Liquid calories are a dieter's worst nightmare, but it's hard to pass up a cool cocktail at a fancy fete. Bethenny Frankel's new book, The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life ($10-12; amazon.com), is full of fabulously light, flavorful drink ideas. Check out these three sips from her book, plus two bonus recipes.
Photo: Frances Janisch
Mix a lighter, 218-calorie, fab Cosmo by trading just a little liquor for club soda. Combine in a cocktail shaker (or ask the bartender for) 1 shot (about 2 ounces) citrus-flavored vodka, 1 splash club soda, 1 splash cranberry juice, and juice of 1 lime wedge; shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Yumand you’ve slashed 100 calories!
Photo: John Kernick
If you’re looking to walk the straight and narrow, try Frankel's American Virgin. Combine 1 shot (about 2 ounces) each peach juice and club soda and 1 splash each orange juice and lemonade in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Stir and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, then garnish with a lemon wedge for a healthy 34-calorie "mocktail." Yep, you read that right34 measly calories!
Love this Cuban cocktail, but hate the calories? Some mojitos pack up to 250 empty calories, but Frankel's version contains only 150.
Fill a martini shaker with 1 cup ice. Add 6 lime wedges, 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice, and 2 tbsp torn fresh mint leaves. Muddle lime and mint with a pestle or a long spoon until well-bruised and fragrant.
Next combine 1/2 tsp warmed honey, 2 ounces rum, and 4 ounces club soda; stir gently to dissolve honey. Add to muddled mixture; stir until mixture is well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice; garnish with mint and lime, if desired.
Make yourself a lighter red sangria by ditching the sugar and replacing some of the wine and high-calorie liqueur with sugar-free soda.
Just slice up 4 apples and 3 oranges. Combine fruit with 1 pound red grapes, halved; 3 bottles light- to medium-bodied red wine; 1 can Fresca (or any diet lemon soda); and 1 can club soda. Chill mixture, and serve over ice for 16 servings of scrumptiousness.
Here’s the best part: Each serving has only 173 caloriesthat’s 125 calories saved.
Photo: Kate Sears
Frankel's eggnog recipe is only 148 calories, because it’s made with low-fat milk and less liquor.
Beat 2 egg yolks until lightened in color. Add 1/3 cup sugar, beating until dissolved; set aside. Combine 2 cups 1% low-fat milk, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 dash each cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, and gradually whisk into egg mixture. Return to pot, and cook to 160. Remove from heat, stir in 1/4 cup white rum, and pour into a bowl; set in the refrigerator. Beat 4 pasteurized egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form; with mixer running, gradually add 1 tablespoon sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk egg whites into chilled mixture; sprinkle with cinnamon.