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#ThirstyThursday: Drink guilt free and be merry!

Image: a41cats /123RF

The festive season is upon us— and with it a lot of eating and drinking. From the almost daily evening braais with our families to the late nights out with our home town friends, it’s a challenging time to try to keep your food and alcohol consumption in check.If you’re watching your calorie intake, most available drink options will make you cringe,what with all the empty calories alcoholic drinks,particularly cocktails, have in them.

But no need to stress: we’ve put together the ultimate list of low-calorie cocktails that will have you sipping guilt-free.

A dietician and spokesperson for the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Mbali Mapholi,says there’s a general rule one should follow when trying to lighten up on the calories in cocktails. “The rule of thumb is always to replace normal mixers with their sugar-free options,” Mapholi says. This has a significant effect on the calorie count of each cocktail. Mapholi shares the different ways you can decrease the calorie intake in some of your favourite cocktails.

Beer Shandy
Image: Supplied

Beer Shandy

about 110 calories

There are several ways that people like to enjoy their beer shandies:one of the most popular recipes uses beer, vodka, and Sprite. But if you’re fighting off the calories,the best option is to use just two ingredients: your choice of beer and Sprite Zero. The average calorie count of 250ml of beer is about 110 calories and Sprite Zero has zero calories. 250ml of normal Sprite, on the other hand, would increase the calorie count to more than 210 calories.


about 90 calories

What’s a festive season without a mimosa in hand before the afternoon hits? This champagne(or sparkling wine) and orange juice cocktail is most popular for brunch outings and sunny days.It’s also the perfect cocktail for someone who’s trying to cut down on the calories. A mimosa will usually be about 90 calories.

Gin and Tonic

about 62 calories

Ah, gin and tonic: the high ball cocktail that has become a classic favourite for many of us. If you are serious about a lower calorie intake, gin and tonic should become your go-to drink. A double G&T averages about 224 calories, but if you take only a single shot and swap out the tonic with its sugar-free alternative(which has no calories), you’re looking at taking in only about 62 calories

Image: Supplied


about 140 calories

The typical ingredients of a mojito include two shots of white rum, two teaspoons of sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint leaves. On average,a shot of 46% alcohol can contain up to 100 calories: cutting out a shot from your drink will save you just as many calories. Fortunately, soda


about 180 calories

If life gives you limes, make margaritas! But, if you want to cut down on the calories,go easy on the tequila and triple sec. A margarita (not including the garnishes) is made from two to three shots of tequila, two shots of triple sec and lime juice (from one lime). One shot of tequila contains about 65 calories,so you don’t want to add more than that. The same goes for the triple sec, since it has about 95 calories a shot. Cutting down on these two ingredients can save you almost 385 calories.

This article first appeared in print in the Sowetan S Mag December 2018 edition.

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