The Best and Worst Alcohol for the Keto Diet

Today, for my alcohol enjoying #Keto followers, I’m sharing an excerpt from an article in #HealthMagazine from November of 2018. #ThisGirlLovesHerDrinks

The best (and worst) alcohol for the keto diet

No matter what proof (80 through 100), gin, rum, vodka, and whiskey all have 0 grams of carbohydrate in a jigger (or 1.5 ounces). Have your drink neat, on the rocks, or with a splash of plain soda water. And it’s best to pour your own rather than cracking open one of those pre-made spiked seltzers; one can deliver anywhere from 1 to 5 grams carbohydrate.

If you’re craving a glass of wine, budget for it, and keep the pour size in mind. A glass of white wine ranges from 3 to 6 grams of carbohydrate per five ounces. (The sweeter whites—think riesling versus chardonnay—typically have more carbohydrates.) At home, you’re likely to pour more than five ounces, especially if you have larger wine glasses. And a standard restaurant pour is six ounces. Red wine has a tighter range of carbohydrates, at 2.5 to 4 grams per 5-ounce pour, with little variation between varieties.

Skip beer: It’s essentially bread in a bottle. A can of beer has around 12 grams of carbs. Though if you must have a beer, seek out a light beer, which comes in at around half that carb load per can.

Two other no-nos: mixers (they’re all pretty much sugar-laden) and sake. A 6-ounce pour is fairly common for sake, and it delivers nearly 9 grams of carbohydrate.

An unexpected perk of going keto

In any trendy diet, there are always nuggets of wisdom buried somewhere—and keto is no exception. Because it involves such a tight carb budget, the diet doesn’t leave much room for regular alcohol consumption. And when you do imbibe, quantity is limited, so you’re likely to stay within the recommended limit. (That’s one drink per day for women, and two for men.) Considering that more and more research suggests moderate drinking may be more detrimental to our health than experts previously thought, the keto diet’s booze restrictions could be a really good thing in the long run.

It’s Looking Like a Maker’s Kind of Day

I know that not everyone drinks alcohol.  Some for health reasons, some for religious reasons, some don’t like the taste, some are underage, some did drink but stopped, some don’t know when to say “when” and were forced to stop, and some are supporting recovering spouses or friends so they no longer imbibe.  The reasons are many and I totally respect all of them.

This post isn’t intended for any of those people, unless they happen to be bartenders, frequent party hosts, or are just people who like to know what to serve guests of theirs who do enjoy a drink.

makersneatRegular readers of my blogs here and at www.extremeblondemoments.com know I love my wine, the Grey Goose L’Orange Cosmopolitan is my longtime favorite, I’m a fan of “umbrella drinks” poolside or on the beach, I love a shot of Maker’s 46 neat, my “usual” is a Maker’s 46 Old Fashioned, and I’m a huge horse racing fan so you know I love my Mint Juleps!

Old-FashionedWhen my husband asks if I want my usual, he knows that will involve him putting in a little more effort than just pouring me a neat shot of 46.  He’ll have to muddle a dark red Bada Bing cherry, in a few drops of Hella Bitters (citrus) ,then drop a single block of ice into the glass, cover it with a splash or two of simple syrup and top it off with a generous pour of Maker’s 46.

I saw a tweet from Maker’s Mark a few minutes ago that gave me a new spin on drinking my favorite just in time for The Belmont Stakes!  Have you figured out yet that I’m a Maker’s girl? 😉

makerspomegranateThe Trifecta With a Twist combines Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Lemonade and Pomegranate Juice with ice in a rocks glass and garnishes with either a twist of orange or a twist of lemon and a maraschino cherry – you choose.  I have all of those ingredients on hand and can’t wait to give it a try!

summersmashupAnother drink I found on the Maker’s Mark Twitter Feed, that I am anxious to try poolside, is the Maker’s Mark Summer Smash Up.  This sweet and fruity concoction combines Maker’s Mark with Triple Sec, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, & Grenadine and is garnished with a wedge of pineapple and a maraschino cherry. Bonus!  All of the ingredients are in my refrigerator!  Looks like it’ll be a great weekend. 🙂

makerspeachteaIf you’re an Iced Tea fan, there’s a Maker’s Mark cocktail for you too!

The Maker’s Peach Tea combines Freshly Brewed Iced Tea with Dekuyper Peachtree Liqueur and Maker’s Mark with a garnish of a fresh (or frozen) peach slice.  I would muddle the peach at the bottom of the glass with the bourbon before adding the ice, and mixing in the freshly brewed tea and peach liqueur.

makersmintjulepA post about my favorite bourbon drinks wouldn’t be complete without the Mint Julep being properly represented!  I like to make my simple syrup a few days before I plan to enjoy my juleps.

My Simple Syrup recipe is simple:  Combine equal parts extra fine baker’s sugar (I use C&H) with water in a saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved then immediately remove from the heat.  My usual measurement is 2 ups sugar to 2 cups water.  Cool the syrup then pour into a Rubbermaid type sealable drink container where about 5 stems of bruised (put leaves into a bowl and press a spoon firmly on the leaves to open them and release the oils) mint leaves have been placed.  Put the syrup into the refrigerator to chill 😉 for at least 24 hours to infuse the mint. If your simple syrup is for anything other than a julep, don’t use the mint.

