Best Beverages for Staying Slim: 10 Low-Calorie Cocktail Choices

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Healthy living isn’t about giving up delicious foods and cocktails you love. It’s about enjoying them in moderation and exploring healthier foods to eat and alcohol to drink when you’re on a diet. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best low-calorie drinks to enjoy when you’re trying to lose weight.

10 of the Healthiest Cocktails to Order If You’re on a Diet

You don’t have to give up your favorite cocktails. Instead, check out these 10 healthy options:

  1. Vodka Martinis are a simple and classy option that will keep your calorie count as low as 130. Just make sure not to order them dirty, as the olive juice will add a significant amount of sodium to this cocktail.
  2. A simple Manhattan is delicious, and it’s also relatively low in calories with only about 140 per drink.
  3. If you love Mojitos, simply ask for this summertime favorite to be made without the simple syrup to enjoy a skinny version that might just be the best low-calorie summer cocktail there is.
  4. Flavored Vodka & Club Soda is a good option if you’re looking for a little flavor in your cocktail, but don’t want to deal with the extra sugar that would come with flavored mixers.
  5. Mimosas aren’t just for brunch anymore! Champagne has only 95 calories per serving, so we suggest just splashing in some orange juice for color and letting the champagne take over in the flavor department.
  6. A Hot Toddy is a great option anytime the temperature dips low enough to have you craving a warm beverage. Made with tea, honey and brandy, this low-calorie cocktail choice clocks in at around 165 calories per cup.
  7. Try a Sea Breeze for a more flavorful take on a vodka cranberry while cutting out a few unnecessary calories. Since you’ll be using more grapefruit juice than cranberry juice, you can expect this cocktail to average about 180 calories.
  8. Any Liquor & Diet Soda cocktail is going to feel like the best low-calorie drink when you’re trying to lose weight, but you love the refreshing taste of carbonation. Try sticking with sodas light in color to reduce calorie counts even more.
  9. Enjoy a Mudslide on the Rocks by combining one-ounce coffee liqueur, one-ounce vodka and one-and-a-half ounces of Irish cream liqueur. Shake well and pour over ice. It has the same delicious taste of its frozen counterpart at a fraction of the calories.
  10. Dry Red Wine isn’t really a cocktail, but it’s delicious. It also has healthy antioxidants and only 100 calories per glass. Just be sure not to drink too much, or you’ll likely suffer a nasty hangover.

Best Alcohol to Drink When You’re Trying to Lose Weight

While the mixers you add to your spirits to create these delicious cocktails is where the majority of your calories are going to come from, don’t forget that not all alcohol is created equal when it comes to their calorie counts. Stick with these low-calorie cocktail spirit choices and you’ll be fine: tequila, bourbon, vodka, whiskey and gin.

And, if you’re looking for some unique juices, flavored waters and other beverages to mix into your cocktails, Beverage Universe is the place to go. Take a look at our huge beverage selection today!

Food and Drinks That Get Better With Age

Wine Getting Better with Age

You already know wine gets better with age, but did you know leftover food recipes can be even more delicious than their original incarnations? Here’s what to with leftover food — or any food or drink that tastes better the longer you let it age.

Chili or Stew

Have you ever noticed that day-after chili just tastes thicker, richer and, well…just better? That’s because time gives chilis and stews the space they need to blend. If you make chili con carne, the meat tenderizes even more. From beef stew to curry, taste it a day later and you won’t need to get inventive with leftover recipes.

Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti sauce is another day-after hero. Only amateurs make sauce for one serving — grab your 16- or 20-quart stock pot instead and get creative! Freeze in portions and use the leftovers for anything you want. Homemade lasagna or baked ziti sauce? Check. Eggplant or chicken parmesan? Check. Fresh meatballs and penne? Check, check. The leftover recipes are endless.

Apple Pie

Apple pie warm out of the oven sounds and smells heavenly, but if we’re being honest, it tastes better a day later. Sitting overnight allows the apples and sauce to gel together perfectly, which means you can cut a slice without the delicious juices running all over your plate. If you must have it hot, heat it for 30 seconds in the microwave and add a scoop of ice cream.

Brownies

Another recipe that smells and sounds delicious hot but really tastes better a day later. Whether you’re a box mix kind of baker or you only roll with homemade, always make your favorite belly bombs a day ahead.

