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THE DIET DETECTIVE

Nutrition advice: Raise a toast to these 5 drinks

Satisfy your thirst this summer with these refreshing recipes.

Saturday, June 29, 2013 - 12:01 am

Here are several high- and low-calorie drinks to help quench your summer thirst and fill your belly.

Seltzer, unsweetened iced tea and water are the real low-calorie alternatives, but in case you're looking for a few others, here you go.

Ginger peach margaritas

From “Better Homes and Gardens Fresh” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013). Makes 5 to 6 (6-ounce) servings.

1 tablespoon coarse sugar

1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, very finely chopped

1 lime

2 medium (6 to 8 ounces each) peaches, unpeeled, pitted and cut up

1 recipe Ginger Syrup (recipe follows)

1/2 cup tequila

1/3 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec

1/3 cup lime juice

2 1/2 cups ice cubes

In a shallow dish, combine sugar and crystallized ginger; set aside. Cut a thick lime slice; cut slice in half. Rub halves around rims of 5 or 6 glasses. Dip rims into the sugar mixture to coat; set glasses aside. Slice remaining lime into 5 or 6 slices; set aside for garnish.

In a blender, combine peaches, Ginger Syrup, tequila, Cointreau and lime juice. Cover and blend until smooth. Gradually add ice cubes, blending until smooth (blender will be full). Pour into glasses. Garnish with the reserved lime slices. Freeze 3 to 4 hours. Nutrition per serving: 188 calories.

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 49

Bike: 27

Run: 20

Swim: 23

Yoga: 64

Dance: 32

Ginger syrup

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil gently, uncovered, for 4 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; let cool. Remove and discard the ginger.

Blackberry pineapple sidecar

By Ryan Magarian, bartender and proprietor of Oven and Shaker in Portland, Ore., and appearing in “101 Tropical Drinks” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013), by Kim Haasarud. Makes 1 drink.

7 ripe blackberries

1 1/2 ounces fresh pineapple juice

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup*

1 1/2 ounces Hennessy VS cognac

1/2 ounce Cointreau

Pineapple leaf and/or lemon wedge, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries with the pineapple juice, lemon juice and simple syrup. Add the cognac and Cointreau. Top with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the pineapple leaf and/or lemon wedge.

*To make simple syrup, boil 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Nutrition per serving: 204 calories.

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 53

Bike: 29

Run: 22

Swim: 25

Yoga: 70

Dance: 35

Rhythm and beets

By mixologist and Tequila Herradura brand ambassador Mark Drew. Makes 1 drink.

1 1/2 ounces tequila (preferably Herradura Silver)

2 ounces carrot juice

1/2 ounce ginger juice

1/2 ounce lemon juice

2 ounces beet juice

1 ounce apple juice

Basil sprig and slice of golden beet, for garnish

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with cubed ice. Shake hard and strain over ice into a tall glass. Garnish with the basil sprig and golden beet round. Nutrition per serving: 185 calories.

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 48

Bike: 26

Run: 20

Swim: 23

Yoga: 63

Dance: 31

S’mores shake

From “Cooking Light Chill: Smoothies, Sloshes, Shakes, Juices, Drinks & Ices” (Oxmoor House, 2013) by the Editors of Cooking Light magazine. Makes 4 ( 2/3 cup) servings.

8 stackable marshmallows

4 graham cracker sheets

1/2 cup 1 percent low-fat milk

1/2 ounce semisweet chocolate, grated

3 cups fat-free vanilla light ice cream

Preheat broiler. Place marshmallows on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Broil 45 seconds or until puffed and toasted. Cool on pan 2 minutes. Crush the graham cracker sheets into a blender. Add milk, 4 toasted marshmallows, chocolate and ice cream; process until smooth. Pour milk shake into 4 glasses. Top each shake with 1 marshmallow. Serve immediately. Nutrition per serving: 288 calories.

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 75

Bike: 41

Run: 31

Swim: 35

Yoga: 99

Dance: 49

Orange-carrot refresher

From “Cooking Light Chill: Smoothies, Slushes, Shakes, Juices, Drinks & Ices” (Oxmoor House, 2013) by the Editors of Cooking Light magazine. Makes 5 (1-cup) servings.

2 cups fresh orange juice (about 4 oranges)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 large limes)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon refrigerated ginger paste

1 teaspoon refrigerated mint paste

Dash of salt

2 cups 100 percent carrot juice, chilled

Ice cubes

Mint sprigs (optional)

Place first six ingredients in a large pitcher; stir with a whisk. Add carrot juice; stir until blended. Serve over ice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. Nutrition per serving: 86 calories.

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 22

Bike: 12

Run: 9

Swim: 11

Yoga: 29

Dance: 15

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of DietDetective.com.