Jinkies, Scooby — have you checked out the label on these!?
So we’ve had another New Year and, while this idea seems more arbitrary and less monumental with each orbital stride toward my mortal demise, it strikes me that some of our readership will be taking a sudden interest in their health and fitness as a result of it. I do not discourage this, but, as a reader of this column, I have some pretty terrible news for you. While it may be nourishing to the soul and function as a creative spark-plug in reasonable quantities (before the ego-centric insistence kicks in) distilled spirits has no actual nutritional value no matter how little of it you drink. Let me put this another way.
Cocktails are not good for you.
Hey, I advocate the stuff as much as — hell, probably a lot more than — the next guy, but what we have here is a bunch of energy-dense organic molecules mixed around in water with maybe some other stuff that leached out of a barrel. Generally we’re gonna add sugar to that and maybe some citrus juice or something, so not much redemption there. If you’re on a diet anyway, let’s call a spade a spade and take a look at this more closely.
Most people don’t think too much about the calories they drink, so I thought it a useful exercise to show calorie consumption for a few drinks we have featured over the course of this column, using the USDA’s search tool and this calculator.
Please take this as an educational gesture of manly respect rather an attempt to pee in your metaphorical martini. Hey speaking of martinis …
The Martini - 165 Calories
1 oz Dolin Dry - 31 kcal
2 oz Citadelle Gin (40% ABV) - 128 kcal
2 Dashes Orange Bitters - 6 kcal
Twist of Lemon - negligible
NOTES: A “dash” measures to about 1/8 - 1/6 tsp. Fun fact!
The Manhattan - 210 Calories
1 oz Dolin Rouge - 40 kcal
2 oz Rittenhouse Rye (50% ABV) - 164 kcal
2 Dashes Angostura - 6 kcal
Twist of Lemon - negligible
NOTES: Hey look — higher proof liquor has more calories. That’s because they come from the ethanol molecule. A “calorie,” like a joule, is a unit of energy, and ethanol, metabolized or burned, produces a lot of ‘em. Remember, you can power a CAR with this chemical. Just sayin’.
The Daiquiri - 269 Calories
3 oz Flor De Caña Extra Seco (40% ABV) - 192 kcal
3/4 oz Lime Juice - 6 kcal
3/4 oz Simple Syrup (1:1) - 71 kcal
NOTES: Sugar is about the only ingredient which adds calories faster than alcohol. Lime juice not so much. And it has actual nutrients even, like vitamins and minerals!
Scotch Toddy - 188 Calories
2 oz Scotch (40% ABV) - 128 kcal
1 Tbsp Honey - 60 kcal
NOTES: Ruh-roh! Sitting under this afghan watching "Cheers" re-runs burns calories, though. Right?
So that’s it for this week. Just that. I, for one, want my money back. Damn.
And yet… don’t despair. This reality has always existed. Acknowledging it does not change its nature; it simply makes us wiser men. Drink Well.