First of all, I hope you all had an absolutely amazing Christmas, and please tell me you all ignored any diet you have ever looked at and just enjoyed yourself, if Father Christmas can get through a few billion mince pies you can let go a little bit, borrow someone’s maternity pants and just relax, you’ve earned it!
Now, as the I recover from my food coma and smugly admire the goose I cooked, I begin to get ready to celebrate our Directors Birthday. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Mr Shipway himself was born the day after Christmas, the Triathlon worlds answer to Brian!
Happy Birthday Luke!
Right so as you’ve gathered I’m feeling a little bit in a party mood, and as we approach January and those New Years resolutions, we will start to feel guilty and start looking at diets… well, I’m here to help you. I have compiled a drinks menu for you to feel decidedly less guilty about those alcohol calories. Bear in mind, they’re still alcoholic, so still drink responsibly, but I have included some non-alcoholic, non-guilt options as, let’s be frank, those soft drinks and adult soft drinks are often full on with sugar and sweeteners, you might be avoiding the alcohol but the calories are still there.
So on with the festivities!
1. Vodka Soda – 130 calories
Not the most exiting drink, but it’s crisp and clear and won’t bloat you, allowing that dress to stay elegant and that tux to stay swish.
2 parts Vodka – down to your preference but keep it ice cold
5 parts Soda – good quality, to avoid adding sugar
Serve over Ice with a thin wedge of lemon or lime to taste, keep it thin to avoid overpowering the drink.
2. Old Fashioned – 142 calories
Whether you choose a Single Malt from the highlands or a Tennessee sourmash it’s down to your taste, I wont force a whisky on you, I’m not that uncouth, although my love for Bill Murray would push me to suggest Suntory, Japanese whisky is no new phenomenon so you probably are already aware!
Add a sugar cube and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters with a few drops of warm water to a glass and gently swirl till dissolved into a syrup, even Wetherspoons has bitters it’s delightful and smells like Jamaica ginger cake.
Next add 50ml of your chosen whisky and follow quickly with a few cubes of ice, most recipes call for one, but the more ice the less watered down your drink will become.
Garnish with an orange peel and call it a fruit salad.
3. Gin and Tonic – 163 Calories
My drink of choice, with the Gin renaissance in full swing you can find a top quality variety in any supermarket, which is just fantastic. Although pop into your local speciality off license and you will be surprised at the interesting bathtub variety you can find.
Pop 3-4 ice cubes into a glass,
Pour, from height 50ml of your chosen gin over the ice and hear that crackle.
Then pour 150ml of tonic over the back of a spoon into the glass.
Garnish with a thin slice of cucumber to accent your gin.
4. Classic Gimlet – 173 calories
Resembling a Daiquiri but with less calories, get yourself a Boston shaker a bag of ice and some limes.
Add 50ml of gin, several ice cubes, 25ml of lime juice (freshly squeezed to avoid extra sweeteners and calories,) and 25ml of simple syrup (if you don’t have syrup then put a teaspoon of sugar in a cup with a few drops of warm water and add to the shaker)
Shake well (counts as exercise as well)
Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a curl of lime peel.
5. Classic Daiquiri – 190.5 calories
I know what you’re going to say, hang on Toby that’s full of juice and fructose! Well folks, take note, this is the classic, it’s a very simple cocktail that lets the rum do the talking.
Add 50ml of white rum, get a nice one, treat yourself, 25ml of fresh lime juice, and about 35ml of simple syrup to a Boston shaker, remember the sugar and warm water trip if need be. Whack in a nice big handful of ice and shake that baby till it’s chilled and your arms feel like they’re in a pump class.
Then strain into some martini glasses and enjoy, bonus points for garnishing with sugar around the edges.
6. Bloody Mary – 120 calories
Not quite a party drink, and hopefully you won’t be nursing a hangover all the way to your party but being so low on the calorie front and having almost 40% of your rda of vitamin C having a couple of these at the start of a night is practically dieting!
Add 35-40ml of vodka, 75ml of tomato juice, 12.5ml of lemon juice, make it fresh. And a dash of Tabasco, celery salt and that gorgeous Worcestershire sauce into your trusty Boston shaker with plenty of ice. Have another shaking session then strain into a glass, don’t worry about all this shaking either, Bloody Mary’s contain lycopene which helps to protect you from muscle damage.
Oh and for the snacks, slow down with the crisps, they’re empty calories, slice up some crudités and offer your nearest and dearest some Hummus, home made or not it’s delicious. And try some banana and apple crisps, sweet and good for you. Thinly slice your apples and bananas, I mean about 2-3 mm and arrange on the glass plate in your microwave, then place on defrost mode for 15 minutes, flipping every five minutes, stop as soon as they are crisp to touch and place on a cooling rack for an hour and then serve. Not bad are they?
Now this is your starting list, there are more out there, bear in mind the healthiest drink is water, and by trading your mixers for tonic or soda you can really cut down on empty calories. Another big tip is to eat a meal before you go I’ll be having goose curry, avoid grazing on the buffet!
Most importantly though, as I get ready to enjoy my New Years in London, I hope you have a fantastic New Year’s Eve wherever you are, and I can’t wait to see you all at our next event. Let me know what your resolutions are!