June 20, 2009

The Gin Quench

Recent burger, fries and steak consumption notwithstanding, I've been trying to watch calories. This is no fun, especially if you like beer and mixed drinks.

The gin and tonic is a summer favorite, but tonic water has a lot of sugar in it. The alcohol in gin doesn't help, either.

Coming up with lower calorie alternatives means I can feel less guilty when I do splurge and enjoy a beer, a real gin and tonic, or a burger.

Sometimes, you can create a low-calorie version of a drink and it works out great. Other times, it's best to go a slightly different direction. I don't love diet tonic water, and most of my G&Ts are heavy on the gin, so I need an actual substitute that is enjoyable and light. I've found one that's simple. It's not a gin and tonic, but it's not trying to be. It's just trying to be drinkable and refreshing, and it succeeds at that.

The Gin Quench

  • 1 packet of Crystal Light "On the go" Natural Lemonade Flavor
  • 1 shot of Rangpur gin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • cold water
  • ice cube (optional)

In a reusable 20 oz bottle, empty the packet of flavoring, the shot of gin and the lime juice. Drop in the ice cube and shake to mix. Fill bottle with water, shake again and enjoy.


  • Your favorite sugar-free lemonade, already mixed.
  • 1 shot of your favorite gin
  • juice of 1 lime

In a reusable 20oz bottle, add the gin and the lime juice. Fill with the lemonade, shake and enjoy.

This drink is low in alcohol and calories, but has a decent flavor and is very refreshing. I would recommend that you make this with grapefruit flavored gin, but Seagrams no longer produces its fine Grapefruit Twisted Gin. The blaggards.

Posted by James at June 20, 2009 12:53 PM
Create Social Bookmark Links

Low in alcohol? Is this a concern for caloric reasons? I would think that one would prefer higher alcohol content with relatively low calories. In other words, more bang for the buck. In part, this is why I prefer Zhenka 100 vodka.

As for your gin and tonic jones, they do make sugar free tonic water. I usually have at least 1 or 2 1-liter bottles in the cupboard. For a grapefruit-y concoction, go with Fresca and your favorite clear alcohol.

As for the citrus aspect of a mixed drink, look into True Lemon, True Lime, and True Orange. These are dehydrated crystals of the fruit. You can carry them in your pocket/car/wallet/backpack, and thus be prepared for cocktail hour whenever a bottle of alcohol presents itself.

Posted by: Kitten Herder at June 20, 2009 2:43 PM

Great recommendations! Fresca is good; I probably mixed with it years ago but I don't have it in the house lately (will be rectified at next trip to market).

Yes, I'm limiting the drink to one shot mainly because of calories. A shot of gin (1.5 ounces) is in the neighborhood of 100 calories. This whole drink weighs in at under 120 calories. At 120 calories I can drink one of these at night without thinking too much about it.

What you're saying about vodka is also true; if you choose vodka over beer or wine you're getting a lot more punch per calorie. This drink delivers less punch, but more refreshment per calorie.

So, depending on the situation...

If I want fewer calories but plenty of alcohol, I usually turn to rum. A really good rum (like Ron Zacapa Centenario) can be sipped and enjoyed for 100 calories if you just throw in an ice cube.

Dieting doesn't mean giving up drinking. You do have to watch the beer closely, though.

Posted by: James at June 20, 2009 3:51 PM

Your dietary information is spot on! (I have a dietician who lurves her some martini.)

I am obliged to restrict my beer intake (due to phosphorus content), so I've taken to muddling (limes, lemons, peppers, berries, mint, and the rest of the cuke from the Pimm's -- no, not all at the same time) and pouring vodka-flavored vodka.

Plus: Provides cardio workout, if done properly.

Posted by: PJ at June 21, 2009 1:09 PM

I think that's exactly what they mean when they say "enjoy responsibly."

Posted by: James at June 21, 2009 10:53 PM

Copyright © 1999-2007 James P. Burke. All Rights Reserved