Low Carb Holiday Cocktails

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Low Carb Sea Breeze with Smoked Salmon Appetizer

Low Carb Sea Breeze with Smoked Salmon Appetizer

Let’s face it, there are low carb holiday appetizers and party food out in cyberspace like you would NOT believe! But somehow, we always hear people ask about yummy low carb alcoholic beverages or festive low carb cocktails.

I know.

Dieting and drinking feels counter-intuitive. But remember, white knuckle dieting gets you about as far as the scene of the crash – off the low carb wagon, that is…

And our goal at CarbSmart is to give you the best tools for your low carb life. One of those tools is helping you make responsible alcoholic beverage or low carb cocktail choices. And that brings us to this month’s subject of Budget Low Carb. In honor of the season, CarbSmart’s Budget Low Carb is happy to present low carb alternatives to high carb cocktails. We’ll focus on vodka this time, since it’s a fairly universal alcohol.

We might as well call this post, “The thrillah from the chillah!” (“The thriller from the chiller” just doesn’t sport the same excitement!) If we are to make low carb a lifestyle, we have to recognize there is going to be a time when you feel like having a festive holiday drink or two. Go for it! Just count those carbs and have a safe, but fun time. Remember, alcohol lowers inhibitions leading to a greater likelihood of over eating.

A Round of Applause, Please, for Low Carb Holiday Vodka Cocktails

Vodka Talk

Monopolowa ad by B. Creative Advertising and Design. Image courtesy of Coloribus.

Most people have their favorite vodka. My favorite vodka, pre-cancer, was always Monopolowa, pronounced monopolo-vah, a triple filtered potato vodka – very good for the price.

Most vodka on the market is a product of grain. Many of you live gluten-free, making grain derived vodka a no-no, and making potato vodka a possible option as long as there is no cross-contamination with wheat gluten. Monopolowa’s price is another obvious advantage. A half-gallon bottle of Monopolowa is around $21.00 or $0.39/fluid ounce and lasts a long time! You can expect to pay triple or quadruple the price for premium and super-premium vodkas. And Monopolowa keeps up with the big hitters in the super-premium vodka market with ease.

We’ve even played tricks on our family and have given taste tests of Monopolowa versus Grey Goose. Monopolowa wins each blind tasting and is a fraction of the cost of Grey Goose. Plus, it’s not distilled from grain. Yahtzee! We went so far as to pour Monopolowa into an empty Grey Goose bottle. Sissy drank Monopolowa the entire evening. We mixed vodka, unflavored La Croix sparkling water, and lots of fresh squeezed lime wedges.

She said, “Gosh, these taste so great!”

And Brer Bear and Brear Fox, we jes’ smiled and “say” nothin’.

Except…if you look at the price of drinks at a bar or restaurant, expect to pay anywhere from $8-$15 per drink for these souped up chi-chi fancy-girl cocktails. Make ‘em at home with friends for less than $1.50 a drink! The basic drink cost well under $1.00!

“Hello Value Menu? I’d like two Classic Dirty Dry Martinis to go please! Kthanx!”

Your Basic Low Carb Cocktails

Your Basic Low Carb CocktailsYou will agree, vodka, sparkling water, and lime is a very low carb alcoholic beverage. And of course, you always have the option to mix spirits with mineral water, club soda, diet tonic, sparkling water, or diet drinks, and remain faithfully low carb. Can I get an “Amen”?

And don’t forget, low carb beers, and dry red or white wines, make great holiday drinks as well. Consider pairing them with unflavored seltzer and serving with a lemon or lime twist. Dry wines have between 2-4 g of carbs per 4.3 oz serving and cutting them with seltzer will give you more drinks for your low carb buck. Watch the beer and wine though, because the carbs add up quickly.

Sometimes however, you want something more festive and high falootin’ than a “whiskey ‘n branch” or vodka with seltzer and lemon. Fluffy Chix Cook put together a few low carb Holiday cocktail concoctions for your sippin’ pleasure. Be sure to serve them in a fancy old-fashioned glass, martini glass, or sparkly stemware for best effect. Everything tastes better from a glass with a stem – even water with a slice of lemon!

Granular Erythritol tinted pink with either red food coloring or beet juice

Granular Erythritol tinted pink with either red food coloring or beet juice.

Use tinted, granular erythritol or Truvia to rim glasses. For most, erythritol and Truvia have negligible effects on blood sugar and insulin and many low carbers do not even count the grams of sugar alcohol in these two sugar substitutes. Mix batches of granular erythritol with a drop of food coloring, or different spices, like ground cinnamon, pinches of pumpkin pie spice, and cocoa.

To make colored erythritol or Truvia, I use 2 toothpick tips of color to 1 tsp of Truvia or granular Erythritol. Mix it up with the toothpick until it looks the way you like. Then add 1 – 2 tsp of additional uncolored sweetener and blend them. Each glass rim takes only a small amount.

Remember, the sweetening agent on the rim affects the sweetness of the drink. So I under sweeten my low carb cocktails if I’m serving them with a fancy rimmed glass.

For something even more unexpected, crushed sugar free hard candies add eye appeal to Holiday cocktail glass rims. Sugar free peppermints, Werther’s Caramels, and Werther’s Chocolate Mint hard candies work great. Even sugar free lemon drops make a delicious rim for cocktails and fancy martinis.

