My low carb diet ran into a problem when hanging out over friends’ houses this weeekend: beer. A beer has about 14 grams of carbohydrates, damn near my daily limit.
The solution: BYOBooze.
Booze-and-soda is the safe rout. There is always vodka and seltzer, both of which are cheap and come in a wide array of flavors. There is not really any personality in a vodka-soda however. Scotch and soda is good, and you can buy a cheap scotch and have it turn out OK. And of course there is rum-and-diet-Coke. I used to drink a lot of rum and Coke as a kid, but I really hate cola nowadays.
My stand-by low-carb drink has been gin and diet tonic, but gin and tonics are an acquired taste, so it is not as easy to share. I feel kind of crappy being the only one enjoying them. If you are going to bring something to drink it has to seem special, something that everyone wants to try, otherwise it will just seem like you are turning up your nose at your friend’s beer (which you are, but you don’t want to seem like it.)
My classic crowd pleasing summer cocktails are caipirinhas and pimms cups, both of which are sugary drinks and which will kick me out of ketosis faster than beer.
So here are three cocktails that I will be sure to bring to friends houses over the next couple of months:
- Dry martinis are fun to mix and drink, and are low in sugar. Most of the sugar comes from the vermouth which is used in tiny amounts. I typically use 4:1 gin to vermouth. A decent gin does not have to break the bank. Beefeater and a twist of lemon peel is a good introductory martini. Tanqueray and cucumber is another, but a bit more expensive. The drawback of martinis is that you can get shitfaced pretty fast.
- Bloody marys take some work if you do it from scratch but all the ingredients are low carb. There are also good mixes available at the supermarket. At some point this summer I will host a bloody mary party. I will make a basic bloody mary mix and a put out a couple of vodkas, and let the guests add extra flavors like horseradish, Worcestershire or Tabasco. Then I will put out a plate of garnishes: they can pick from cured meats, bacon, pickles, olives, vegetables or shrimp. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
- One simple drink I learned from a Brazilian friend is scotch and unsweetened coconut water. Other whiskeys don’t work, it has to be scotch; the smokey, peaty flavor goes just right with the coconut water. It is hard to screw it up and it goes over well in groups.
I’m determined to make this diet fun.