friday fun: cocktails! [guest post.]

by Janetha on July 27, 2012

in guest posts,recipes

hey, guys! i am on the tail-end of my trip.. probably pouting about coming home.. but probably getting excited to see my pups.

i hope you have enjoyed the guest posts while i’ve been gone. i have a fun one for today from cait of cait plus ate. enjoy!

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If you’re over 21, like me, then you may have been choosing to enjoy some refreshing alcoholic beverages as the temperature has been rising. Despite the messages our media sends, it IS possible to enjoy these drinks and stay in shape! It’s all about selecting options that are more natural and simple. Not only will they taste fantastic, but you will also FEEL way better physically after choosing one of my go-to alternatives than you would if you went for a Pina Colada or a Sex on the Beach. I (unfortunately) know from experience!

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So without further adieu, here are my favorite lighter drink options. Keep these in mind next time you are going out to eat, headed to a BBQ, or lounging poolside!

1. White Wine: It’s made from grapes. Vineyards are a form of farm, for crying out loud. A farm-grown drink sounds like a healthy choice to me! I used to be a red wine snob, but I’ve found myself craving chilled whites whenever I’m enjoying wine al fresco. There are so many different options for every taste! Pinot Grigio is super refreshing, while Chardonnay is a bit more dry. Prosecco is my favorite sparkling variety – toss a few fresh raspberries in a glass of that and you’re set. If you don’t like bubbles, try Riesling – it’s sweet but smooth.

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2. Natural Margaritas: You probably know them as Skinny Margaritas, but I don’t like that name. The reason this variety of marg is lower in calories in the first place is because it’s made with less ingredients. It’s a simple version of a cocktail that has been, in my opinion, over-complicated with additions like fruity syrups, grenadine, and triple sec. Whatever the name, you can spot these margaritas on drink menus by counting the number of ingredients. Often they just have tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar. Fear not the tequila – you’ll be safer from its headache-inducing powers by skipping out on the sugar-filled add-ons and going with a natural margarita!

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3. Anti-Sweet Mixed Drinks: I had a hard time naming this category…I thought about using the word “savory”, but I don’t want anyone to think I’m recommending some sort of steak-infused martini (though I have heard of bacon-infused beer). The bottom line here is the fact that I’ve found that the more sugar a drink has, the crappier it makes my body feel after I drink it. No amount of water-chugging can combat a morning-after headache if I’ve been drinking cocktails made with added sugars. To avoid these tricksters, choose drinks without fruit juice or sweet liqueurs. Just like with the natural margarita, the less ingredients, the better. Cucumber and lemon flavored cocktails are becoming more popular, and for good reason. These options, like gimlets and martinis, are re-invigorating without the sugar high. If you want a fruity drink, look for words like “infused” and “muddled” on the drink menu. This implies that the cocktail’s fruity flavor comes from real, whole fruit and not fruit juices or syrups.

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4. Simple Red Sangria: I don’t even know if I can call this a recipe because it’s far from exact! It’s more like a list of ingredients I threw together in arbitrary amounts. The end result was a sangria that was light, easy, and fruity. Here’s how I did it:

Ingredients:

  • a bottle of a light red wine (try Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Red Zinfandel)
  • a citrus-flavored seltzer water (try lime, orange, or lemon)
  • orange slices, slice strawberries, raspberries, blueberries

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Instructions:

  1. Prepare fruit (peel oranges and separate slices, slice strawberries, etc) and place in bottom of a pitcher. A glass one looks very pretty!
  2. Pour bottle of wine into pitcher.
  3. Add seltzer water to taste. I added about 1/3 of a 750mL bottle if that helps!
  4. Stir and place in fridge to chill for at least 4 hours. Don’t add ice yet! It’ll water it down!
  5. Before serving, stir again. Enjoy over ice!

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I hope you can use the sangria recipe for your next shindig! The ideas I’ve shared here are the perfect way to relax and imbibe in the sun – just make sure you DRINK WATER too – while feeling healthy and energized. It’s worked for me, and it can work for you, too!

Qs~

What are your favorite summer drinks?

Do you prefer red or white sangria?

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Maria @ Pappa Don't Preach July 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I love me some Cait Plus Ate…just as much as I love me some alcoholic beverages! Lately I’ve really been loving a simple glass of white wine or if I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll opt for a vodka club with lime. One OR Two simple drinks are great for both the waistline and productivity the next day!

Caitlin July 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Gotta love that Riesling, right Maria?!

Alex @ therunwithin July 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Yummy, they all look so refreshing.

