That Chersevani made recipes with added health benefits isn’t obvious to the tongue. The spicy, Kashmiri-chile-infused vodka in the flip helps build metabolism over time and encourages slow sipping, while the fresh cranberry-pear juice in the vodka-based Ant-eye-ox-a-dent is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and natural sweetness.
The ingredients in Chersevani’s drinks are key. She makes calorie-free, Splenda-based simple syrup that tastes like regular liquid sweetner, and she squeezes all her own juices instead of relying on concentrates. And perhaps most important, she’s picky about the main event: the booze. Alcohol and calorie content are directly related, so Chersevani sticks to lower-proof options for her drinks, measures carefully, and always steers clear of bottles with lots of sugar.
“As a general rule, brown is bad,” Chersevani said. “To stay in the safety zone, go for most tequilas (not mescal), gins, and unflavored vodkas.”
Vodkas and gins, such as Stolichnaya and Tanqueray, hover around 80 proof, which roughly equals 96 calories per 1½ ounces (a standard-size shot glass is two ounces). That’s according to The Biggest Loser: The Weight Loss Program, the handbook Chersevani uses when judging the nutritional value of drinks. Rums and whiskeys have higher sugar contents and alcoholic potencies, although they vary. And unfortunately for White Russian loyalists, cream liqueurs are the biggest calorie culprits: A 1½-ounce serving of Kahlua has roughly 161 calories, while a six-ounce White Russian—less than a cup—has more than 700 calories.
When Chersevani isn’t behind the bar, she often orders an Ice Pick, which is vodka with unsweetened ice tea. Still, she warns against getting carried away, even with such low-calorie nips.
“The biggest misconceptions are that liquid calories aren’t the same as food calories, and that they don’t count,” Chersevani said. “Drinks can be more detrimental because they come on faster.”
>> Want to sip Chersevani's Dark & Skinny cocktail at home? Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to make it. Enjoy!
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