Move over, Bethenny Frankel, and take your Skinny Girl swill with you. There's a tastier, stronger low-cal cocktail company in town. And P.S.: The makers are better-looking than you too.
The dudes at Miami Cocktail Company are now plying the 305 with their zero-sugar, zero-carb, 99.9 percent natural piña colada and old-time sweet tea concoctions. Dieting never tasted so good.
We stopped by Vintage Liquors in midtown yesterday for a taste of the new cocktail combos. Met by the handsome cofounders (with matching shaved heads), Ross Graham and Simon Benstead, we got schooled on the low-cal cocktail market.
Most "diet" cocktail or liquor companies lower the calorie count by watering down the drink's potency, Graham and Benstead say. Voli, for instance, has about 25 percent fewer calories than regular vodka -- and it's also about 10 percent weaker. The same goes for the über-popular Skinny Girl line. The mixes vary in strength, but Skinny Girl piña colada, for example, is 9.95 percent ABV.
But the Miami Cocktail Company is all about keeping its combos potent. Otherwise, what's the point? Their drinks sit at 15 percent ABV -- enough to get a healthy buzz on.
"The important thing to point out is that calorically it's identical to a vodka water or a rum water or a tequila water. We often joke -- Ross has been saying this for a long time -- we can take more alcohol out of it, but if you take the vodka away from your screwdriver, you're left with OJ," Benstead says.
The piña colada has a light, tropical flavor, similar to coconut water (which is actually an ingredient). The old-time sweet tea is similar to any mainstream sweet tea vodka but a little less sweet and far more waistline-friendly. While both have a hint of artificial sweetener (0.01 percent Splenda, to be exact), the taste is a welcome treat for anyone used to drinking vodka sodas, Bud Select 55s, or any other low-cal alcoholic beverage.
The products are also 99.9 percent natural -- no additives, no preservatives, gluten-free and sodium-free -- and made in Florida.
"We're trying to keep it as local as we possibly can. It's made in Central Florida. There's no distillery in greater Miami; otherwise we would have had it made here," Benstead adds.
The drinks are available in all three Vintage Liquors locations and soon to be in stock at lots of other alcohol outposts. Maybe even bars and clubs, eventually, the founders say. (It would be nice to have an alternative to the tired Cuba Libre, after all.) While they're focused on the Miami market for the moment, they'll be rolling out in NYC and L.A. shortly.
They also have four additional cocktail combos in the works, including pink lemonade, passionfruit caipirinha, cherry margarita, and classic mojito.
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So go ahead and get your guilt-free drink on. Miami Cocktail Company will keep your bikini bod intact.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.