The low carb cocktails, Susie! Get to the Budget Friendly Low Carb Cocktails already!!!

(Because we don’t know how far you will go with your festive low carb libations, nutrition and costs do not include garnishes. They’re optional, remember?)

Classic Dirty Martini

Classic Dirty Martini and Blackberry Martini make sophisticated low carb cocktails

Classic Dirty Vodka Martini – Shake with ice and strain, or serve over ice with 2-4 olives as a garnish.

$1.03 Per Drink

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1/16 tsp Extra Dry Vermouth (Optional! I’d kill you if you added it to mine! Save a couple of pennies and omit it.)
  • 1-2 tsp Green Olive Juice
  • 2 Green Olives (Explore your options. Use a gourmet stuffed olive!)

Per Serving: 149 Calories; 2g Fat (69.0% calories from fat); trace Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 473mg Sodium; 2g Net Carbs

 

Blackberry Martini – Shake with ice and strain, or serve over ice with a frozen blackberry garnish.

$1.07 Per Drink

Per Serving: 131 Calories; trace Fat (2.0% calories from fat); trace Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium; 1g Net Carbs

Low Carb Cosmopolitan or Low Carb Cosmo

Low Carb Cosmopolitan or Low Carb Cosmo, either way works!

Low Carb Cosmopolitan - Shake with ice and strain, or serve over ice with a festive swizzle stick. Dip rim of glass in red erythritol by rubbing rim with an orange twist and coating rim of glass in red tinted granular erythritol.

$0.92 Per Drink

Per Serving: 138 Calories; trace Fat (3.5% calories from fat); trace Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium; 2g Net Carbs.

 

Low Carb Shark's Fin uses homemade Low Carb Cranberry Juice

Low Carb Shark’s Fin uses homemade Low Carb Cranberry Juice.

Shark’s Fin – Vodka, cranberry with a lime twist, served in a highball glass over ice. Serve with a lime wedge and festive Holiday straw or drink stirrer.

$0.73 Per Drink

  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 1/8 cup Low Carb Cranberry Juice
  • 1/4 cup La Croix Unflavored or Lime Flavored sparkling water
  • 1 lime wedge

Per Serving: 105 Calories; trace Fat (3.5% calories from fat); trace Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium. 2g Net Carbs.

 

 

 

Virgin Shark’s Fin uses homemade Low Carb Cranberry Juice, lime and sparkling water

Virgin Shark’s Fin – Serve in a highball glass over ice. Serve with an orange zest twist, wedge of lime, and festive Holiday straw or drink stirrer.

$0.15 Per Drink

Per Serving: 9 Calories; trace Fat (3.5% calories from fat); trace Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium; 2g Net Carbs.

 

Peppermint Twist – Shake with ice and strain, or serve over ice. Serve with a sugar free peppermint rimmed glass or serve with a plain rim and a frozen peppermint dropped in the bottom of the glass.

$1.23 Per Drink

Per Serving: 128 Calories; 0g Fat (0.0% calories from fat); 0g Protein; 0g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 14mg Sodium; 0g Net Carbs

 

Bailey’s TwistBailey’s Twist – Shake with ice and strain, or serve over ice. Serve without any glass enhancement. This drink is as virtuous as George Bailey’s guardian angel, Clarence!

$1.25 Per Drink

Per Serving: 128 Calories; 0g Fat (0.0% calories from fat); 0g Protein; 0g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 14mg Sodium; 0g Net Carbs

 

Junior Mint – Shake with ice and strain, or serve over ice. Dip glass rim in peppermint syrup and dust with erythritol and cocoa sugar.

$1.28 Per Drink

Per Serving: 177 Calories; 5g Fat (94.5% calories from fat); trace Protein; trace Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 19mg Cholesterol; 20mg Sodium; trace g Net Carbs.

 

Mounds Bar – Shake with ice and strain, or serve over ice. Dip glass rim in chocolate syrup and dust with erythritol, cocoa, and toasted crushed coconut.

$1.28 Per Drink

Per Serving: 177 Calories; 5g Fat (94.5% calories from fat); trace Protein; trace Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 19mg Cholesterol; 20mg Sodium; trace g Net Carbs.

 

Bailey’s Irish Cream – Shake with ice and strain, or serve over ice. Dip glass rim in Bailey’s flavored syrup and dust with erythritol and cocoa sugar.

$1.30 Per Drink

Per Serving: 177 Calories; 5g Fat (94.5% calories from fat); trace Protein; trace Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 19mg Cholesterol; 20mg Sodium; trace g Net Carbs.

Low Carb Eggnog in a Christmas Vacation moose mug!

 

Low Carb Eggnog – And if your vice happens to be low carb eggnog, you can always feel free to mosey on over for a visit at the Fluffy Chix Cook Kitchen where you will find a delicious cooked eggnog along with a little more low carb holiday cocktail fun.

We also have the recipe for the Low Carb Cranberry Juice you will need if you plan on making the Shark’s Fin drinks or the low carb Cosmopolitan. For an elegant appetizer or first course with your festive low carb cocktails, try Quick Carpaccio. It’s perfectly low carb, Paleo – licious, NK (Nutritional Ketosis) party food that will nourish your body without landing on your hips.

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