No Sugar Cocktails at Home - the Art of the Quarantini

We are in our 3rd month of Shelter in Place. We have always been 'Lets go out for Friday Happy Hour cocktails and a light dinner' sort of folk and this is how we are moving through life.

I have zero complaints about current status, as I am doing it for my family. Its important to find your happiness in any given moment, as complaining changes nothing. My husband is 80 years old and while he is strong and vibrant, his age alone puts him at risk. Period. I am at risk because Ive had bariatric surgery. Period. I have been ordering groceries via Instacart, Amazon delivers the rest, online purveyors of fish and meat replenish our freezer. It is cool, no complaints or worries.

We are not only dining at home, but we are drinking at home as well.

We have always enjoyed our party life and are still best friends even after all these years - evenings are spent sitting in our backyard, sipping a cocktail or glass of wine or two, playing favorite music while supper grills. This is not a debate about alcohol. I am 20 years post op and have been a social drinker my entire lifetime without issue. This primer on 'stay at home cocktails' assumes the same for you (**disclaimer at end of post). 

Here are a few ideas since its the weekend (or Tuesday) -  my favorite suggestions for No Sugar Quarantini Cocktails to sip at home. Having a cocktail doesn't mean we throw sugar and calorie rules out the window. 

Things you need. (Order on Amazon if you do not have them)
  • Shot glass - a shot glass is also called a jigger and is 1 1/2 ounces. Use one to measure so you do not over pour.
  • Muddler - I dont have a fancy gadget, but instead use the handle of a wooden spoon. This is to mash fruit and herbs or citrus so the flavor gets into the entire cocktail.
  • Tall glasses and short glasses. You need both as some cocktails are filled with chilled water or sparking water while others are a little more concentrated and appropriate for slow sipping. Macys has great glasses!
  • Cocktail Shaker - I like martini style cocktails shaken until frosty with ice and use a two part shaker to do this. Macys again. 
  • Fruit flavored sparkling waters - READ INGREDIENTS - choose a brand that does not contain the word SUGAR in the list. Spindrift, Perrier, and Bubly are brands without sugar or calories.  Spindrift is the best - its delicious. This is not a debate about drinking soda. I do not drink soda but here we use a splash of flavored sparkling water to flavor and sweeten the alcohol in the glass.

In a bar, simple syrup is used to sweeten a cocktail. The sugar free Splenda version that I make at home is the key to a great sugar free cocktail. Its also the secret to making a pitcher of delicious real brewed sweet tea to keep in your fridge all summer long.

 

Sugar Free Simple Syrup*
  • Simmer 2 cups of water and 4 cups of Splenda (or 2 cups Truvia) with a thinly sliced orange and a thinly sliced lemon until fruit slices have softened and mixture is slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, let cool.
  • Remove citrus, strain into container and store in the fridge for up to a month.

Susan Maria Cocktail - at home
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) Stoli Razberi
  • Spindrift Raspberry Lime Sparkling Water
  • fresh raspberries
  • 1 fresh lime wedge

In a tall glass with ice, add the raspberry vodka, fill with sparkling water and finish with a squeeze of lime and fresh raspberries.

Skinny Paloma - at home
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) silver or plata tequila
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) grapefruit juice - (I squeeze half a grapefruit as its good and easy)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar Free Simple Syrup*
  • Spindrift or Bubly Grapefruit Sparkling Water 

In a shaker with ice, combine tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and syrup. Shake until chilled, and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Fill with sparkling water and garnish with lime wedge.

 

Skinny Raspberry Margarita - at home
  • Sea salt
  • Lime wedge
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) Patron silver tequila
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar Free Simple Syrup*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Splash of Raspberry Lime Spindrift

Place the salt on a small plate. Rub rim of a martini or rocks glass with lime; lightly coat edge and set aside. Combine tequila, simple syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain into the spice rimmed glass saving room for that splash of Raspberry Spindrift.

Skinny Splash - at home

Choose a favorite flavor of flavored mineral water. Start with a tall glass of ice, add a splash of a coordinating flavor of vodka, fill with the sparkling water and give it a stir.

