Friday, 29 October 2010

Another Cosmo, Darling?

Although as the name suggests, The Scoffing Cow is indeed by nature a rather critical site, this bovine rarely chews the fat, without spitting out a good dose of constructivism.

It is therefore my goal to ensure that whenever I identify an active saboteur, or ineffectual ally along the course of our journey, I not only ‘out’ them for the traitors they are – but also attempt to avoid future conflict by providing a more suitable alternative.

Since it would be fair to say that the Cosmopolitan Cocktail, didn’t come off especially well in my previous posting, I have decided to start here.

The Piña Colada, the Long Island Ice Tea, the Margarita and the White Russian; all gloriously indulgent cocktails which, for most dieters, rest in peace at the graveyard of retired tipples.
With enough syrup to engorge a stack of American style pancakes, quantities of cream fit for a trifle topping, and more calories than a Big Mac, it’s hardly surprising that even the more laissez-faire scoffers amongst us, avoid these bevvies like the proverbial plague.

But what about our friend the Cosmopolitan?
Stylish, fashionable, and sophisticated; adored by the upper echelons of society, (and lowly aspirators like yours truly) iconically idolised through the media and glamorised by it's consumers; this cocktails’ consumption is perhaps so à la mode, that even those who can’t stand it order it anyway.
Yet despite this widespread adoration, the Cosmopolitan maintains its reputation as the archetypal drink of choice in only the most glamourous, gorgeous, and down right beautiful social circles.

In light of this repute, and its sickeningly chic following, you wouldn’t be criticised for assuming (through stereotypical generalisation, of course) that the Cosmopolitan is as light in calories, as its consumers are in financial arrears.
Indeed over the last few years the Cosmo has enjoyed a certain amount of skinny kudos. And whether the result of shallow observations (like my own) or grounded nutritional fact, has been eagerly adopted by fat fighters, as a welcome addition to their alcoholic repertoire.

Unfortunately however, in the case of the Cosmopolitan, perceptions and reality are two very separate things, and as my mother always used to say, you should never judge a book by it’s cover, or indeed a cocktail by it’s consumer.*

Yes reader, I hate to break it to you… but the Cosmo is in fact a potential skinny saboteur, and much more of a suitable candidate for the graveyard than most of us would like to believe. Although it pains me to admit it, as glamorous as the Cosmo may be, indulging in this delight is almost as damaging to our waistlines as it is to our pockets.

So what is it about this drink, which makes it perilous to the weight watcher?
It can’t be the ingredients - vodka, cranberry juice, a little Cointreau and splash of lime – unlike the ‘heavy weights’ of the cocktail world, the Cosmo sounds refreshingly like a drink as opposed to a cheesecake.
Then perhaps it’s the addition of some unsuspecting additive? Maybe a spike of MSG in a ploy to prompt consumers into new heights of indulgence? Maybe a colouring or two laden with E numbers; a carcinogenic flavouring, or dangerous preservative?

Of course not.

In fact the answer is rather simple… It’s the amount we drink.

What’s that I hear you say? Stop press… are you telling me that quantity and diet are inexplicably linked????
Fear not obesity endemic, the crisis is over! I can see the broadsheets now:- Health Blogger Uncovers Weight Gain revelation; Scoffing Cow Nominated for Nobel.

Okay, Okay. Perhaps not quite the exposé you were looking for … but just humour me on this one….

Now, it has to be said. I am a person of incredible self control, and as sickening as this confession may seem, am still picking over the remnants of the Easter chocolate haul 6 months later on. Why? Not because I don’t like chocolate, (I like chocolate better than most things) but because I enjoy it so much more when unaccompanied by ‘binge guilt.’

However, when it comes to the Cosmo, even my self restraint goes AWOL.
You see when cocktail meets hand, discipline is nowhere to be seen, and although ordinarily my guardian angel in the face of temptation, is more aptly personified at the end of the bar in a drunken stooper, urging me to have just one more.

Okay, so this isn’t a revelation; and any form of alcohol consumption tends to make that rational voice inside our heads, appear a lot more nonchalant and fancy free. But when that voice goes quiet, (or in my case, slurred) the Cosmopolitan just seems so much more drinkable than any other beverage. Whether it’s down to the fruity moorishness, or the thirst quenching cranberry, the words ‘down’ and ‘hatch’ seem so incredibly attainable; hardly surprising for a drink which tastes more like fruit punch than vodka.

So although the Cosmo only contains a mediocre 200 calories a go, it doesn’t take a mathematician to realise that passing on the Piña Colada or White Russian in favour of this mixer, may actually be counterproductive.

It’s not all doom and gloom. The Scoffing Cow is here to help.
Selflessly directing her exploratory journey into the realms of alcoholism… I mean alcohol and striving to ensure that the immensely exciting Gin and Slim is kept in company, the search for the Skinny Cosmo... or Skosmo (see what I did!!?) has begun.

Although I can’t profess to help with the rate at which you consume your drink (other than creating a vulgar alternative of course) I can ensure that when you do over-indulge, you do so with damage limitation in mind.

Watch this space Scoffettes… as Arnie so famously said, ‘I’ll be back.’

* My mother didn’t say that – that would be extremely irresponsible parenting.

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