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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Keeping It Light - Guilt Free Cocktails

Keeping it Lite

Guilt free cocktails

Story by Nikki Villoria

With thousands of bars, clubs and lounges, Las Vegas is the city of ideal happy hours and bar menus for a fun and flirty night out. However, a night out on the town doesn’t necessarily have to mean an increase in pant size or a feeling of fullness. With various skinny and light drink options, people can enjoy all the liquid flavors without the heavy guilt.

Located by UNLV at 4700 Maryland Parkway, the Freakin’ Frog offers a variety of light drink alternatives. Among their lighter alcohols are the Freakin’ Moscato, a wine based sparkling moscato combined with Freakin’ Lightning clear whiskey. The Bloody Snake Bite is a beer-based drink including a combination of light lager, light cider and a hint of framboise. And the Freakin’ New Fashioned is a hard liquor cocktail made of Freakin’ Lightning and a dash of sugar strained over a cherry and combined with two dashes of two bitters.

“I think being able to give somebody a wine based drink that’s lighter, or a beer based drink that’s lighter or a hard-liquor based drink that’s lighter really appeals to every person who’s just looking for something lighter,” says Adam Carmer, founder of The Whiskey Attic and CEO and founder of Freakin’ Frog.

If you’re looking for something with a stronger kick yet still on the lighter side of the scale, Bar + Bistro at the Art’s Factory, located at 107 E. Charleston Boulevard #155, has even more light drink options with the strong whiskey flavors found at bars around the world.

Among those worldly drinks are the Bourbon the Old Fashion Way, based on the heavy bourbon drink from the 1880 Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky, and Fleur de 75 (French 75), a bubbly and citrus drink coming out of the New York Bar in Paris.

A light house favorite at Bar + Bistro, the Honey Badger, is a shaken combination of Jameson, lemon, Amargo Chuncho bitters and ginger infused Runny-Honey, which offers a full combination of sweet, spicy and tart all at once.

Bringing the title of ‘skinny’ right into the drink names, Blue Martini’s skinny drinks menu offers the traditional flavors of the basic pina colada, mojito and margarita but all with fewer than 250 calories each. 

The Skinny Rita, served on the rocks, is a lighter cocktail including Milagro Silver tequila, agave nectar, and Finest Call Sweet and Sour Lite. A brand new menu item for Blue Martini, the Not-A-Lotta-Colada is a non-blended combination of Bacardi pineapple fusion, coconut water and coco real (light coconut milk). The lounge’s most popular skinny drink item, the Skinny Mojitos, come in three flavors and contain fresh lime and mint, light simple syrup and club soda with the choice of Bacardi Black Razz, Bacardi Pineapple Fusion or Bacardi Dragon Berry.

Bringing drinks to an all time temperature low, Minus5 Ice Bar mixes up ice cold drinks good to the last drop. With the use of infused vodkas, these light drink options avoid additional sugars, syrups or heavy mixers.

Served up in an ice glass, Frozen Assets is a Marilyn Monroe strawberry vodka based drink with white cranberry and a splash of cranberry juice. And their icy take on the Frozen Mojito adds some tweaks to the traditional cocktail, using a mint infused rum and no simple syrups, therefore providing significantly lower sugar content. 

When it comes to cocktails and specialty drinks, this city has plenty to offer, and when the option of keeping it light comes up, most bars have just as many flavorful options to choose from.

“Everybody’s in a different mood. Sometimes you’re in a mood for something bigger and stronger and bolder and sometimes you just want something lighter,” says Carmer. “It’s not necessarily because you want to lose weight, but sometimes you just want something that won’t weigh you down. Everybody at some point appreciates something that’s lighter.”