Wine

Produce tastes better fresh. Beer tastes better fresh. Wine? You’ve gotta go old every time. The trick is not to let it get too old, because then it turns to vinegar. Always store wine in a cool, dark place with little temperature variation. Inexpensive wines are usually meant to be drunk now, while premium wine is one that gets better with age.

The bottom line? Cook with abandon today — and enjoy more tomorrow.

3 Memorable Drinks for Memorial Day

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The sun’s out, the pool’s open and it’s the perfect time for a cool drink to celebrate Memorial Day. Start your celebrations with three of our favorite recipes!

  1. Southern Breeze

For this refreshing summer spritzer, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 7 cups of water
  • 2 liters of Canada Dry Ginger Ale
  • 1 46-ounce pineapple juice can
  • 1 6-ounce lemonade concentrate can
  • 1 blue raspberry lemonade mix packet

Make flavored ice cubes with your blue raspberry lemonade mix and lemonade concentrate. Add to your mixed pineapple juice and ginger ale drink and then serve. This recipe makes enough for 12 people.

  1. Lime Fizz

This simple, citrusy recipe serves four. Here’s what you need to make it:

  • Ice
  • 1 cup of lime simple syrup
  • Half a cup of fresh lime juice
  • 3 and a half cups of Seagram’s Club Soda

Just douse your crushed ice with lime juice and lime simple syrup. Add two-thirds of a cup of vodka for an adult drink. Stir in your club soda and serve.

  1. Honey-Basil Lemonade

For this relaxing drink, you’ll need:

To make, simply mix your lemonade, honey, basil and salt in a blender and then strain. Add in water, top with basil leaves and then serve with ice — it makes enough for four.

Drink to Memorial Day

Get set for Memorial Day with Beverage Universe. We offer a tremendous selection of hard-to-find brands, from sodas to juices and teas. Shop our huge selection today!

 

The Ultimate Guide to New York City’s Mouthwatering Bagels

Ask any New Yorker where the best New York bagels are, and chances are you’ll hear 8 million different responses. Here’s our take on the best bagels in New York City.

New York City Bagels

Ess-a-Bagel

Eat late and plan to skip lunch, because a bagel from Ess-a-Bagel is a meal and a half — at least. Go in the morning and get the everything, not toasted. Get a schmear of salmon cream cheese and a Kenya AA coffee, black. You’re welcome.

Zabar’s

Zabar’s bagels are delicious, and while you’re at Zabar’s try everything else. Plan for an hour of smelling ridiculously good food, and wander around and gape at all the kitchen gadgets you’ll never, ever need. Can’t stand the temptation? Order for home delivery.

H&H

The original and best, the H&H of the west side is no longer around — unless you’re talking about the new H&H in midtown. Featuring a comparatively diminutive size and an appealingly large center, these soft and crusty treats are delicious plain and toasted. You can order from us for delivery, too!

Barney Greengrass

Nothing beats a New York City deli, and Barney Greengrass is a classic Upper West Side institution. Go a little crazy and have an egg sandwich on a bagel for breakfast, or opt for roast beef and raw onion at lunch. The “everything” is the New York City bagel, but onion and sesame are popular choices, too.

Bagel Pub

Can’t make it into Manhattan for a bagel? Prefer your carbs with an outer borough flavor? Head to the Bagel Pub, Time Out New York’s pick for second-best bagel in the city. Big and sweet and chewy, this Park Slope destination is a surefire winner.

It’s New York, You Really Can’t Go Wrong

Ultimately, the worst New York bagel is better than other cities’ bagels every day of the week. The bottom line? Avoid toasting fresh bagels, and always add lemon juice, chopped tomato and onion, and capers to a lox bagel. Good morning, New York!

15 Fun Easter Basket Ideas for Kids

Easter basket ideas for kids

Are you tired of filling Easter baskets with the same old, same old every year? If the usual plastic grass, fake eggs and jellybeans no longer have that “wow” effect on you and your kids, it’s time to get creative and try something new.

