Diabetes doesn't meant that we can't enjoy a delicious cocktail! Of course, as with anything, use your good judgment, experience and your taste buds in deciding if alcohol and/or a specific drink is for you!
Okay, on to the main event...
and variations on the classicThe Sazerac is the perfect fit this week as the diabetes community, physicians, educators and leading scientists are attending the largest diabetes event in the world- the 82nd annual American Diabetes Association's Scientific Sessions. We thought we'd pay tribute to the work that's being done in the diabetes community with the classic New Orleans Sazerac.
The Sazerac, a timeless cocktail from New Orleans that was created in the 1800s. It is a simple recipe based in whiskey. It has minimal sugar and less than 5 carbs which can make it a great option when scanning a drink menu.
Absinthe: If black licorice isn't your thing, you might not care for the absinthe flavor. You can always experiment with flavors and line the glass with an orange liquor or something similar instead!
Sugar Cube: There are less than 5 carbs in a sugar cube, you can always swap for a a sweetener but even those can add some carbohydrates.
Easy as 1, 2, 3...
Round up the whiskey, ice, absinthe, lemon and sugar. You may sub a teaspoon or so of sweetener if you want to delete the sugar cube.
CHILLChill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Let it sit while you prepare the rest of the drink.
MUDDLESoak the sugar cube or sweetener of choice with the bitters and muddle.
Add the whiskey and stir!
RINSEDiscard the ice from the glass. Pour a small amount of absinthe into glass, swirl it around, then discard.
GARNISH & POUR
Pour whiskey into absinthe "washed" glass and garnish with lemon peel. Gently squeeze the lemon above the drink to release the oils.
Impacts on Blood SugarAlcohol and Impacts on Blood Sugar
Alcohol and all the variations can have different effects on blood sugar for everyone. A couple of smart ideas (especially if new to diabetes and alcohol or to a particular drink) is to keep an eye on blood sugar before, during and after drinking and if you use insulin, maybe let someone you are with or even a bartender know you use insulin and what to do if you were to go low. And hey, maybe if they don't end up having to help you out, you might just have taught them how to help someone in the future!
On a Personal Blood Sugar Note
From experience, I understand that for me, alcohol can inhibit my ability to make "smart" decisions around food which can negatively impact my blood sugar. I sometimes enjoy drinks with friends to a point where ordering or eating food is the last thing on my mind, fun and conversation can lure me away from the daily responsibilities of diabetes. Or, once home from a fun evening, I'll start snacking on things in the kitchen and neglect to dose as I normally would- resulting in a higher than normal morning blood sugar!
I also know that beer, sugar sodas and mixers or most blended alcoholic drinks do not agree with my diabetes. All of the above send my blood sugar sky high. I can drink wine - red, white or sparkling with no issues along with hard alcohols mixed with soda waters, citrus fruits and other flavor enhancers. For me, I am able to make up drink concoctions based on these items and keep my blood sugar in range (this low carb margarita is one of my summer go to drinks)
so this Sazerac recipe with a low sugar content and no added mixers is one that works for me.
Everyone's diabetes and response to alcohol or any beverage is unique. On top of that, your individual response to a particular evening out with alcohol may vary from one event to the next based on stress, hormones, food, etc. There are so many variables- but the one variable that can remain in your control is keeping an eye on your blood sugar (or help to keep an eye on your friend or loved one's) and responding to it appropriately.