Can you see it?? Crystal blue skies, warm turquoise waters and palm fronds swaying gently in the onshore breeze.... it's the Caribbean! And I've been living the tropical life for the last 14 days. Celebrating our 20th Anniversary, my husband and I enjoyed a rare two weeks alone as we sailed the Caribbean waters on the Seabourn Sojourn and enjoyed ports including San Juan, St. John, Antigua, St. Barts and the fabulous Isla Catalina in the Dominican Republic.
As I embark on the travel posts of the trip, I owe a great deal of thanks to my newfound friend and local San Diego girl, Teresa Howes. You see, thanks to Teresa, I'm heading to the Caribbean, new bikini packed in my carry on bag along with a new confidence to don the costume that I've not had in years.
Stumbling across Teresa's 30-Day Juicing Challenge just over a month ago, she gave me the kick I needed to drop those few pounds that have been hanging around my middle for the last few years. Beginning the challenge, my husband and I began our mornings with a plethora of juice concoctions (his favorite continues to be the Coconut Lime Detox Drink) and added servings of fruits and veggies to replace plates of pancakes while also increasing our exercise. Some six weeks later, we're ready for the beach, and I'm ever so thankful to Teresa for the inspiration to get moving down a healthier path.
Chatting with Teresa we agreed to swap guest posts, and she suggested a bringing us a SkinnyTini. Hmmm... SkinnyTini? The phrase sounded so familiar. And then it hit me, she was that Teresa, the one who wrote the book sitting on my girlfriends bookshelf and the one that we've used ever so often. SkinnyTinis: :All the Fun for Half the Calories, is a skinny cocktail makers dream and one that suits my lifestyle. Frequently I try to mix my beverages with non-caloric mixers, or will simply drink a premium tequila over ice with a squeeze of lime in place of a margarita with the sugary mixings... all in the name of saving those calories which have been tending to reside on my hips more often the older I get.
Today, to kick off our vacation to the Caribbean, Teresa brings us the Original Caribbean Killer SkinnyTini, the one that actually inspired her to write the book that we love so much. Teresa, thank you for this celebration post, and thank you for inspiring me to drop those pounds. I'm heading to those blue waters and won't be hiding under my coverup as I hit the beach. Cheers!!
The Original Caribbean Killer SkinnyTini
Well while Kim is off in paradise perusing the Caribbean, I’m more than happy to fill some of her airtime with the story of the original SkinnyTini. It’s so fitting, as I made my very first recipe ever on the beach in Antigua in the winter of 2006. Well, not physically on the beach, but you get the picture. It was actually the winter body, on the beach that inspired the skinny cocktail concept! If you flash back 7 years, you may recall a time when there was no such thing.
I had headed out on a voyage for some fun in the sun to ring in the New Year with a girlfriend on the remote south side of the island. I was coming off a few months of too much fun, but since it was seasonally chilly, I don’t think I really noticed how the alcohol residue had collected on my tummy, hips and thighs. But strip that tan-less, chubby body down into a bikini and put in on the beach and the dilemma was all too clear. But we were on vacation! Not a time to start a diet. So I vowed to find a compromise, we would only drink our sun-kissed cocktails with zero calorie mixers. As I read nutrition labels on the local juices and of course sodas, I realized we could easily cut our calories in half!
But it was 2006, and we were on the remote side of the island, where there wasn’t much to offer by way of zero calorie mixers beyond soda water or diet coke – which is not very clever or all that interesting. We had just traveled clear across the country and then some, and I noticed in my toiletry bag a bottle of pink grapefruit Airborne. I checked the nutrition label and what luck! Not only could we color our cocktails with something interesting and boost our health, it had only 5 calories per tablet! Viola, the original SkinnyTini, the Caribbean Killer was born!
This is a true story!
So when I got home, in early 2007 I got a little obsessed with finding fun, creative zero or ultra low calorie mixers and created concoctions that were literally “All the Fun for Half the Calories.” After a year of playing mixologist in my kitchen, my friends and coworkers encouraged me to “write a book.” And so I did. And to my surprise, Wiley bought it and published it! In the spring on 2009, “SkinnyTinis – All the Fun for Half the Calories” was published, and will always stand proudly as the original low calorie cocktail book.
So let’s cheers to Kim and her fantasist and well-deserved vacation!
The Caribbean Killer
SkinnyTinis: :All the Fun for Half the Calories
2 oz White Rum
1 ½ oz Light Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
1 ½ oz Light Orange Juice
½ tablet Pink Grapefruit Airborne.
Directions: Add the rum and juices to a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and pour into a 5-oz martini glass. Drop in the Airborne tablet and serve while it is dissolving into a fun fizz. And don’t be alarmed if it takes a while, that’s just how it goes.
Calories: 147 per 5 oz martini.
What’s your favorite way to cut calories in a cocktail?
Teresa Howes’ writing career started in 2009 when Wiley published “SkinnyTinis – All the Fun for Half the Calories,” which was released in paperback in 2013 and will always remain as the original healthy, low calorie cocktail book. She is the host of the Fresh Kitchen on Livestrong.com, the founder of the 30-Day Challenge Series, a contributing writer at Active.com and lead blogger at www.eatdrinkandbeskinny.com. She is backed by a BS in Nutrition, a Masters in Business Administration and has been consulting in the weight loss, wellness and health industries for over 15 years. As an active marathoner, she is always looking to improve performance. Through her personal passion and professional drive, she is focused and driven to motivate, coach and instruct individuals on how to live stronger, happier, healthier, and more satisfying lives.