Yes, we’re talking alcoholic bevs in particular. This is, after all, the Season of Good Cheer. And in the ancient tradition of the English Wassail Bowl, we offer some recommendations for safer, saner drinking over the coming Holidays…
“Highballs and Cocktails – the long and short of it!”… Christmas in New York
with Nick and Nora Charles, in The Thin Man (MGM – 1934)
I’ve never seen a list post before quite like the one that triggered this FFB discussion. If it had just been another ‘Top 10 Best Yuletide Drinks’, or a ‘Most Popular’ list, I’d probably have passed it over. But its focus on health and safety grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.
Highballs and Cocktails…
‘The long and short of it’, as playboy detective Nick Charles described his Christmas Eve drinks tray in The Thin Man… But which are safest to imbibe? And which are the worst recreational bevs you could pour into your unsuspecting stomach?
“Let’s set things straight right away,” StarsInsider reminds us. “Alcohol is not good for you, and even the health benefits some drinks offer are much better received from nutritious foods that don’t damage your liver and increase your risk of cancer. That said, alcohol is ingrained in the lifestyles of so many people, and in this day and age you can’t be blamed for wanting to indulge in a strong beverage or two.”
As an overall guide to safer, saner drinking the Insider strongly recommends its own tutorial on ‘mindful driking. Of course, we live in an age where, for some, mindfulness is next to Godliness. And the notion that alcohol is not an ‘all or nothing’ choice will appeal to many.
“Traditional attitudes towards drinking have often involved an ‘all or nothing’ approach. Mindful drinking encourages people to make sure they enjoy each drink, are aware of their habits, and stick within limits that make drinking a pleasure and not a problem.
With that in mind…
Herewith, find StarsInsider’s picks of the most harmful drinks you can take this Holiday Season…
Piña Colada: “A single piña colada has more than 650 calories—more than a Big Mac!”
Long Island Iced Tea: “Typically contains vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, sweet and sour mix, lemon juice, simple syrup, and cola, which hits your system like a freight train.”
Red Bull & Vodka: We’ve warned you against this viral online brew before. “The combination of any energy drink and alcohol can affect the heart muscles and lead to a range of serious health problems like heart palpitations, arrhythmia, and sleeping difficulties, as well as jolt and crash episodes.”
Margarita: “No! Not my beloved Margarita!” the Maggie in my head screams. Yes, the Insider places it high on the no-no list. But I hasten to point out that – though it is too easy to drink too many Margaritas (they go down so smoothly!) – the 8 oz. / 235 ml Margarita the Insider uses as an example is equivalent to two of any Margs I’ve ever had. So, I’ve done my due, mindful dilligence and concluded that I won’t stop drinking Margaritas just because the Insider says so.
And, on the other hand…
Red Wine: Snags top spot on the Best list. “Red wine is hailed for its high levels of healthy antioxidants and polyphenols, which promote heart health. It’s also generally linked to more health benefits than any other alcoholic drink.”
Bloody Mary: “Typically made with vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, celery salt, Tabasco, and lemon juice, this cocktail offers up electrolytes, sodium, potassium, and vitamin C.” Not to mention, you’re getting an official, dietary ‘serving’ of vegetables, between the Tomato Juice and the Celery stick!
Light Beer: Not that real Beer lovers will even consider it. But… “What you may perceive as a sacrifice in flavor is also minimizing the impact on your body. Plus, beer’s combination of yeast, hops, water, and cereals actually delivers a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.”
Whiskey: Neat, on the rocks. Surprise! But Insider has its justifications… “Whiskey is a better option because it has high levels of polyphenols, which are linked with lowering your risk of heart disease, decreasing ‘bad’ cholesterol, and reducing triglycerides, or [bad] fat in your blood.”
Remember to drink slowly. Don’t knock ’em back. You’ll drink too much before you even realize you’re getting drink.
Even though aficionados say it ruins the wine, try lightening your alcohol load by making spritzers, by adding Club Soda or Ginger Ale. Lemon-Lime Soda also works well.
Wines typically have significantly less alcohol by volume (ABV) than spirits or cocktails containing spirits. Beer is somewhat lower than wine in alcohol. But ekeep track of the volume of whatever you’re drinking to keep track of how much alcohol you’re consuming.
And if you didn’t see your bev of choice listed above, be advised that the StarsInsider post lists no fewer than 13 worst choices, and 15 best choices! Give it look…
It’s time to get mindful and consider your holiday drinking plans!
~ Maggie J.