If you’re interested in switching things up, you may be wondering how to make a great Easter basket, and what to put in kids’ Easter baskets. Don’t worry, though, because we have you covered. Some unique Easter basket ideas are provided below:

  • Nutty Basket: Every parent wants his or her children to grow up healthy. You can really drive this point home by putting together a basket of nuts for one of your children, with the idea being you want your child to grow up to be a health nut.
  • Book Basket: Does your child like to read? Why not put some books you know your little one will enjoy in a basket for Easter morning? You can include a handmade bookmark and a reading light to liven the basket up even more.
  • Arts & Crafts Basket: If your children like arts and crafts, you can fill their Easter baskets with the supplies they’ll need to make something really neat. You can include scissors, colored paper, chalk, markers, notebooks and more. The list of Easter basket fillers is nearly endless for this kind of basket.
  • Beauty Basket: Can you think of any girl, young or old, who wouldn’t love to wake up to a basket filled with beauty items? You can include nail polish, lip gloss, a new hairbrush, colorful hair ties and age-appropriate makeup in a beauty basket your child will love.
  • Bath Basket: If your little one likes spending time in the tub, consider putting together a basket filled with bath products. Your basket can include different bubble baths, scented soaps, a luffa and even a rubber duck.
  • Garden Basket: Why not put together a basket that will inspire your kids to take an interest in gardening? You can arrange some seed packets, a paintable planter and some kid-friendly gardening tools to make your garden basket especially festive.
  • Sports Basket: If your kids like sports, you can create baskets based on their favorite activities. There are a lot of fun things to put in an Easter basket that are sports-related, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box with this kind of basket.
  • Team Basket: Do your children have a favorite sports team? Pick up some team merchandise and use it to create an attention-grabbing basket.
  • Movie Basket: If your kids are fans of a movie franchise such as “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” or “Harry Potter,” you can get them a set of the movies they love and put them in their baskets. Throw in a few bags of microwavable popcorn and a couple boxes of candy and it’ll be just like a night at the theater on Easter evening.
  • Cooking Basket: If you have a young chef in your house, you may want to put together a basket that reflects your child’s interest in cooking. An apron, hand towels and even a chef’s hat are just a few of the ingredients you can use to spice up this type of basket.
  • Science Basket: You can get a microscope, a few petri dishes and a lab coat to jazz up an Easter basket for your little scientist.
  • Doll Basket: If your children like to play with dolls, such as Barbie, you may want to create a Barbie-themed basket that includes a new doll and all of the accessories Barbie will need to have a fabulous Easter.
  • Career Basket: Making a career basket is one of our favorite non-candy Easter basket ideas, because it demonstrates your support for your kids’ ambitions. If your kids already know what they want to be when they grow up, you can make a basket for each of your children based on the careers they’re hoping to pursue.
  • Dinosaur Basket: For the pint-sized paleontologist in your home, you can put together a basket that’s all about dinosaurs. You can even include some miniature excavation tools your little one can use to try to find dinosaur bones in the backyard.
  • Beverage Basket: You can create baskets that feature your kids’ favorite beverages, which can be as thirst-quenching as they are visually appealing. For all of the drinks you’ll need to make the perfect Easter baskets, contact Beverage Universe today.

St. Patrick’s Day Drinks That Aren’t Beer

St. Patrick's day beer alternatives Who doesn’t like a cool, refreshing beer on St. Patrick’s Day? While beer may be the drink of choice for many revelers, you have a lot of options if you’re looking for a new beverage you can serve to your guests that will keep up the holiday spirit.

Here are some creative drink ideas for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration:

  • Green Margaritas: Simply add green juice to your next batch of margaritas and you’ve converted the drink into one that’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! Adding some juice from your nearest health food store is a great way to infuse something healthy into your holiday party, too.
  • Green Sangria: When you search for a green sangria recipe, you’ll see a lot of them simply call for you to add green fruit to your concoction. While that’s easy enough to do, you might want to take your batch of sangria up a notch. You can do this by mixing white wine and blue curacao to make a drink that’s really green, instead of one that simply has something green in it.
  • Green Mojitos: What do honeydew, cucumber and mint have in common? They can be combined to make the perfect green mojito to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! A mint mojito is the perfect drink for people who are too young to drink and for those who don’t want alcohol, because this beverage is yummy without the rum.
  • Green Smoothies: If you’re not going to serve alcohol at your St. Patrick’s Day bash, why not set up a smoothie bar? With kale, spinach and a host of other green ingredients readily available in your local grocery store, you won’t have any trouble making smoothies that are in keeping with the theme of your get-together.
  • Green Punch: What’s a party without punch? You don’t have to find out at your gathering, because making green punch takes less than five minutes. Simply combine some lemon-lime drink mix, sugar, pineapple juice, thawed frozen lemonade concentrate and ginger ale and voila! You have a tasty punch you can serve with or without vodka.

