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We love happy hour (that’s why it’s rarely contained in just an hour). But, on top of a slight office hangover the next morning, your weeknight festivities could have you waking up a little, shall we say, “plumper” than you were yesterday. Many of us don’t realize how many happy hour calories we’re actually consuming. Once those high-calorie cocktails are in our inhibition goes down, cravings go up and we overload on the finger food ordered along with that second (or third!) margarita.
We broke down five popular happy hour cocktails and snacks and gave you similar–read: lower calorie–ones to opt for instead. No one will even know that you’re watching your sexy figure. Because it just comes naturally, right?
And along with the happy hour drinks, come the happy hour snacks.
Swap your crab cakes for shrimp cocktail.
The calorie count in crab cakes varies depending on breading, size and mayonnaise. But you’re likely consuming over 500 calories in two cakes–not counting the sauce you dip it in. So get your seafood fix and order shrimp cocktail instead; shrimp are very low in calories (only 80-90 in three ounces or a few medium-sized ones) and the cocktail sauce is equally bikini-friendly.
Swap your fried mozzarella for fried calamari.
Mmmm, fried food. It’s a tipsy girl’s best friend and I’m not even going to pretend any of us will give it up. Instead of those gooey, greasy fried mozzarella sticks (that have over 200 calories in just one teeny, tiny, measly stick) opt for fried calamari. The calamari has protein in it and only sets you back around 200 calories for a handful. Just avoid the ranch and dunk it in the cocktail sauce instead.
Swap your nachos for chips & salsa.
Split a plate of nachos six ways and you’re looking at over 400 calories. All that cheese, meat, sour cream and beans sure does taste good, but it really packs the punch. Split a bowl of chips and salsa six ways and you’re only looking at about 200 calories and a helluva lot less saturated fat. Shh…listen…it’s your arteries thanking you.
Swap your spinach-artichoke dip for bruschetta.
Split an average-sized serving of this creamy dip six ways and you’re still looking at around 330 calories each. And that’s not counting the bread. One slice of bruschetta, with the usual Italian bread, olive oil, tomatoes and seasonings is around 160 calories. And, luckily, restaurants usually serve these in small portions, so you get just one, maybe two pieces, per person.
Swap your fries for nuts.
There’s no harm in sharing a basket with a few friends, right? Depends on what your definition of “harm” is, I suppose. A basket made with two potatoes split between three will likely have you consuming 700 calories. Add creamy sauces, like ranch or honey-mustard sauce, and you’re pushing 1000. Ouch. On the other hand, you could munch on nuts. Though they vary depending on the nut and whether they’re raw or roasted, you’re looking at around 200 calories for a handful (1/4 cup). And they’re filling (in a non-bloated kind of way) and full of heart-healthy fats.
So no, you don’t have to totally skip out on happy hour if you’re gearing up for those poolside summer days. All it takes is healthy choices during cocktail hour–most of the time at least. (And keep an eye on those portions. Take note that many of these are meant to be split six ways. So even if you’re making the “healthier” swaps, if you eat a whole appetizer to yourself, or split it just two ways, the calories quickly multiply.) Especially if you turn happy hour into happy hours.
Who said that the best cocktails have to be complicated? All they need is to taste good. The best thing about Home Happy Hour cocktails is that they aren’t complicated. In addition, these drinks are very pocket friendly. Therefore, you don’t have to serve expensive drinks to your guests when manning a bar or hosting a party. Here are some home happy hour cocktails that will blow your mind.
This drink is composed of Blackberry liqueur, tequila and lemonade (keeps you from getting tipsy). Therefore, as long as you have some lemonade and tequila at hand, all you have to buy is the Blackberry liqueur.
- 8 ounces of lemonade.
- 8 ounces of tequila.
- 2 ounces of blackberry liqueur.
- Blackberries for decoration.
Pour blackberry liqueur, lemonade and tequila in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and stain into glasses filled with ice.
- 3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice.
- Half cup of sugar.
- 8 mild pilsner beers (12 ounces each).
- Wedges for serving (optional).
- Put 8 16-ounce mugs or glasses in the freezer.
- Combine sugar and 3/4 cup of water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat.
- Keep stirring until sugar dissolves (takes about 60 seconds).
- Refrigerate the solution until it cools (time ranges from 10 minutes to one week).
- In a small pitcher or 2-cup liquid measure, combine lemon juice and sugar mixture. Pour 1 beer into each chilled glass and add 1/4 cup lemon mixture and lemon wedge.
Grapefruit and Ginger Sparkler
- An ounce of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
- 3-4 ounces of Prosecco or any other sparkling wine.
- 1/2 ounce of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur.
- Pour the Domain de Canton and grapefruit in a champagne glass.
- Gently top up with Prosecco until the glass is almost full.