 

Side Bar Option: Location and Their Drinks:

 

Freakin’ Frog

Freakin’ Moscato (wine-based): Sparkling pink Moscato mixed with Freakin’ Lightning (a kosher white whiskey). This sparkling Moscato base is both fruity and low sugar. When combined with Freakin’ Lighting, an 88 proof, clear whiskey of 95 percent corn, 5 percent bourbon and all the conjures taken out, this drink gives off a very refreshing and aromatic fragrance which opens up the Moscato.

Bloody Snake Bite (beer-based): With the combination of a light lager, light cider and a very little bit of a Framboise, customers experience the freshness and flavor from the raspberries without the overwhelming sugars.

Freakin’ New Fashioned (hard liquor cocktail): This cocktail has a Freakin’ Lighting base and is completely customizable. The Freakin’ New Fashioned is a combination of Freakin’ Lightning and a teaspoon of sugar, strained over a cherry and combined with two dashes of various bitters. By customizing this drink by combining various combinations of the two bitters, the entire personality of the drink can change and appeal to any taste bud.

“The Freakin’ New Fashioned is a parade of both visual sensory perception and the finish is fabulous,” Carmer says. “It tastes delicious, it’s super light, refreshing, perfect for the summer and perfect for people who want something with lots of flavor but not a lot of calories.”

 

Bar + Bistro at the Arts Factory

Bourbon the Old Fashioned Way: Based on the heavy bourbon drink from the 1880 Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky, this whiskey drink is a combination of bourbon, Demerara syrup, Fee’s Old Fashion bitters and Fee’s Aztec Chocolate bitters garnished with a lime rind.

Fleur de 75 (French 75): Coming out of the New York Bar in Paris, this drink contains a bubbly, citrus combination of Hendricks, Saint Germain, lavender syrup, dandelion bitters, lemon and Prosecco, providing those who try it a refreshing lemony drink that’s great for summertime. 

Honey Badger: A house favorite, this drink includes a shaken combination of Jameson, lemon, Amargo Chuncho bitters and ginger infused Runny-Honey, which gives the drink its popular intense ginger flavor. 

“The Honey Badger is by far one of the favorites here,” says Bar + Bistro’s Executive Chef Beni Velazquez. “This drink is a combination of the honey flavor for the sweetness, the spiciness from the ginger and the tartness from the lemons, so you get tart, spice and sweet all at the same time. And since it has Jameson you can’t beat it.”

 

Blue Martini Lounge

Skinny Rita: Served on the rocks, this lighter cocktail includes Milagro Silver tequila, agave nectar, and Finest Call Sweet and Sour Lite. With fewer calories and lighter ingredients, the Skinny Rita provides the same tangy taste of the traditional margarita.

Skinny Mojito: Coming in three flavors, the skinny Mojitos contain fresh lime and mint, light simple syrup and club soda with the choice of Bacardi Black Razz, Bacardi Pineapple Fusion, or Bacardi Dragon Berry.

Not-A-Lotta-Colada: This drink brings a-lotta flavor with not-a-lotta calories. A brand new menu item for Blue Martini, this is a non-blended combination of Bacardi pineapple fusion, coconut water and coco real (light coconut milk).

All of Blue Martini’s skinny drinks offer the traditional flavors of the basic pina colada, mojito and margarita but all with fewer than 250 calories each. 

 

Minus5

Frozen Mojito: Adding some tweaks to the traditional cocktail, this mojito uses a mint infused rum and no simple syrups, therefore providing significantly lower sugar content. 

“When the mint is infused into the rum it makes the rum minty flavored so you don’t actually have to use the sweetness of the sugar to counteract, and we don’t use fresh lime juice in it, since limes would just freeze in the ice bar, so because of that you don’t have the super tartness that comes with the lime and the acidity. It naturally blends itself out and makes a nice summery drink,” says Rupert King, general manager of Minus5 inside the Monte Carlo. 

 

Frozen Assets: Using a Marilyn Monroe strawberry vodka base, this icy drink also includes white cranberry and a splash of cranberry juice, creating a flavor profile comparable to strawberry cheesecake but without the guilt. 

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