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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 01/25/2010

Slimming down PS 7's cocktail menu

By Fritz Hahn

Can you guess which of these PS 7's cocktails contains less than 110 calories? Answer: They all do. (Fritz Hahn - The Washington Post)

PS 7's mixologist Gina Chersevani lost almost 50 pounds since last summer, and the biggest challenge, she says, wasn't the exercise regimen or finding healthy food -- it was avoiding cocktails that packed up to 300 calories each.

"I got tired of drinking light beer or a vodka and diet [soda] when I went out," Chersevani says. Figuring she wasn't the only one in the same boat, she came up with lower-calorie drinks that still taste good.

The new menu, which debuted Thursday at PS 7's under the slogan "Our revolution is your resolution," features four cocktails that range from 99 to 107 calories; each has less than five grams of carbs. (In general, this is about half of the calories you'd find per drink in the rest of Chersevani's menu, she says, though exact counts vary.)

Beyond the lower calorie counts, the new drinks contain ingredients like pomegranate and white tea (known for their antioxidants) and kumquats (which have vitamin C and some potassium). They all cost $10, keeping them in line with the rest of the drinks on the menu.

But more important, you won't sacrifice taste when you order them.

The light-and-summery Knock Out pairs Plymouth Gin with cool white peony tea, a kiss of ginger and hunks of sweet-and-sour kumquats. Skyy vodka meets a balanced blend of strawberries, pomegranates, a touch of anise and red rooibos tea in the aptly named Ant-EYE-ox-A-dent.

Top of the class, though, was the frothy Chile Lady, which tastes of gala apples (it's made with fresh apples and the new apple Stoli vodka) and produces a really nice back-of-the-throat burn courtesy of Kashmiri chilies. "And it's got protein," says Chersevani, since the ingredients are shaken with egg whites for extra texture.

The only dud was the Skinny Gnome, a slimmed-down version of Chersevani's popular Gnome's Water recipe (cucumber-infused Hendrick's gin, Cointreau, cucumber juice, lavender syrup and lime juice). She cut the caloric Cointreau and used the sugar substitute Stevia and a house-made cucumber water instead. But this recipe came off as far too sweet -- like sugary cucumber water. Not a pleasant experience.

Chersevani says PS 7's will be adding more lighter options to the bar menu to help people to stick to their diets when they're out with friends for happy hour. But even your non-Atkins friends will enjoy the Chile Lady -- and they'll probably never even notice that it's a diet drink.

-- Fritz Hahn

By Fritz Hahn  | January 25, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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