Thursday, February 26, 2009

Only a douchebag would drink a light beer instead of a Hefe-Weizen

I've been reading up about the calorie content of my favorite beers and alcoholic beverages as I move forward in my always-ongoing quest to maintain my girlish figure (hence all the running, the yoga, the bicycling, the walks on the beach, the hoola hooping) and still eat and drink the foods I love. Fortunately, I don't drink any soda, so I can devote all of my empty drinking calories to beer, wine, and spirits!

Let's just take it for granted that about four nights a week I have a glass of wine with dinner--but now we'll leave talk of wine aside (it needs a separate post) and move on to beer and spirits.

Tetleys and Boddingtons have become my favorite beers for weeknights, when I typically have no wine with dinner and only one drink in the evening after yoga (about 150 calories per pub can, if you're wondering). However, a Paulaner Salvator doppelbock is one of my favorite beers in the entire world. Drinking it makes me feel holy (but let me be clear, I have never been baptized). The Paulaner brewery is named after monks who revered St. Francis of Paula, and the monks were known as, yes, Paulaners. When fasting, the monks used to drink an earlier version of doppelbock to sustain them--doppelbocks have a lot of calories and high alcohol content. If I really want a beer but can't spare the calories, a Hefe-Weizen is my go-to beer, and of course Paulaner brews a good one.

Those of you who know me know that I love scotch. Old Pultney and Talisker are my current favorites, but I don't turn my nose up at Jonny Walker Red when I'm in a bar or need something to put in my flask for traveling. Scotch tastes fabulous, and when I go out I can have one or two over the course of the evening, enjoy myself, and watch everyone else get bombed. At 100 calories, a pour of scotch is quite healthful. However, I don't always want to endlessly savor my drink in the way that scotch encourages. So, what to drink then?

A gin and tonic used to be my favorite mixed drink. It's quaintly imperial very nostalgic. The quinine in the tonic prevents malaria, and as someone who once had to take the malaria pills of the 1980s (which made me hallucinate and vomit), I find quinine to be quite gentle (it's also good for nocturnal leg cramps, which I occasionally suffer from--especially in my calves). As healthful as it is, tonic has calories, and, sadly, I'm loosing my taste for it. It's too sweet, and it's pretty much impossible to get a good gin and tonic at a bar, where the tonic that comes out of the hose is nasty and syrupy. Soda water has no sugar, and no calories. And since I no longer live in tropical climes, I frequently enjoy a Hendricks (or perhaps Beefeater) and club soda with a slice of cucumber or lime.

And if I don't want a gin and club soda? I might have a brandy. Or I might have a whiskey and soda. On it's own, I often find whiskey too sweet (I'd rather have scotch), but mixed with soda, it's kind of perfect.


Stan Apps said...

ah, the malaria pills of the 80s! I used to take them crushed up with orange juice (I couldn't swallow pills). And then I became sickened by the thought of orange juice (operant conditioning).

Anonymous said...

Hello Lorraine,

it´s a good choice to drink a German beer. The Salvator Doppelbock is good beer. There is a better German Bockbeer but ist hard to get in teh U.S. that´s the Doppelbock Dunkel of the Monastary Brewery of Andechs.

Greetings from Germany

K. Lorraine Graham said...

Stan--I also crushed up my 1980s malaria pills and took them in orange juice, but I couldn't even stomach them that way. Eventually my parents just let me stop taking them. My Dad, who took them regularly, did get malaria, but not me!

Holder--It's good to hear from you, if you are indeed my former student! I hope you are well, and I'm always glad to get advice about beers. I will certainly look for the Doppelbock Dunkel from the Monastary Brewery of Andechs and grap one up if I see it!

sandrasimonds said...

I want a glass of wine!
word verifictation: nothot.....what?!!!

Elisa Gabbert said...

Guinness is also (notoriously?) low in calories. I like a pint full of mostly Guinness floated on a little cider, if I'm at a bar that has cider on tap.

I too like to mix spirits w/ soda instead of tonic. And Hendricks is so smooth you can pretty much just drink it on ice (or as a martini).

Elisa Gabbert said...

Guinness is also (notoriously?) low in calories. I like to drink a pint full of mostly Guinness floated on a little cider, if I'm at a bar that has cider on tap.

I too like to mix spirits with soda instead of tonic. And Hendricks is so smooth you can pretty much just drink it on ice (or as a martini).

tmorange said...

guinness tends to intimidate too because it is "heavy" whereas in fact it it relatively low in alcohol content. used to be just a cold-weather beer for me but now i like it year-round.

K. Lorraine Graham said...

Elisa--I didn't quite believe you about Guinness being low in calories (guess I'm out of the loop), but you're right. About 150 per pint, depending on which country the pint is poured in, which is low in calories for a stout.

Hendricks as a martini is lovely, agreed. Mmm.

I enjoy a black and tan, but I don't think I've ever had Guinness on cider. I feel like there's a special name for that...

Tom--Yea, Guinness is relatively low in alcohol, and is a nice all-weather beer, though it depends on how many beers I'm having.

Elisa Gabbert said...

It's called a "black velvet" ... which always makes me feel like I'm ordering panties.

cielo fontanero said...


boddingtons is great - especially with a meal that has meat in it

i generally go for ambers or mexican beer - dark beer messes up my digestion. hefeweizen or blue moon are good social beers

pop quiz kid said...

Aw, Lorraine, I'm not a d-bag, I'm just poor. ;)

Sometimes at bars the light beers are so much cheeeeeeaper than all the delicious beers. Sadly, the dirt-cheap Saturday beer special at Asylum is no longer (not for a long time) Shiner Bock. It's Natural Light! Or some shit like that! And I'm so poor I drink it! Awful, terrible douchebaggery.