Expert Advice About Which Mixers You Should Never Use

Contributed by

The problem with sweet mixed drinks is they taste so damn good. Unfortunately, these sugary libations could be contributing to your expanding waistline or a slew of other health ailments, including high blood pressure and diabetes. No one is going to put alcohol on the list of health supplements, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a wise choice when it comes to indulging in a fine spirit or two—just know what to avoid. Bet you know at least some of the biggest barroom offenders.

1. Soda

A Jack and Coke typically has around 200 calories per beverage. Knock back three or four with some friends and you’re adding approximately 800 calories to your daily intake, not to mention the sugar and carbs. You’re better off ordering neat or opting for something with club soda instead.

Alternative: Bourbon Rickey

2. Diet Soda

Many people turn to diet sodas when trying to cut out sugar and calories. While you are avoiding the extra calories and high-fructose corn syrup, you’re still consuming an abundance of artificial sweeteners and other chemicals. A 2013 study conducted by Northern Kentucky University also suggests that diet soda mixed with alcohol may lead to faster intoxication than if you were to consume regular soda in your mixed drink.

Alternative: Vodka Soda

3. Pre-Made Mixes

Found in all kinds of sugary concoctions from Margaritas to Piña Coladas, pre-packaged mixers are loaded with sweeteners and artificial ingredients. A typical 4-ounce serving of Margarita mix contains 24 grams of sugar, while 3.5 ounces of Piña Colada mix delivers 42 grams of the sweet stuff.

Alternative: Cosmopolitan

4. Energy Drinks

Sugar and caffeine may work if you’re cramming for finals, but energy drinks aren’t a wise choice when it comes to mixers. Sure, they’ll keep you going all night but at what cost? Studies have shown that caffeine-infused alcoholic beverages tend to mask the effects of intoxication so you don’t feel as buzzed. The end result is you drink more and become more and more intoxicated.

Alternative: Kiwi Kwencher

5. Heavy Cream

Found in White Russians and Irish Coffee, heavy cream is a juggernaut of calories and fat. One 6-ounce White Russian contains approximately 500 calories. Unless you’re the Dude, stay away from these belly-busting beverages. Instead, opt for drinks that contain coconut water. It gives you a hint of a milky taste, minus the fat found in heavy cream. It’s a great choice for those who like their libations rich.

Alternative: Leblon Coco Caipirinha

6. Tonic Water

The problem with tonic water is that it’s often confused with club soda. While many people assume they are opting for a healthier drink when they order a gin and tonic, what they’re really getting is a dose of sugar and calories that are equivalent to regular soda. One 12-ounce can of tonic water contains 32 grams of sugar. Do your waistline a favor and stick to club soda. Add a few lime wedges if you’re looking for that bitter-fresh taste.

Alternative: Gin Rickey

Devin Pratt is a U.S.–based writer and editor who has held various editorial roles at National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Men’s Fitness, FHM and Runner’s World. He’s traveled extensively, including hiking and whitewater rafting in Bosnia and Croatia. When not on assignment, he can be found exploring the great outdoors.

Appears in 2 Collections

From our Friends

  13 Comments.

Discussion

  • semaphore27@live.com posted 2 years ago

    I only go out for drinks a few times a year and never order more than one or two drinks when I do go out, so when I go out I'm going to have my gin and tonic or my margarita and not worry about it. At home I'll sometimes have one beer or a glass of wine. Maybe if I was a heavy or frequent drinker, I'd worry about this topic, but it's kind of like the two or three normal-sized pieces of birthday cake I might have in a year--they're not going to break the bank.

  • jpenellicheffgmailcom842460362 posted 2 years ago

    Como este Davin Pratt pode ter algo a ensinar se nao sabe nada sobre o assunto,nao sabe a diferença entre os ingredientes agua de coco e creme de leite .
    Muitos profissionais compartilham informaçoes deste site , muitos profissionais gostariam de ter um artigo publicado na Liquor.com , e voces dao espaço p alguem que nao tem noçao .

  • bigabigd75.25c1d posted 2 years ago

    What is the point of this article? To say that mixed drinks have sugar in them? Wow, what a revelation. This whole piece was demeaning and assumes that I don't know the first thing about the beverages that I drink. Gimme a break.

