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September 10, 2009

Let's make a list of semi-nutritional drinks

gin and tonic and limeIf you get most of your worldly knowledge from watching movies, you'll be surprised to learn that most alcoholics are nothing like the jolly, bumbling fatties with bulbous noses you see on the silver screen.

Yes, you might see some puffy red schnozes in real life, but a large number of hardcore alcoholics are skinny skinny thin thin. Why? Well, it's because they don't eat. They'd rather drink, you see.

As a result, many alcoholics have frail, withering bodies slowly rotting from the inside out.*

The best thing to do would be to stop drinking altogether. The second best thing? To knock back beverages with at least some nutritional value.

Baltimore Unsigned producer Nick Jackson and I have come up with a few semi-healthy options along these lines. Here they are, in no particular order ...

Feel free to add to our delightful little list:

1) Bloody Marys

Ah, tomato juice. They say V-8 is good for you, right? And momma always told us to eat veggies. Well, from the tomato juice base to the celery stalk garnish, Bloody Marys are undeniably a delicious and nutritious way to start (or end) your day.

2) White Russians

Got milk? White Russians do. And milk has calcium, which helps fortify important things in your body, like your bones. Oh, hey pal, you've got a bit of a milk mustache going on there. A little to your left. Keep going. OK, great, you got it!

3) Gin and tonics with extra lime

Tonic water has quinine in it, and quinine, according to Wikipedia, is used to treat lupus, nocturnal leg cramps and arthritis. Whoa! Also, the citrus from the lime juice helps prevent scurvy. Arr.

There you have it -- our mini-list. Now, what have you got for us? Don't forget to include your reasons why, by the way.

*I'm basing these statements on conversations with my lovely wife, who recently graduated from medical school. There may very well be factual data to support such claims, but at the moment, I can't provide any, so take what I'm saying here with a grain of salt, please.

(Los Angeles Times photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:00 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


White russians are high-calorie drinks. And they have heavy cream, not milk. Milk isn't even that good for you, get your calcium from leafy greens.

Healthier cocktails: screwdrivers, bay breezes, & cosmos, although nearly all bars carry some pretty crappy OJ & cranberry juice.

The original purpose of tonic water was to deliver quinine as a malaria preventative in India and the British wisely decided to add gin. Modern tonic water rarely has any quinine in it, except something high end like Schwepps. Quinine doesn't cure malaria, you see, it's a tonic. Get it? Trivia: older bar guns have tonic water under "Q" for this reason. The "T"? That's for Tab.

"Got heavy cream" just doesn't have the same ring to it ...

A martini has two servings of fruits and vegetables: olive and pimento, plus the whole grain goodness of vodka or gin.

My asparagus garnished martini will some day rule!

How do you leave the GENIUS off the list Sam!!??

It has been proven that Guinness has antioxidants, iron, a lot of Vitamin B (which most alcohol vaporizes), prevents heart clots, and, by the way, has 125 calories, a few more than that club soda known as Mich Ultra...

I suppose it's not truly a cocktail...

maybe do a list next of places in town with the best Guinness (ie doesn't come in a Solo cup, and comes from a somewhat clean tap).

I would nominate J Patricks and Ryan's Daughter to be on the list.

Umm,, Screwdriver? -Vodka & Orange Juice?
Loaded with my favorite vitamins; Vitamin C and alcohol.

Another interesting Tonic Water piece of trivia most of it also contains high fructose corn syrup. But the diet doesn't and generally doesn't substitute any artificial sweetener for the HFC.

Wait, Paul, so, is that why Diet Tonic water tastes so empty?

No Sam it tastes empty because you always need to add gin to tonic (regular or diet) to make it palatable.

Here are some tonics:

INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/ or Sugar, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Quinine.

Canada Dry
INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative).

Canada Dry Diet
INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural Flavors, Sodium Saccharin (6 MG/Fl Oz), Quinine.

Sterling Tonic
INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Quinine Hydrochloride.

Sterling Diet Tonic
INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Aspartame, Natural Flavor, Potassium Benzoate (a Preservative), Quinine Hydrochloride.

Aspartame is the artificial sweetener Nutrasweet or Equal. Quinine is really bitter, I think tonic water without sugar or fake sugar would be unbearable.

Looks like I was wrong about the quinine not being there anymore.

I add vodka to metamucil to make a "poo-driver".

Might I suggest trying Zevia Black Cherry with vodka. Zevia sodas can be used as delicious mixers. Even the Root Beer tastes great. Zevia is the first all natural, 0 calorie stevia sweetened soda in the world! No ASPARTAME & no Splenda. It at Whole Foods and there are 6 delicious flavors including Cola, Twist, Root Beer, Ginger Ale and Black Cherry.
- Margaret
PS If anyone wants to try ZEVIA to review it on their website please feel free to email me at margaret at zevia dot com.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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