- Garnish with grapefruit wedge and serve.
- 2 teaspoons of sugar.
- 1/2 cup of bourbon.
- 1/3 cup of fresh mint leaves. You may bring in sprigs for garnish.
- 12 ounces (one can) of club soda.
- 1 1/2 cups of store-bought peach juice.
- Crushed ice for serving.
- Combine sugar and mint in a medium-sized pitcher or bowl.
- Mash the leaves until bruised with a wooden spoon.
- Add in club soda, bourbon and peach juice and stir.
- Serve over crushed ice or garnish with more mint.
- Ginger ale
- Club soda
- 2 ounces of Scotch (may substitute with rye whiskey or bourbon).
- Pour Scotch to a Collins glass and fill with ice.
- Add ion equal amounts of soda and ginger ale.
Frozen Peach Margaritas
- 3/4 cup of tequila.
- 16 ounces (1 package) of frozen sliced peaches.
- 1/4 cup of sugar.
- 1 cup of ice cubes.
- 1/4 of triple sec.
- 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice (3 limes are enough).
- Combine tequila, frozen sliced peaches, triple sec, sugar, ice cubes and fresh lime juice in a blender.
- Puree until smooth and stop the blender. Stir if necessary.
- Serve instantly.
Tropical Ginger Punch
- 2 cups of vodka (optional).
- 3 cups of orange juice.
- 3 cups of pineapple juice.
- 32 ounces of club soda or chilled ginger ale.
- 1 tablespoon of finely grated peeled fresh ginger.
- Orange wedged for decoration (optional).
- Stir ginger, orange juice, vodka and pineapple juice in a large pitcher.
- Refrigerate until cold or for at least 1 hour.
- Before serving, stir in ginger ale.
- Serve over ice and garnish with orange wedges if desired.
Those are just but some of the best home happy hour cocktail recipes that are perfect for summer parties. Try them out today.
Happy Hour Do’s and Don’ts
As great as the Happy Hour event can be at any drinking establishment, you need to make sure you follow some important rules for the event. This is to ensure that you enjoy the Happy Hour and that you don’t get in trouble with anyone while doing so.
- Be willing to talk with people that you are not familiar with. One of the greatest points of happy hour is to be open with others and to talk about things with people that you might not be aware of. This can help you to enjoy things with other people.
- Do talk about things that you are interested in with other people. There are always things out there that can bond you with someone no matter how uncommon or unusual some of those things might be.
- Be receptive of what other people have to say during happy hour. Respect the views that they hold and hear them out as there are often times when the things that they say might be interesting to you and can cause you to really be interested in someone.
- Stay somewhat professional when you are at a happy hour event. Allow yourself to have plenty of time to talk with other people and share ideas with them.
- Keep a good pace going during happy hour as you are drinking. You need to keep from consuming your drinks far too quickly as you need to stick to just two drinks during that time period. Besides, some of the drinks you might order at a happy hour event are meant to be savored and consumed slowly, particularly some of the top-shelf options like gin or rum.
- Don’t go overboard when it comes to having drinks. Try to stick with a two-drink maximum so you won’t have more than what you can afford to drink. (This coming from someone who wants you to buy drinks.) You could end up saying some bad things or get into some real trouble with other people if you have far too much alcohol during happy hour.
- Don’t be stuck looking at your phone or something else that might keep you from wanting to interact with someone. You need to spend happy hour mingling with other people and having fun, not focusing more on stuff relating to work or other things that will keep you out of the zone when you’re with someone else.
- Don’t go to any other drinking events after happy hour. Even if a friend invites you over to one’s house afterwards, you may want to avoid this as there’s always the potential that you might get drunk at that place. Be sure to limit what you are doing when talking with people to the actual happy hour event.
- Avoid flirting during happy hour. You may never know if the people that you will see at a happy hour event are ones that you will definitely run into again in the future.
- Don’t treat people at a happy hour event in a far too impersonal manner. You have to respect the rankings of people and how well you know them when talking to them. This is especially critical if you’re dealing with co-workers at a happy hour event.
This page sponsored by Katy Roofing Contractors. Thank you for your support! Stay tuned next week for more happy hour tips! 🙂
Throughout the world, many cities have embraced the tradition of celebrating a Happy Hour in some way shape or form, but there is a difference in the magnitude of fun. Well, let’s discuss Cities that do happy hour right.
Orlando is one the happiest place on earth, the way they embrace and celebrate happy hour is heartwarming. There are many bars in Orlando which enable happy hour from 7pm to 8pm, everything is set at a price of $4. People are going crazy over it. The bars are full during these times and it’s nice to see people getting together to have a drink, it’s a noble way to spend your afternoon. There is another place in Orlando which has its happy hour from 3pm to 6pm and they offer house wine $2 off. Another place which has its happy hour from 4pm to 7pm, they enable a policy of buy one get one free so you can get 2 beers at the price of one. This city can be deemed as one of the best Cities that do happy hour right.
