355 mL - 136 calories | 11.1 carbs

Here are 5 ways to keep your cocktails slim & trim (www.lcbo.com)
1 Mash or purée summerfresh fruit, mix with ice and spirits in a cocktail shaker then strain to create the ultimate fruity and fat-free cocktails.
2 Spritz your spirits with real lemon and lime juice. Their bright flavours pack lots of punch without packing on the sugar. In fact, they’re practically calorie-free.
3 Zap the sugar in cocktails with calorie-reduced juice and soft drink mixers. There’s plenty of choice, from cranberry and lemonade to soda and light ginger ale.
4 Tomato and mixed-vegetable juices make a healthy and satisfying cocktail experience. They also add a serving or two of veggies to your day.
5 Flavoured spirits add a subtle taste to cocktails at no extra calorie cost.


If you are also interested in changing the way you eat, we have collected some great recipe resources to choose from.

Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Variable cloudiness and a high of 4 degrees
Sunday: Cloudy with sunny breaks and a high of -1 degree

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