Category Archives: Skinny Drinks

Dry Sparkling Water

I was recently sent an assortment of Dry Sparkling Water in seven different flavors to try out. Dry is the product of the founder’s need to keep in touch with the culinary world after leaving it and it’s billed as an “unexpectedly crisp sparkling beverage”.

The product is meant to be a suitable substitute to pair with food in place of alcoholic beverages. But … if you’re an SDD Contributor … you find out how it’s going to pair with booze. (It’s what you do, because, are drinks really meant to be enjoyed without liquor? Not if I can help it. At least not after work hours. Or while sick.)

Of the seven flavors, I enjoyed the Vanilla Bean flavor the most.  I was, however, a little shocked that it had 16g of sugar considering it was supposed to be a “healthy” alternative option.

Here are the recipes I tried and highly recommend!

Bourbonbon

Bourbonbon
6 oz. vanilla bean DRY
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
Ice
Mix in a highball glass

Pinapple Spritzer
3 oz. juniper berry DRY
2 oz. light rum
2 oz. pinapple juice
squeeze of lemon

Other drink recipes using DRY can be found here.

Click here to find Dry Sparkling Water near you.

Product Review: Willa Vodka

Low-cal vodka? Don’t mind if I do. Willa vodka is touted as a “natural, healthier, lighter premium craft vodka”, and it being low in calories means it’s lower in alcohol content than other vodkas (70 proof compared to the industry standard 80 proof).

01_willa_bottleEven better that the lower calorie count? Willa is all about advertising to women. (Even though it was created by two men!) “Independent spirits for independent women” is their tag line that scrolls across the top of their website … but don’t let that fool you, guys. (You won’t lose your man card for buying this.) Anyone who is looking for a more health-conscious vodka, this is the one. I let some guy friends visiting my boyfriend try it … and let’s just say it wasn’t just me who liked the taste.

It was awarded the silver medal for best “Small Batch Craft Vodka” at the New York International Spirits Competition in 2012. In 2013, Willa brought home the gold medal for both taste and bottle design at the SIP Awards.

This non GMO vodka has a smooth taste and a great price. It’s made with 100% organic Italian wheat and the water used for distilling is from the Nantucket Aquifer. The nose has a bit of citrus and just a slight bit of charcoal. The taste was smooth (thanks to the lower proof) and had the same citrus notes, but was incredibly clean.

The Willa brand is in the process of expanding. They have started a Fundable page looking for investors to help expand into flavored vodka, gin, and rum. I look forward to what is to come for this new brand.

Lemon Drop
Lemon Drop


WILLA VODKA

willavodka.com
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~$29 for 750mL


Here are a couple of the recipes that Willa suggests:

Lemon Drop
2 parts Willa Vodka
1/2 part fresh lemon juice
1/4 part stevia simple syrup

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.

Cos-lo-politan
Cos-lo-politan

Cos-lo-politan
3 parts Willa Vodka
1 part cranberry juice
3/4 part fresh lime juice
1/4 part fresh orange juice
1 barspoon of light simple syrup

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a an orange twist.

  


***Willa gave our team a bottle to try out.***

New From Skinnygirl

I am constantly flailing around with some sort of diet or disproportionately ambitious exercise plan. It’s just an unhappy fact of life. Unfortunately for me, I love food- and BOOZE- as much as the next gal (ok…possibly more than the next gal); an inconvenient truth at best. I hate undoing all of my hard work at the gym with liquid calories (even if they are delicious). In light of my recent introduction to Skinnygirl Vodka, I was excited to learn Skinnygirl has rolled out two new products for our guiltless imbibing pleasure: Skinnygirl Pinot Noir and Skinnygirl Spicy Lime Margarita. I was even more excited when I was informed that I would be receiving a bottle of each, for my sampling pleasure.

photo 2First, let’s talk about the Skinnygirl Pinot Noir. I had never tried a “lightened up” vino prior to this occasion, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Skinnygirl’s pinot has the aroma of dark cherries and bursts with cherry flavor to match, along with notes of toasty oak and vanilla. This is a very smooth pinot with a soft, silky mouthfeel. I am not a great drinker of reds, but this one was light enough for me to genuinely enjoy – to the point where I would buy it for myself.  Let’s talk calories. (Wait – what? Buzzkill!) Skinnygirl’s Pinot Noir touts 100 calories in a 5oz pour. For comparison’s sake, a “conventional” 5oz glass of pinot noir contains about 125 calories. At first, you may think to yourself, “So, I’m saving 25 calories? Big deal”. But, think about this, friends: A typical bottle of wine contains about five 5oz pours. Multiply those 25 calories/glass you are saving by 5, and it totals: 125 calories. So, think of if this way:  if I were to drink the entire bottle of Skinnygirl Pinot Noir (not that…uh…I make a regular habit out of drinking an entire bottle of wine, or anything…), at a savings of 125 calories per bottle, it’s basically like getting a bonus glass of wine for “free”. Suhhh-weet.