Charleston, South Carolina
There many ways to celebrate happy hour, this city has a very unique and exciting way. For example, there is an oyster bar whose happy hour includes a beer and a dozen of oysters just for $12, this seems is very appetizing. There is also a bacon happy hour celebrated at one place, they are expert cooks when it comes to pork. You can get a small pork dish just for $5. People love discount items and there is a place whose happy hour includes half price pints. An exquisite place exists in Charleston which is very famous for its crab dishes. During their happy hour they offer cocktails and crab wontons for $3 only. No doubt this city has a very exciting happy hour.
Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth, a city where happiness has no limit and people are full of optimism. This particular city loves to celebrate happy hours. There is this one place which has Mexican style dishes, during happy hour the restaurant offers free nachos and quesadillas when you buy a beer. Happy hour means a specific time but there a place in Fort Worth which declared the whole Monday as happy hour. Not only that but what they do for happy is amazing, a gigantic cheese taco just for $2 and beef tacos for $1. People must be really satisfied with this place. Cinnamon rolls are one of the delicious desserts in the entire world, a place celebrates its happy hour by offering $2 cinnamon rolls and not only that but the alcoholic beverages are half-priced as well.
(Show up to your Texas happy hour in style with Katy Limousine Rental. They’re a proud sponsor of this post!)
Well, this is a tough one. Although I like the way Orlando celebrates its happy hour, Fort Worth has a wider range of varieties. Charleston has a unique way too but Fort Worth can be easily deemed as one of the Cities that do happy hour.
Ah, happy hour, we’ve all heard of it. There’s nothing better after a hard day of work than to kick back with a few friends and down some beers. For pubs, bars, and restaurants, the specific practice of happy hour specials, usually held between 4pm and 8pm, has evolved into a common method of boosting sales during slow weekdays, and allows customers to relax and be happy before dinner time. However, the concept of ‘Happy Hour’ isn’t just a marketing technique, and the history of hitting the sauce at 50% off has a strong, if not varied, association with American history. Let’s take a closer look into the interesting history of the famous happy hour!
These days, happy hour is clearly associated with getting intoxicated without producing a huge dent in one’s wallet, but this term goes way back to the American Naval slang used during the 1920’s after the first world war. The “Happy Hour” was an allocated period of time on a certain ship where the sailors would engage in different methods of entertainment in order to reduce the monotones of seafaring life. In most cases, this would mean boxing or wrestling matches, but it could have also included other different athletic activities that intended to boost one’s morale.
During those times, the United States was experiencing its darkest and driest period of getting hammered: Prohibition was provided legal standing via the infamous Volstead Act. From the years 1920 all the way to 1933, the transport, manufacture, and sale of various different intoxicating drinks was strictly prohibited. However, instead of officially abiding by this newly enacted law, Americans actually became as alcoholic as ever, and would get together in secret occasions in order to consume illegal cocktails before dinner. The “Happy Hour” expression was rapidly picked up by many and merged to describe such outlawed gatherings.
Even though the prohibition was repealed later afterwards, the concept of happy hour continued to stick around. Some believed that a specific article from Saturday Evening Post in 1959, which mentioned this happy hour in regarded to the military lifestyle, was the source that introduced this expression to the wide public. However, other sources cite other examples, such as the Providence Journal article from 1961 that referenced Newport policemen who were deprived of their happy hour in the cocktail bar, as the main source of spreading this term into the wide vernacular. Eventually, during the 70’s & 80’s, it was officially co-opted by the service industry as the drink and food specials that we are familiar with today.
The concept of happy hours isn’t a worldwide concept, however. There are currently twenty three states that have banned bars and restaurants from selling alcoholic drinks during a specific period of time for a specific price. This includes Massachusetts, which was the initial state to do so back in 1984, which is quite ironic, considering that Boston was quite recently named America’s drunkest city. Yet other states, such as Pennsylvania, extended their minimum happy hour periods to 4 hours in 2011, encouraging the restaurant’s ability to officially schedule their price specials however and whenever they please.
Today, I’m considering installing my own private bar in my home, complete with beer taps, a soda gun, etc. I may even build on a room just for the purpose, and maybe a patio deck to open up to in summer. Be sure to check the laws if you also plan on doing something like this. You may need a liquor license to serve alcohol out of your home. Some states have different regulations when it comes to building your bar in your room additions versus your main kitchen or dining area. In general, as long as you’re of age, you and your friends can drink to your hearts’ content in a private home – it’s only when trying to turn a profit on your libations that things tend to get hairy. But check the laws in your area just to be sure!