Although the holiday season seems to be one long celebration of over eating and drinking behavior that inevitably sets up the stage for one more round of New Year's resolutions a few tips by Bob Skilnik, author of The Low Carb Bartender: Carb Counts for Beer, Wine, Mixed Drinks and More can help anyone to rein in those pesky carbohydrates while indulging in the delights of beer, wine, or spirits.
"The easiest thing for imbibers to remember is that mostly all distilled products have zero carbohydrates. Some long-aged barreled brandies can pick up a few carbs, leeched from the sugars in the wood, but even that adds only 2 to 4 carbohydrates per 1.5 ounce serving.
If you're going to use mixers, make sure they're sugar-free. Building a gin and tonic with tonic water sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, for instance, will add 15 to 20 carbs to your drink."
Although there are a number of wines on the market being promoted as "low-carb," the Low Carb Bartender points out in his newly-released book that virtually all dry red or white wines can be classified as low-carb.
"Virtually all the wines of the Beaulieu Vineyards, for instance, are considered low-carb. Something like a 5-ounce serving of Georges de Latour Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc ('03), Napa Valley Merlot ('01), or a Reserve Chardonnay ('00) come in at less than 2 carbs per serving."
The Low Carb Bartender also disputes the claim that beer can cause the infamous 'beer-belly.' "Even the Atkins and South Beach diets now recommend drinking a beer or two without guilt.
Most regular-brewed American pilsners contain around 12 carbs per serving, but favorites like Rolling Rock or Guinness Stout contain less than that. The secret to really enjoying beer, however, is knowing the true carb counts of them."
"A customer wrote me recently and thanked me for my recipe for Cranberrytinis. Since the drink only contains 1.25 carbohydrates per serving, he was swilling down 5 martinis a night for less than a total of 7 carbs - and was still losing weight!
I congratulated him on his weight loss but then had to explain to him that he was missing the real point of the Low Carb Bartender - moderation, not deprivation."