Book Review: SKINNYTINIS by Teresa Howes

skinnytinis cover

Cocktails are great, but one of their downsides is how many calories you take in drinking them. As we all get older, we lose metabolism and start gaining weight. Quelle horreur. Can we enjoy our cocktails and still keep our girlish figures?

Teresa Howes says yes. I say yes too, but probably not the same way and for not the same reasons. My answer would be, if you want to cut down on calories, the easy fix is to drink slightly less. Unfortunately, that means you won’t get as shit-faced. Whomp-whomp. Howes’ answer is to use only liquor with the highest alcohol-to-calories ratio in her cocktails, then combine them with low-calorie mixers like diet soda, fruit juice, and sweet-and-low.

What this means on a practical level: the only alcohols you can drink are high-proof vodkas, gins, rums, tequilas, or whiskeys. And the vast majority of recipes in Skinnytinis use vodka exclusively (I actually don’t recall seeing any whiskey recipes in this book, but I might have missed them).

This is great if you like vodka, but I’m not a huge fan. I actually only use it to make other liqueurs. My favorite liquor is brandy, with whiskey a close second. And I like using mixers like vermouth. Vermouth is cheap.

Also, some of the recipes in Skinnytinis make no sense from a bartending perspective. I have never in my life seen a drink recipe that called for a caffeinated beverage to be shaken. Wha-huh? That makes no sense. Usually you add the carbonated element after shaking all the other ingredients together. Then there are other drinks that really SHOULD be shaken because otherwise the ingredients won’t mix well, and they aren’t. This is the kind of stuff that would make Jeffrey Morgenthaler and other cocktail geeks spazz the hell out. I don’t consider myself a cocktail geek, but after reading this book I do think Skinnytinis is completely divorced from mixology and traditional bartending. 

Nevertheless, a part of me thinks maybe Skinnytinis would work for the average American who generally only has one liquor on hand—especially if that liquor is vodka—and has only ever ordered cocktails at a bar. For people who aren’t well-versed in mixology, I can see how Howes’s recipes might be more approachable than traditional cocktails. So while this definitely wasn’t the cocktail book for me, it might be for others.

Thank you to the author and CLP Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book for review!

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