Katie @ Talk Less, Say More July 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I love white wine, especially chardonnay and riesling! And as for the “skinny margaritas” I too hate that name but LOVE the drink! I’ve had a hard time drinking margaritas and as soon as I tried a “skinny” margarita, it tasted SO good to me.

Caitlin July 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I had one last night, with a ton of salt haha. It hit the spot as usual

Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I tried a mojito for the first time a few months ago – they may become my staple drink! Definitely a huge fan.

Love me some red wine sangria. :-)

Caitlin July 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Mojitos are great! I often ask for them with less simple syrup – some places use too much and I can’t taste the mint!

Kammie @ Sensual Appeal July 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Awesome post! I often am faced with confusion when I go out, no idea what I should and wouldn’t drink. My drink of choice used to be a screwdriver but I think that has too much sugar too. I deftly stay away from cranberry vodkas too. Although that was a common drink for me before too. I’m currently switching between diet coke and rum (agh, diet… Yes. I hate aspartame but like I said, I’m just so confused) and then vodka soda (good choice or no?) I’ve been thinking I should start drinking vodka waters or something more too but those just don’t taste very good. So this post helps a lot! Thanks :)

Caitlin July 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

How funny – the “path” of your drink prefs mirrors mine exactly. Did screwdrivers from time I started drinking til jr yr of college, then cran vodka, the rum & Diet Coke when started trying to lighten my drinks. Eliminated the Diet coke when I realized my hangover headaches were from that, not alc’ I def recommend a hard liquor on rocks or with water/ginger ale. Try adding a lime or lemon! Good luck! :)

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance July 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm

I’m a HUGE margarita fan, and I’m lucky because my husband will make them from scratch for us (fresh squeezed lime, tequila, a touch of agave nectar). Yum! Thanks for the sangria recipe–much more simple than others I’ve seen. I’ll have to give it a try. :)

Caitlin July 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm

My dad wants to learn to make them that way for us! Tweet me what brands your ingredients are? @Caitplusate

Julie July 28, 2012 at 1:30 am

I love sangria, and I normally don’t like wine!

Ali Mc July 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

Great post Cait! I actually just asked the question “what are some healthier drink options?” on my fb page last week. I’m a red win drinker so sangrias! Yes please :) I also love gin and tonic, so I started soaking lemons and limes in ice water in the fridge and using that to mix instead of tonic. It was a genius move!

I love the ideas here. I don’t drink a lot but when I do I definitely don’t want a bunch of sugar going into me. ;)

I’m a new cleanER eater….slowly making some small changes. I love learning new stuff so thanks for posting :)

Caitlin July 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm

You’re welcome! My goal was to provide simple ideas in one post. They’re easy to remember and leave you feeling ready to take on the next day too. I love your tonic idea!

Catherine July 28, 2012 at 11:42 am

mmmmm alcoholic drinks are soooo refrehing on a hot day. my go to drink is vodka lime and soda water (cheaper too!)

Caitlin July 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm

That def sounds perfect for a hot day – best sipped on while on a beach or deck, right?!

SkepticRina July 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

this post was really annoying to me. I am not religious at all when I say what I am going to say next, so don’t assume I follow some “word of wisdom” that tells me not to drink or makes me feel bad if I do. But, with that said, Alcohol turns reputable people into monsters. And if people really pride themselves on being “healthy” than drinking alcohol should be knocked out just like soda.

Janetha July 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Sorry you didn’t enjoy the post, SkepticRina! I definitely think alcohol has caused a negative outcome for several people I know who have abused it, but also think that it can be enjoyed in moderation while living a healthful life (as can soda, desserts, etc) as long as the person consuming it can do so responsibly.

Caitlin July 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I agree with Janeetha’s comment! I know that some may not drink and that is perfectly fine, but also know that some readers do enjoy alcohol and want to do so in a responsible, healthier way. I just wanted to provide them with some useful info!

Janetha July 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hey, Cait! Thank you for writing a guest post for me while I was away! To answer your questions–I prefer white sangria and I am a big fan of mojitos. I typically only drink alcohol when on vacation or on a special occasion. I used to be a big drinker, but now the thought of shots or getting wasted makes me cringe!

Caitlin July 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I am with ya on that last part girl! Yuck, I don’t like being drunk because I may have fun for 30-60 min but then it’s just hours of feeling crappy. Not worth it! Mojitos are great, the place that makes the best I’ve ever had is far from me but I’ll be there Labor Day weekend and plan to have one!

Sloane July 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Oh girl this is my kind of post! My momma and I will be making that sangria for our housewarming party! Thanks for sharing!

Caitlin July 31, 2012 at 7:18 am

<3 yay Sloane! send me a pic when you do! Maybe you can bring some and we can tailgate the FL game in Sept? ;)

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