Maker’s Mint Julep

  • 1-1/2 parts Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
  • Fresh mint
  • Mint Simple Syrup
  • Powdered sugar
  • Mint sprig for garnish
  • Club Soda

Instructions

  1. Place a few mint leaves in the bottom of your glass and muddle with a splash of my Mint Simple Syrup.
  2. Fill glass with crushed ice
  3. Pour Maker’s Mark, another splash of simple syrup, and a splash of club soda over the ice
  4. Sprinkle top of ice with powdered sugar.
  5. Garnish with a mint sprig.

As I always do, I remind you that if you are going to drink, please:

  • Know your limit / drink in moderation
  • Never Drink and Drive
  • Designate a sober driver, know the local taxi company’s phone number and USE IT, ask the bartender or your server to call you a cab, use UBER or LYFT, or have a friend or family member on standby for you to call if you need a ride home

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Great New Irvine Restaurant

konagrilllogoThe giant space that the Irvine Improv formerly occupied, next to the Yard House in the Irvine Spectrum, has been vacant for, what feels like, forever!  There has been a giant green construction fence with a poster proclaiming, “Coming Soon Kona Grill” and I have been dying for the new restaurant to open.  This week my wish was finally granted.

Described in the press as having a “global menu of contemporary American favorites, award-winning sushi, and specialty cocktails – all freshly prepared in a scratch kitchen,” this is a restaurant that sounds like it would be right up my alley.

Their lunch menu was HUGE:  A full sushi bar with a very big and diverse variety of rolls (unlike other local sushi restaurants, NOT ALL BASED ON TOP OF A CALIFORNIA ROLL!),  creative appetizers, the dish everyone who works here seems to like: Macadamia Nut Chicken, to Spicy Shrimp Tempura, BBQ Chicken Flatbread, burgers, sandwiches, pasta and even steaks.  They also have separate menus for Vegans, Vegetarians, Children, and those with Gluten intolerance.  Do be prepared when you get the check – it was pretty pricey for lunch.

The restaurant is very open with lots of TVs scattered about so you don’t miss the latest sporting events, 3 big fish tanks, a fully visible kitchen & sushi bar behind glass, fire places, a patio and very well designed bar. Both the General Manager and Manager stopped by our table to check in, chat about the Angel game that was on TV, and even talk about hockey as the GM’s Philadelphia Flyers and my Los Angeles Kings are both currently in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The wait staff was friendly, attentive and efficient and I will definitely be back.

cucumbermojitoDid I mention the cocktails yet? They have the traditional cocktail selections, martinis, mojitos, beer, wine, and Sake, but I was really impressed with their variety of specialty cocktails.  I went with a very refreshing (very tall) mojito made with cucumber, mint and Effen Vodka.  It SO hit the spot that I texted a picture of the drink to two girlfriends who joined me after my business lunch and we threw back a “few.” With happy hour from 3:00 – 7:00 and again from 7:00 – 10:00, this will definitely be a happening cocktail spot!

My only complaint about the restaurant was that, although I checked in for my reserved table and was seated by the hostess, they reported to OpenTable.com that I was a no-show for my reservation.  If that’s the only bad thing someone can say about a new restaurant, then I think they’ve got a great shot at making it!

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to:  local restaurant specials & promotions, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Tailgating on Thursday Night Sucks!

uscwthursAny true college football fan knows that spending all day Saturday tailgating is as much a part of the experience as the game is.

Whoever decided to add Friday night games (the traditional high school game night), then compounded that mistake by adding Thursday night games to the schedule, took away a lot of the fun of hanging with old and new friends and getting hyped up on game day.  That marketing “genius” should go down in the football hall of shame.

HELLO! People work and a 6:00 PM weekday/workday kickoff in a downtown location like USC in Los Angeles makes for a much shorter, less fun pre-game experience – not to mention the traffic nightmares that face people who can’t get off early meaning seats look empty on the national TV broadcast.

Even worse, in a non-college town (unlike most of the towns around colleges in the South) game day is just another day in the week when it’s not a Saturday.  The stadium isn’t as full as it would be on a weekend (especially one that holds 90,000 + when sold out) and, no matter how good or bad the team is doing, more and more people are skipping the game and/or giving away their Thursday night game tickets.  The excuses are varied yet all some version of the same: unable to face the traffic, hate the rush to get there, and need to get up too early for work the next day.  I am part of the working world, we are more than an hour from the stadium on a good day, but we only get 6-7 home games a year, so we’re blazing ahead!

Weeks like this are great opportunities to cut down the usual prep time, combine ready made foods in grocery stores with easy snacks, save setup and eliminate the need to cook on site, so we can enjoy our shortened time together!

IMG_4227[1]Needless to say it won’t be like our Week 1 Lobster boil, but I’ve huddled with our fellow tailgaters and we’ve come up with a total no-cook pre-game plan:

  • 2 Buckets of Grocery-Deli Fried Chicken
  • Deli Potato Salad
  • King’s Hawaiian Rolls
  • BBQ Sauce (for making chicken sandwiches on the rolls)
  • Chips & Sour Cream Onion Dip (OK we will have to add the envelope to the container)
  • Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies and various no-cook, grab & go snacks
  • Beer/Wine/Cocktails & plenty of Water for re-hydrating

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood