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So I just found a new trend in cocktails that I find troubling: Dieting cocktails. They take one drink, replace ingredients, and call it the same drink but lite. It’s not the same thing. It has been transformed. Check out some of the recipes here.

I like flavors, and drinks, and maintaining the integrity of my ingredients. You might not say that I lived, but you’ll definitely be able to say that I tasted.

There’s a reason why I’m a foodie with cocktails and have and will continue to drink everything and anything until my doctor tells me to stop. I have no interest in perfecting the lowest calorie cocktail. I think that’s boring and uninteresting. Some of my cocktails in all honestly probably aren’t that high in calories. I use a lot of fresh ingredients. Except for the liquor, I stay away from over processed manufactured ingredients because they just don’t taste as good. Have you ever compared fresh squeezed lime juice to lime juice in a can?

You can serve me a cocktail that’s low in calories, I don’t care. But serve it to me because it tastes GREAT and is low in calories. Serve it to me because it is decadent, divine, and delicious. I want heaven in a glass, and if you can do it for 100 calories, you let me know.

One of the problems that I have with these cocktail “reinventions” is this idea that the drink needs improved upon. Many of them don’t which is why the recipes have outlasted our grandparents.

A cosmopolitan is a great drink. There’s no real reason to improve on it, except to vary the flavor.  Regardless of what you do to it, it’s all ultimately a cosmopolitan. A couple of things from Alldrinks to Liquorchick, a Cosmo doesn’t have Rose’s lime juice. I don’t know who told you that, but they were making that drink wrong. A Cosmo should be: 2 oz Cranberry Juice; 2 oz Vodka; 1 oz Triple Sec. Rose’s will help to ruin the flavor (see her recipe and variation here.) The original recipe that someone gave you sounds way too sweet and too limey.

I hate this idea that drinks aren’t good enough because they’re not vegan; they’re not celiac friendly; lactose intolerant friendly; or diet friendly. It’s not the drink recipes for the specific beverage that need to change, but we need to open ourselves to new ingredients. We need to create cocktails based on what we want, what we know we can already drink and eat, not on what we think we want. We undermine our ingredients’ integrity.

When we go on diets, become a vegan, find a new food allergy, or become a diabetic, we change our diets. We reopen ourselves to a new culinary palette and change the way we eat. We don’t make the same recipes with other ingredients, and if we do, many times it is not as good as what we the originally recipe was, which is why we used the original ingredients in the first place. There’s this great wide world out there of new experiences and tastes and rather than tasting the new ones, why do we latch on to the old? These recipes become culinary security blankets that keep us limited.

One thing that Liquor chick and I have in common is our excitement for Agave nectar. Agave nectar is a common replacement for both vegans and dieters. However, I’m not going to just add Agave nectar to drinks that normally has simple syrup. I’m not sure what agave nectar tastes like, and when I use it in a drink, I want to make sure that it stands on its own two feet. That it is given a chance to say, “I am,” and become an important, delicious, and irreplaceable ingredient.

Ingredients are a lot like people. They need the opportunity to be irreplaceable, and not a stand in for something better.

As always, happy and safe drinking.