  • rcminsa posted 2 years ago

    I have enjoyed and have learned to make a great drink from Austin Texas.
    Vince Young Steak House has a drink called a Brunt Orange Martini.
    Vodka, Pama (pomegranate liqueur) and fresh orange juice. It is really great, not as sweet as a Cosmo.

  • strongjohn10856 posted 2 years ago

    I have to agree with the commentators that this really is a rather pointless and ill-informed article. Maybe if presented as ways to reduce one's caloric intake while still imbibing that would be one thing. It's as if the only thing one should care about is calories. The "Never" in the article title is certainly overstated silliness.

  • Tatoosh posted 2 years ago

    Today's tonic water is not the same as the original tonic water. In fact, malaria was a serious threat in the tropical climates and there was a demand for anything that helped with it.

    The original medicinal version was much stronger and the British took to adding gin to it to make it more palatable. So the origin of the gin and tonic is not the sweetened tonic water of today, but the much more potent tonic water of many years ago. And the gin they used was not some namby pamby version but also had a very distinct juniper flavor.

    The old gin and tonic was definitely medicinal - and that is where the legend started.

  • Texasbear posted 2 years ago

    This is really a stupid article. I only agree with one thing. Why order diet soda as a mixer anyway? To me that's like going to your favorite fast food restaurant and getting a big greasy burger and large fries with a diet soda. It isn't going to matter.

    As we all know, Liquor and other alcoholic beverages are made of sugar and they will break down into fat and calories anyway. So why does it matter if you have a cola or tonic with the mixed drink. Unless you are drinking everyday, another problem all together, then a few White Russians made correctly aren't going to affect your waist line any more than an indulgence at an ice cream shop. I prefer a top shelf Burbon with a splash of water on the rocks myself. If you are going to drink alcohol, it's best to buy top shelf brands, not the cheap crap. Unless you are drinking like a fish. I drink maybe one or two drinks a month. I use to drink a lot of beer, but I'm older now and alcohol doesn't mix with a medication I'm taking.

    The key here is moderation.

  • cccarresq@aol.com posted 2 years ago

    You can and should make scotch and soda with soda water (I prefer a siphon, myself) but it is incorrect to say that it should be used in a gin and tonic...that is why it is called what it is. The latter is a British drink adapted for use in the former colonies, particularly India. Tonic water contains quinine, an antidote of sorts to Malaria. Plus, the drink just would not taste the same without it!

  • cccarresq@aol.com posted 2 years ago

    You can and should make scotch and soda with soda water (I prefer a Co2 siphon) but it is incorrect to say that it should be used in a gin and tonic...that is why it is called what it is. The latter is a British drink adapted for use in the former colonies, particularly India. Tonic water contains quinine, an antidote of sorts to Malaria. Plus, the drink just would not taste the same without it!

  • Yourdirtymind1 posted 3 years ago

    @stephen.stempo, good on ya for being a bit skeptical! This is one of those things that is said so often that people take it as fact. In reality, there is no good medical research that shows that there are any significant ill effects from second or third generation artificial sweeteners. The data just doesn't support that conclusion. It's part of what many refer to as the "naturalistic fallacy". And the study that the article mentions the secondary effect that "diet soda mixed with alcohol may lead to faster intoxication than if you were to consume regular soda in your mixed drink" has been determined to just be a byproduct of the fact that it contains no calories. Just as you get drunker on an empty stomach, drinking a non-nutritive sweetener will obviously and purposely provide you with fewer calories than a regular soda. A well-constructed study would have noted the difference in effect between artificially sweetened soda, and unsweetened beverages (with controls for consumption, of course).

    @arthur.marriott, the quinine content in tonic water is so low that none of the adverse effects (either true or untrue) associated with quinine can be assigned to it. You'd have to drink 20 liters at once to even reach the quinine level used in safely prescribed quinine preparations. They also fail to note in the article that while tonic does sometimes contain sugar (apart from the sugar-free versions), the content is at least 20% lower than other sodas, so there is some advantage.

    Overall, the article seems to suggest some lazy reporting on the part of liquor.com.


Loading
Next Article
Are you smarter than
your bartender?

Think you know the booze?
Let’s start with some basics.