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Summertime Drinks Lite on the Sugar

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I'm looking for a summertime drink that isn't too sweet. I don't want a sugar hangover the next morning. That said, a liquor hangover is perfectly acceptable! Thank you!

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  1. What flavors do you like? There are many, many drinks with different flavor profiles that could fit your requirements.

    Club soda (unlike tonic water) is sugar-free, so you could try your favorite spirit mixed with soda- brown liquors tend to go better with club soda. (whiskey and soda, maybe a rum cooler (rum, club soda and sugar)). Find a low- sugar tonic water and make a gin and tonic. Make your own soda by making a flavored syrup using fresh fruit and sugar, and mix with carbonated water (Chow has a video tip for strawberry soda posted right now).

    Mix with fresh squeezed fruit juice- it has sugar, but those sugars are much more healthy than sodas. Or muddle a favorite fruit in the glass and add liquor. As you're probably aware, liqueurs contain a ton of sugar, so just staying away from those and using fresh juices will greatly reduce the sugar content of a drink.

    This thread might have a few suggestions: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/848082

    1 Reply
    1. re: tinnywatty

      Thank you!

    2. Many cocktails are noticeably sweet (e.g. a Manhattan, an Old Fashioned) and most others are actually sweet balanced with sour (e.g. a Daiquiri or Margarita). Sometimes the sugar is mitigated by dilution with soda, as in a highball.

      The Martini (a real one, with gin, or even vodka, plus dry vermouth and perhaps a dash of orange bitters) is extremely low in sugar -- just the natural sugars in the vermouth and any added to the gin. They are perfect for summertime sipping. It is a fantastic drink, well worth acquiring the taste for if you don't already.

      Otherwise a spirit plus soda water (rum, scotch, bourbon, rye, etc) with a squeeze of citrus.

      www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community.

      1. In the summer, I enjoy rum with soda and fresh-squeezed lime (I tend to use quite a bit). Sometimes I also add a dash or two of Angostura bitters. Very refreshing. Also, +1 on EvergreenDan's gin and low sugar tonic idea. Fever Tree makes a low sugar version of their regular tonic (which is already less sweet than typical tonic water), and Q tonic is sweetened with agave.

        1 Reply
        1. re: curseofleisure

          I second (third?) Q tonic water as a lower-sugar tonic--haven't tried the low-sugar Fever Tree.

          You can always make your own Tom Collins or Vodka Collins to your taste; I like these less sweet than a bar would serve, and the club soda/seltzer dilutes the sugar and helps hydrate.

          Fresh juice + alcohol is very refreshing (screwdriver, salty dog, orange blossom, etc.) and shouldn't leave you the sugar hangover of your typical "fruity" cocktail.

        2. I like hendricks Gin and club soda with muddled cucumber for something light and refeshing in the summer - with or without a squeeze of lemon

          1. Thanks, all. I went with a somewhat homemade concoction of vodka, a bit of San Pellegrino blood orange, juice of 1/2 lime and club soda.

            Interestingly enough, I just read that club soda is not regulated by the FDA. Sparkling mineral water is, however.

            1. I've been drinking the White Negroni that I found on the Kindred Cocktails site:


              Very refreshing and summery, I think.

              1. One of my summer drinks is a gin buck, which can be made with low calorie ginger ale to aid in your quest for light on the sugar ...