Fresh Start 2021 - Guilt-Free Alcoholic Beverages
By Faith Bennett Published January 2021
Hello 2021! We’re excited for this new year, and ready for a fresh start. 2020 is behind us and we’re not looking back. As with any new year, 2021 brings new goals, new resolutions and a totally new outlook on life. Although we do have our personal goals, we’ve decided to give ourselves a break in 2021. No more resolutions that leave us deprived, and definitely no more resolutions that leave us without spirit(s). We learned from last year how essential they truly are. Instead, we’ve decided to drink smarter. Choosing options that are lower in calories, have less sugar and veer towards the natural end of the drinking stick. We’ve outlined our favorite picks by category below to help keep you on track to meet your goals and keep balanced.
Let's be honest, eliminating wine from our lives is just not an option. Luckily, we have alternatives - all at a lower percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV), which typically translate into lower calories and lower sugar. Due to the popularity of consuming lower-caloric drinks, this category is booming. It’s the ultimate win for individuals who’ve made their top resolution “lose weight,” but have the wine-has-zero-calories-mindset (like me). And the cherry on top? Lower ABV does not equate to lower value. These products are downright delicious.
Starting with a newer member of the ABC family, Cupcake LightHearted Chardonnay. This bright, aromatic Chardonnay is only 80 calories, low carb, low-sugar (<1 gram), gluten free and vegan. You can enjoy this beauty solo or mix it in a low-calorie spiced pineapple punch. Is Chardonnay not your cup of tea? Check out Cupcake LightHearted Pinot Grigio.
If you’re looking for a wine with a slightly higher ABV, FitVine Cabernet Sauvignon is our recommended pick. It is a full-flavored wine with notes of lavender, currants and oak, with no additives and less sugar than your traditional Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine weighs in at only 117 calories per serving and 14.1% ABV. Shop all FitVine varietals here.
When selecting wines to fit your resolutions, our wine expert Atanas Nechkov recommends sticking to bubbles. He explains, “Cool-climate wines are naturally low in alcohol and ultimately sugar, but are still full of flavor.” His picks: Champagne Haton Pure Extra-Brut and Vignobles Bulliat Cremant De Bourgogne Brut. He advises to opt for wines labeled “Extra Brut” or “Brut Nature.” These sparkling options are typically lower in sugar and calories. The carbonation also makes you feel fuller faster, allowing you to drink less and still feel satisfied.
Beer is usually the first adult beverage cut from the list when looking to get fit. But in Florida, a refreshing beer is something we daydream about in our cubicles. Instead of taking it out of your diet, choose a smarter option – low ABV brews.
For the hard-core IPA fan that's looking for all the benefits of a light beer, go for Bell’s Brewery Light Hearted Ale. It is brewed with Centennial and Galaxy hops giving the beer citrus and pine aromas and is combined with a variety of malts which add to its body and flavor, at only 110 calories. Dogfish Head also plays in the low-cal IPA arena, with Slightly Mighty. Dogfish says this brew is, “slight in calories and mighty in hop character.” We couldn’t agree more. Each sip is bursting with tropical pineapple, coconut and mango notes, while delivering a thirst quenching hoppiness.
Even non-IPA drinkers will enjoy the brews above, but if you don’t bop for the hop, Blue Moon Brewing Company and Kona Brewing Co. have their own options for your 2021 resolutions. Blue Moon Light Sky is a lighter alternative to their popular Belgian White. It is a citrus wheat brewed at 95 calories with real tangerine peel for a light and refreshing flavor. Kona also offers a refreshing spin with Kona Light Blonde Ale. It is a smooth, easy-drinking beer with crisp tropical flavors that bring the freshness of Hawaii to your home, at only 99 calories.
If you’re looking to cut alcohol out for a while, but don’t want to give up a cold beer, go for a non-alcoholic option. Heineken 0.0 is balanced with fruity notes and a soft malt body that is double brewed and alcohol removed. At only 69 calories, you’ll feel good about enjoying a few now (and the next morning).
Don’t just take our word for how delicious and guilt-free this selection of wine and beer is. Get them delivered to your home through ABC Delivers today and try for yourself.
Typically, when someone is watching their calories, they go for vodka. It’s the easy choice, and almost always the best choice when being more health-conscious about your alcoholic beverages. When selecting your vodka of choice, we recommend Ketel One Botanical Peach & Orange Blossom Vodka. Ketel One Botanical Vodka is distilled with real botanicals and infused with real fruits, leaving it with no added sugar, artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors.
Enjoy it in a cocktail:
Peach Orange Blossom Vodka and Soda
3 ounces soda water
Combine ingredients in a glass filled with ice. Garnish with your choice of fragrant herbs and fresh fruit.
Smirnoff Zero Sugar Infusions Vodka is another great alternative when you’re picking a flavored vodka. Like Ketel One Botanical, Smirnoff Zero Sugar Infusions is made with no added sugars, is gluten and guilt-free. It’s offered in three different infusions: cucumber & lime, strawberry & rose and watermelon & mint.
Enjoy it in a cocktail:
Cucumber & Lime Infusions Low-Cal Mojito
8 mint leaves
Pinch of stevia powder
1 ½ ounces Smirnoff Zero Sugar Infusions Cucumber & Lime Vodka
3 ounces soda water
Halve a lime and cut one half into two wedges, save remaining half. Muddle mint leaves, lime wedges and stevia in a glass. Combine vodka, juice of the remaining lime and ice. Shake well and top with soda water.
If you’re tired of sipping on vodka, we recommend switching to Los Rijos Silver Tequila. Tequila is made with agave, earth’s natual sweetener and although it’s slightly more calories than vodka it’s still a good alternative as many options are low-sugar and have no carbohydrates.
Enjoy it: on the rocks or with soda water and lime to avoid added sugars and save yourself a few calories.
Since the Claw became law, hard seltzers have changed the game of canned beverages. Almost everyone has had their hands wrapped around a koozie of hard seltzer goodness. The reason: they are low in calories, carbs, sugar, convenient to enjoy and let’s be honest, most are downright scrumptious. Just pop the top and you have a perfectly light drink to toss back. There are so many different options and flavors to choose from in the seltzer category, but to help narrow down your selection we’ve picked two: High Noon Sun Sips and Vizzy Hard Seltzer, both low in calories and gluten free.
High Noon Sun Sips is a perfectly crafted hard seltzer experience with vodka, real fruit juices, sparkling water and natural flavors. They have a variety of flavors to pick from including watermelon, pineapple, peach, grapefruit, lime and black cherry, all at 100 calories per can. Learn more about High Noon Sun Sips here. Looking to mix up the flavors? Go for Vizzy Hard Seltzers. They’ve taken the original flavors we know and love and mixed them together to create a group of unique cans. Not only are these delicious, but they are packed with antioxidant vitamin C from the acerola superfruit and only have 1 gram of sugar in each serving. Try the variety pack today which includes pineapple mango, strawberry kiwi, blackberry pomegranate and black cherry lime.
Looking for a spirit that has all the taste without the alcohol? Check out Ritual Alternative Zero Proof. They offer a gin, tequila or whiskey that taste exactly like their alcoholic pairs. Ritual makes their alternative spirits with pure ingredients and all-natural botanicals so you can have a product that is both tasty and guiltless.
Hoping to find more options to enjoy in the new year? Find our list of alcoholic beverages to drink when avoiding sugar here.