If you want non-alcoholic beverages that will make your St. Patrick’s Day unforgettable, place an order with Beverage Universe, the world’s largest online beverage store.

Five Types of Tea and Their Health Benefits

Types of tea and health benefitsAre you looking for a healthy alternative to coffee for your morning pick-me-up? If so, you should become familiar with tea. Many different kinds of teas have caffeine in them, just like coffee does. But while that’s the case, there are also lots of teas that don’t have caffeine in them. In fact, some teas are specifically crafted to lull you to sleep.

In addition to giving you a jolt of energy or helping you fall asleep, some teas provide meaningful health benefits. You may be wondering why different teas are good for you, and the answer is that certain brews contain antioxidants that can fight free radicals, which can cause cancer, heart disease and other maladies.

With teas being powerful tools you can use to ward off disease, we thought it would be a good idea to provide some information about the health benefits of different types of teas — information you can use when you place your next order with Beverage Universe. Here’s a brief list of some different types of teas and their health benefits:

  • Green Tea: This tasty tea is made using steamed tea leaves. Green tea is loaded with EGCG, a potent antioxidant. Given its considerable concentration of EGCG, green tea can protect you from bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic and colorectal cancer. It can also reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
  • Black Tea: With around 40 milligrams of caffeine per cup, black tea is a great pick-me-up when you need a boost of energy. In addition to caffeine, this tea contains thearubigins and theaflavins — two antioxidants which can lower your cholesterol levels. Drinking black tea has another benefit: consuming at least three cups per day can lower your risk of a stroke by more than 20 percent.
  • Lemon Ginger Tea: If you’re curious about herbal tea benefits, consider the following: one study revealed that this tea can kill the bacteria responsible for salmonella.
  • Chamomile: One of the healthiest kinds of tea, chamomile is an ancient remedy that can help stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent the side effects of diabetes, such as blindness.
  • Echinacea: This tea is known for fighting illnesses such as the common cold. It’s also a strong defense against infections when consumed daily for at least four months.

Ready to get started? Contact Beverage Universe today and find out why we’re considered the largest online beverage warehouse.

Share the Love With These Handmade Valentine’s Gift Ideas!

handmade valentine's day giftsWhat’s your favorite holiday? Even for individuals who aren’t in a romantic relationship, Valentine’s Day is a great time to show the people in your life how special they are. Shopping for friends and family members can get expensive, however. To stay within budget, you can make at least a few gifts using supplies you may already have in your home.

One gift that’s a hit with young children, as well as those who are young at heart, is love slime. Pick up a few small Valentine’s Day plastic containers from the nearest dollar store to deliver your slime in, so you can fill them as you go.

To make the slime, combine red glitter glue and 1-1/2 cups of very warm water in a bowl and mix them together. In a second bowl, mix three-quarters of a teaspoon of borax and 1-1/3 cups of very warm water. Once you’ve mixed both bowls, combine them and mix well. If your slime is too sticky or runny, mix a smidge of borax in some water and add it to your slime until it has the consistency you want. To really show off your creative side, consider adding a scent, such as chocolate extract, to your holiday slime.

If you want to make your gifts, but slime isn’t your cup of tea, here are some more gift ideas that are sure to put a smile on the faces of your loved ones:

  • Love Rocks: Collect rocks of all different shapes and sizes and then seal them. Once your sealant has dried, decorate the rocks with brightly colored hearts. A love rock is a great Valentine’s Day gift to show the gardener in your life you care.
  • Lemon Drop Jars: If you have a lot of people on your gift list, consider making affordable lemon drop jars. Buy enough mason jars for everyone on your list and enough lemon drops to fill all of the jars. For a personal touch, handwrite little notes that read, “Pucker Up, Valentine!” and attach one to each jar using colorful string.
  • Decorative Beverage Carriers: If you’re going to give multi-pack beverages as a gift, you can decorate the carrier to make your gift even more festive. You can wrap the exterior of the carrier with wrapping paper, add a bow and attach a handwritten note to completely transform your gift from store-bought to from-the-heart.

If you’re looking for that perfect gift for someone special who has it all, shop with Beverage Universe. We specialize in hard-to-find brands that are sure to surprise your loved one and show you went the extra mile. Place your order now and we’ll deliver right to your door.

10 Tasty Twists on Hot Chocolate

twists on hot chocolate recipes There really isn’t anything quite like coming in from the cold and enjoying a warm cup of hot cocoa. While instant hot chocolate alone is enough of a treat for most of us, sometimes it’s nice to switch things up a bit.

