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Apr 25, 2012 03:24 PM

looking for simple, good vodka drinks that are not loaded with calories

Just read this thread "What's wrong with wanting a drink made with vodka?," so I hope I don't sound like a total rube for wanting some good drinks made with vodka.

Here's the deal: I love wine, but DH does not. If I open a bottle, it goes bad before I can drink it. I hate beer. Every once in a while, I'd like to have a drink made with hard liquor since I don't like wasting wine.

I always have good unflavored vodka in the house because I use it in cooking. (For Penne alla Vodka, for example.) I don't have flavored vodka and don't intend to buy any. I don't want to use sugary mixes, like soda pop. I don't want to use diet pop or things like artificially sweetened lemonade. Fruit juices would be fine, because I'd get some nutrients along with the calories. I have some liqueurs at home (Chambord, Triple Sec, etc) that I use for cooking, and I could buy more liqueurs to use in mixed drinks. When I google vodka drinks, I've stumbled across drinks using an elderberry liqueur several times. It's said to be pricey but good.

So far, this is all I've come up with:
vodka plus oj
vodka plus oj plus triple sec
vodka plus grapefruit juice
Bloody Mary's, of course, but I have to be in the right mood :0)

Anyone have additional ideas for me?


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  1. I like vodka with just soda and a squeeze of lime... but you can up the lime juice and add triple sec. I believe that's a kamikaze, but if you serve it in a martini glass, nobody has to know.

    Vodka, soda & pomegranata liqueur can be nice, if a bit on the sweet side (I'm not a big fan of sweet drinks in general), but you can always dilute with lime juice.

    1. Arnold Palmers... half iced tea, half lemonade. Add vodka.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wyogal

        Very good idea...I drink the "Arnold Palmer" light version...

      2. A 12oz. can of "sugary" coke has 140 calories and a shot of vodka has 100 calories. So throw back a shot of coke and you're way ahead of the game.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ferret

          Hi Ferret,

          Are you a guy? I have this same conversation with my DH :) Here's the difference: a. I don't like coke, but I do like some mixed drinks. b) I like the little buzz I get from alcohol. I get no buzz from coke. 3) I would much rather chew my calories than drink them, but I have not figured out a way to chew booze.

          Thanks for the ideas, wyogal and linguafood.

          1. re: soccermom13

            You can chew Jello shots.
            Polar Seltzer has come out with a new flavor, Granny Smith Apple. It is just water, natural flavors and bubbles. No sweeteners artificial or otherwise and no calories. I have been enjoying it plain and have thought it wills make a great warm weather drink mixed with vodka. The taste is fresh and bright.

            1. re: calliope_nh

              Good idea...thanks for the heads up.

          2. re: ferret

            Vodka has 70 calories, oops correction that's 70 per ounce. I actually measure it out for dieting purposes..... I feel like vodka may be better for you in the long run over "sugary" soda! Unfortunately my favorite mixer with vodka is Kahlua, not much better. Some Perrier with a slice of lemon is nice for a change though.

          3. You don't want sugar, yet sugar is a component of almost all cocktails (save for a small class of drinks make with a spirits and something like dry vermouth -- the Martini being the prototype). If you really want to avoid unnecessary calories, I suggest that you try a good gin Martini, with nice fresh vermouth. This cocktail has essentially no added sugar and is a world-class drink. It may take some time to come to appreciate it. It is one of the few drinks that I could drink every night and not tire of.

            Another tact would be to skip the cocktail part and grow to like spirits neat or on the rocks -- scotch, other whiskey, rum, cognac, etc. The world of whiskey has vast, as is rum.

            Otherwise, I'd recommend switching to gin. It has flavor (compared to vodka), so you don't have to use much mixer to make a nice cocktail. Gin + Campari + Soda + Lime is rather like a Gin and Tonic, but with much less sugar. Gin, lemon, Maraschino (+ optional Creme de Violette) makes an Aviation (the amount of Maraschino and CdV is very small).

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            4 Replies
            1. re: EvergreenDan

              Hi Dan,

              What is Maraschino? The liquid that is in a jar of maraschino cherries? Other? Thanks for these ideas.

              Humm, when I read the "What's wrong with wanting a drink made with vodka?" thread, I found myself wondering if I needed to buy some gin. Maybe I will.

              Thanks for these great ideas.

              1. re: soccermom13

                Maraschino liqueur. Yes, like the cherries, but in liquid form. It's a really great addition to cocktails.

                Damn, now I want that Aviation (no Maraschino in the house >sigh<).

                1. re: linguafood

                  Yes, but Maraschino has little to do with cherry fruit flavor. It is made from the whole cherry, including the pit. It is clear and has a unique, funky flavor. An acquired taste, too. I recommend Luxardo brand.

                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                    Oh, no need to convince me. In the right drink, Maraschino makes magic happen. Like the aforementioned Aviation.

            2. Hot summer days remind me of vodka drinks. My lowbrow vodka favorites - Vodka and iced tea is one of my favorite drinks. Vodka/diet ginger ale/lime/mint - a riff on a moscow mule.... And I like vodka with crystal lite, those little single packets, cherry pomengranite is a lot like kool aid, but I kinda like it.