I am a huge fan of cocktails with a “kick,” so I was super excited to try the Skinnygirl Spicy Lime Margarita. This is a ready-to-drink product, best served over ice, with a wedge of lime, or even a slice of fresh jalapeno if you’re feeling saucy. Skinnygirl’s Spicy Lime Margarita, made with blue agave silver tequila and triple sec, actually exceeded my expectations.  These margs offer a beautiful balance of bright lime flavor, spicy chili, and that familiar tequila bite. This cocktail has an undeniable kick, but it doesn’t come close to approaching overkill. Really, it was just lovely. The margaritas paired perfectly with my little Monday night chips and guacamole fiesta, and my dude-fiancée repeatedly/unabashedly voiced his enthusiasm for his cocktail, “Skinnygirl” label be damned. He assured me that I can buy this one “any time”; I definitely see myself following through accordingly. Skinnygirl Spicy Lime Margaritas contain 100 calories per 5 oz serving. Sugar-laden margarita mixes frequently served at Mexican restaurants can contain in the upwards of 750 calories in one cocktail, so Skinnygirl Margs are basically a steal, calorically speaking! No brainer here, y’all.

Skinnygirl Cocktails (Margaritas, et al)
Skinnygirl Spicy Lime Margarita, 750-ml bottle, MSRP $12.99

Skinnygirl Wine Collection
Skinnygirl Pinot Noir, 750-ml bottle, MSRP $11.99

 

 

FALL into Skinnygirl Vodka

I consider it fate and not merely a coincidence that two bottles of Skinnygirl Vodka appeared on my doorstep on October 3rd, less than 24 short hours away from October 4th, which just so happens to be NATIONAL VODKA DAY.  As if that wasn’t enticement enough, Skinnygirl was kind enough to share some recipes featuring fall flavors (apple!) in order to help us kick off the season with a festive yet (practically) guilt-free libation! Ladies of DF/W (and guys … if you’re into that sort of thing), Halloween is rapidly approaching, and we need all the help we can get before it’s time to squeeze into this year’s “Sexy ____ “  (insert profession, zoo animal, beloved children’s character, etc.) getup.

First, a little bit about Skinnygirl Cocktails: Bethenny Frenkel’s (yup, that Bethenny Frenkel) line of low-calorie alcoholic indulgences came onto the scene with the introduction of the Skinnygirl Margarita back in 2011. Skinnygirls (and would-be Skinnygirls) near and far apparently clamored for more, as Bethenny has since rolled out a line of Skinnygirl ready-to-drink cocktails (I need to get my hands on the Skinnygirl mojito…), a Skinnygirl wine collection, and yes, a variety of Skinnygirl naturally flavored vodkas.

Skinnygirl Vodka with natural flavors is available in the following intriguing varieties:
– White Cherry Vodka
– Tangerine Vodka
– Cucumber Vodka
– Bare Naked Vodka

I received a bottle of the Skinnygirl Tangerine Vodka in addition to a bottle of the Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka for my sampling pleasure.  I enlisted my boyfriend to join me in my taste-testing endeavor, and he agreed to do so. (Though he did request that I refer to this product line as, “Skinnypeople Vodka” in my write-up. Request denied.)

I prepared two of the “fall flavor” cocktails based on recipes Skinnygirl provided. I will give the disclaimer that each of these recipes can be prepared with either apple juice or apple cider. I was disappointed to learn that my neighborhood grocery store had yet to roll out their apple cider for the season when I went to pick up my non-alcoholic goodies, so I had to go the AJ route*. If you decide to replicate these tasty little treats, I might go for the cider if you have it available. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

*Note from Susie: surprisingly, WalMart usually has Martinelli’s Apple Cider in stock.

First, the unanimous favorite: the Crisp Apple Cooler. This seemingly simple cocktail consisted of Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka, apple juice, agave syrup, and a green apple garnish. Easy enough to throw together, right? This cocktail tasted like a delicious candy apple in a glass. The Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka was perfectly smooth and blended beautifully with my mixers. We could not discern that this was a low-calorie alternative to classic vodka. In other news, I think this would be uhh-mazing with a caramel rim. Wait, does that defeat the purpose of sipping on low-calorie booze? Let’s consider it a compromise.

Skinnygirl2Crisp Apple Cooler
1 ½ parts Skinnygirl® Bare Naked Vodka
¾ part apple juice
¼ part agave syrup
Green apple slice for garnish

Stir agave syrup with vodka in the base of a shaker until the agave syrup dissolves. Add apple juice and shake thoroughly with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a green apple slice.

Next, the Fall Festival-tini, consisting of Skinnygirl Tangerine Vodka, apple juice, light rum, and lemon for garnish. The tangerine flavor added some subtle interest to this grown-up apple juice concoction. I might suggest skipping the rum and doubling up on the Skinnygirl Tangerine if you are looking for a citrusy kick; especially if you are going the apple cider route. Heck, you could even get fancy and toss in some cinnamon, or nutmeg, for a festive punch.

Fall Festival-tini
1 part Skinnygirl® Tangerine Vodka
3 parts apple juice/cider
½ part light rum
Lemon wedge for garnish

Mix ingredients in a shaker, and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Just for good measure, we also sampled the Skinnygirl Tangerine Vodka on the rocks … you know, in the name of science. We found it to be light and refreshing, without any kind of a fake, “diet” taste. This was a pleasant surprise. With Skinnygirl’s help, I will be slithering into that “Sexy Orphan Annie” costume in no time.

Here are some additional Skinnygirl recipes, for your low-calorie sipping pleasure.

*Samples were provided free of charge. Thanks, Skinnygirl!*