Use one of these tasty twists to make your next cup of hot chocolate even more indulgent:

  • Coffee: If you enjoy coffee, why not add some fresh or instant coffee to your next cup of hot chocolate? Adding a shot of coffee or espresso will not only add something new to your hot cocoa, it’ll also give you an extra boost to get through the chilly afternoon.
  • Peppermint: Adding a peppermint stick to your hot chocolate will elevate your drink to the next level of tastiness. This is a great option any time, but it’s particularly satisfying when you have a cold.
  • Almond: Want to add a flavor that’s a perfect complement to hot chocolate? Consider using a quarter-cup of almond milk or some almond extract next time you make hot cocoa. To make your beverage even tastier, add some cinnamon and nutmeg, as well.
  • Peanut Butter: What’s better than peanut butter and chocolate? If you love this combination of flavors, add a tablespoon of peanut butter to your hot cocoa for a tasty treat. Just be sure you mix your drink enough for the peanut butter to melt before you indulge.
  • Nutella: If you don’t have any peanut butter, stir a spoonful or two of Nutella into your hot chocolate to make your beverage extra special.
  • Coconut: While you’re busy dreaming about being on the beach in the middle of winter, you can conjure up images of a tropical retreat simply by adding a quarter-cup of coconut milk to your hot cocoa.
  • Cherries: If you enjoy a chocolate cordial from time to time, pick up a jar of maraschino cherries and add a drop (or two … or three) of the juice to your hot chocolate to recreate the beverage you love.
  • Hot Sauce: Take your hot cocoa to the next level by adding a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. Out of hot sauce? Consider using two slices of a fresh Habanero pepper to add an extra kick to your hot cocoa.
  • Vanilla: Add a quarter-teaspoon of vanilla extract to create a pleasing twist on your hot chocolate.
  • Ice Cream: Make your next cup of hot cocoa extra luscious and filling by adding a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

With so many possible twists on hot chocolate, it’s clear the hot beverage is one of the most versatile and pleasing cold weather drinks. Offering a wide array of hard to find brands, Beverage Universe is versatile enough to deliver the products you need right to your doorstep, including some hard-to-find brands.

Place your order with the world’s largest online beverage warehouse today.

Seven Tips to Stay Hydrated in the Winter

staying hydrated in winter

When it’s hot outside, what’s the first thing you do when you go indoors? If you’re like many people, you grab a cool drink of water — the more ice, the better. While many people are keenly aware of the need to stay hydrated during the summer, a lot of individuals don’t have the same appreciation for the importance of staying hydrated in winter.

Why is that? During colder weather, your body doesn’t normally get as hot as it does when you move around, and the sweat you generate when you do exert energy evaporates faster. This combination tricks our bodies into thinking we’re not losing fluids as quickly as we are during the summer.

Because our bodies are fooled, it’s important for our minds to be aware of the dangers of dehydration in winter. Here are some useful tips you can use to stay hydrated in wintertime:

  • Warm It Up: One way you can stay hydrated is by enjoying some warm beverages, like hot water with lemon or green tea. Drinking these beverages will do more than keep you warm — it will also help you consume the eight glasses of water the average adult is supposed to drink daily.
  • Eat It: If you’re looking for advice on how to stay hydrated when it’s cold out, food may not be the first thing that comes to mind. While that may be the case, certain foods, such as broccoli, strawberries and celery, have a high water content. Eating foods like these can help you stay hydrated.
  • Avoid Caffeine: Part of knowing how to stay hydrated in the winter is recognizing the beverages you should avoid. Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and soda, can cause you to become dehydrated. Limiting your intake of caffeinated drinks or avoiding them altogether during the winter can keep you hydrated.
  • Say “No” to Alcohol: Like caffeine, alcohol can have a negative influence on your hydration level, so it’s advisable to just say “no” when it comes to drinks that have alcohol in them.
  • Use a Humidifier: Humidifiers release moisture into the air, which can help you stay hydrated in wintertime.
  • Go Outside: Heated homes and offices are often dry environments. Simply going outside will let the moisture in the air hydrate your body.
  • Eat Properly: Salty foods can rob moisture from your body. Avoiding salty, processed foods can help you maintain the proper level of hydration.

Beverage Universe can help you stay hydrated year-round! Contact us to have the beverages you need to stay healthy delivered right to your door, today.