Awesome Skinny Splash combinations:

  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) Absolut Strawberry in tall glass of ice - fill with Perrier, Spindrift or Bubly Strawberry Sparkling Water
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) Absolut Mango vodka in tall glass of ice - fill with Bubly or Spindrift Mango Sparkling Water
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) Ciroc Watermelon in tall glass of ice - fill with Perrier or Bubly or Dasani Watermelon Sparkling Water
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) Effen or Stoli Cucumber vodka in a tall glass of ice - fill with Spindrift Lime or Cucumber Sparkling Water

Skinny Cosmo - at home
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) vodka
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) Diet Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar Free Simple Syrup*

Put vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker half-full of ice. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Sometimes I swap out Pom Wonderful for the Cranberry for a purple anti-oxidant version. 

Splendito Skinny Mojito - at home
  • handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar Free Simple Syrup*
  • Crushed ice
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) white rum
  • A splash club soda

Using a muddler or wooden spoon, smash fresh mint leaves. Add lime juice and syrup. Fill glass with ice. Add rum. Finish with sparkling water. Garnish with a slice of lime and more mint.

Skinny Watermelon Margarita - at home
  • Tajin Mexican Spice
  • Lime wedge
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) silver blanco tequila
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) unsweetened watermelon puree (make in blender)
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar Free Simple Syrup*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Place some Tajin chili spice on a small plate. Rub rim of a martini or rocks glass with lime; lightly coat edge and set aside. Combine tequila, watermelon puree, simple syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain into the spice rimmed glass. 

Skinny Orange Sparkle - at home
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) Deep Eddy Orange Vodka
  • Dasani, Spindrift, Bubly, Perrier Orange, Blood Orange or Tangerine Sparkling water

In a rocks glass with ice, add Deep Eddy Orange Vodka, fill with sparkling water, and garnish with an orange slice.

Susan Maria's Skinny Sangria - at home
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple, sliced strawberries, diced peaches, or grape halves
  • 1 cup white rum
  • 1 bottle red wine - a ten dollar merlot works well!
  • 3 cups Ocean Spray Diet Cran Grape, Diet Cran Cherry, Diet Cran Blackberry or Diet Cran Pomegranate
  • 1/2 cup Sugar Free Simple Syrup*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon - careful, not too much!
  • Small 15 ounce bottle Perrier

Place fruit in a 3-quart pitcher with rum, and let sit for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, add red wine, diet juice, simple syrup, cinnamon and Perrier. Stir gently to combine, pour into glasses over ice with a bit of the fruit.

Skinny Rosé All Day - at home
  • 1 cup fresh Strawberries and Rasberries
  • 1 cup berry vodka - Ciroc Red Berry, Pinnacle Berry, Belvedere Wild Berry, Skyy Berry, Absolute Strawberry
  • 1 bottle rose wine - choose a $10 rosé with a nice label
  • 3 cups Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry
  • 1/2 cup Sugar Free Simple Syrup*
  • 12 ounce can Spindrift Strawberry Lime Sparkling Water
  • Just a pinch of ground cinnamon

Place berries in a 3-quart pitcher with vodka, rosé wine, diet cranberry juice, simple syrup, sparkling water and cinnamon. Stir gently to combine, pour into glasses over ice, and garnish with fresh berries and lemon slices 

Skinny Rum & Coke - at home
  • 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons) silver or golden rum
  • Virgil's Zero Calorie Cola (stevia) or Coke Zero
  • 1 fresh lime wedge

In a tall glass with ice, add the rum, fill with diet cola and finish with a squeeze of lime.

Skinny Dip - at home

Add 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka to a glass filled with crushed ice, and fill with unsweetened iced tea. Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime. Use a tablespoon of Sugar Free Simple Syrup* or to taste.

 

Garden Party - at home

Add 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka to a mason jar filled with crushed ice, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon Sugar Free Simple Syrup*. Stir to combine, and fill with Perrier Lemon. Garnish with lemon slice.

 

*** No alcohol until twelve months after surgery, not even a sip - this is non negotiable. Metabolizing a hundred plus pounds of fat in a year is very hard on the liver and no one needs to add alcohol to that mix. If you have consumed adult beverages before bariatric surgery, be aware that they do affect you differently after surgery and you could easily get quite drunk rather quickly on a small amount of alcohol, so its good to go with watered down drinks. Make sure you never drink alcohol unless you are with someone with whom you could trust with your life and please use common sense - no drinking and driving and stick to a two drink maximum. If you find at some point that you are drinking too often and it is hampering your life, please share it with someone and get help.

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