Mixologist Gina Chersevani gives advice on low-calorie cocktails
By Delece Smith-Barrow,
If you’re having an active bachelorette party, chances are you’d rather not replace all those calories burned with sugary cocktails. Local mixologist Gina Chersevani understands, which is why she always has a 100-calorie drink on her menu.
“I knew how hard it was for me to maintain my weight, especially in this business, and I’m still a big girl,” says Chersevani. She has worked at PS 7’s, Poste Moderne Brasserie and Rasika, and is designing the beverage menu at Hank’s Oyster Bar on Capitol Hill, scheduled to open in June.
One low-calorie drink coming to Hank’s is gnomes water, an original creation of Chersevani’s that’s a mixture of cucumber water, Hendrick’s gin, lavender syrup, lemon and lime juice, soda water and Cointreau. It’s 125 calories, unless you get the skinny version, which loses the Cointreau, for a calorie count of 100.
To make sure a night of drinking doesn’t change your dress size for the big day, consider this advice from Chersevani:
1. Stay hydrated. “You’ll have like 10 drinks before you know it because you’re thirsty and just need a glass of water,” she says.
2. Stick with white liquors. “If it’s dark, it’s high in calories,” Chersevani says, citing rum and whiskey as examples. “Clear liquors are good, like gin and vodka. Those two things have [about] 88 calories per 11 / 2 ounces.”
3. If it says “residual sugar” on the bottle, put it back. A wine with this on the label has added sugar, Chersevani says. Stick with dry wines for fewer calories.
4. Try an ice pick. A combination of vodka and iced tea, this drink is available at most bars, she says. “Ice tea has barely any calories,” Chersevani adds, and can be sweetened with a low-calorie sweetener.
5. Avoid shots and shooters. “You don’t drink shots and then water,” she says. “You drink shots and then another cocktail.” Add a sugary juice, such as pineapple or cranberry, or a cream to a shot and you have a shooter — and yet more calories.
6. Skip the champagne toast. Chersevani says extra sugar and yeast are always added to champagne and sparkling wine. “That’s why you get so much pop in your bottle.
. . . That’s why it’s so yummy.”
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