Those creepy, Nazi-like professional nutritionists, killjoys all, bleat in unison that alcohol is nothing but “empty calories,” a term they coined to make our eating and drinking lives as bleak as possible, all toward the goal of getting us to look like an emaciated 22-year-old fashion model. Bullshit! A truly empty calorie is one that does no one any good, provides no fun, and is merely a pointless mass of ingestible matter.
For example: eggplant. That’s my idea of empty calories. Why? Simple. Eggplant tastes bad. What’s the point of eating a vegetable with a funky, spongy texture and an even funkier taste - that is, unless you drown it in olive oil and tomato sauce and bury the whole thing under a load of mozzarella and bake it till the eggplant flavor disappears entirely?
Other genuinely empty foods and drinks include yellow squash, well-done beef, the purposely-empty Coke Zero (which, given its rank on the flavor scale, has the most unintentionally hilarious name of any beverage on the market), and Chinese desserts. There is no reason to swallow any of these worthless items. They contain truly empty calories (except of course for Coke Zero, which merely tastes terrible).
Liquor, on the other hand, isn’t empty in the least. Unless you make (or are served) a rotten-tasting cocktail and drink it anyway because you’re too shy to send it back or feel sorry for the cute but incompetent bartender or just don’t know any better, alcohol’s calorie count is irrelevant at the very least. At their best, cocktails are not only worthwhile but also lavishly beneficial.
First and foremost, liquor tastes good. It feels good in your mouth, and you enjoy the sensation as it travels all the way down your throat and into your stomach, which is more than happy to receive it. Second, it produces an immediately pleasurable neurological response. Your brain likes it right away, and so does the rest of your body. It relaxes your muscles, soothes your nerves, and elevates your mood (unless you are a naturally nasty person, in which case you should stay at home and drink Coke Zero). It relaxes you. Your office tensions diminish; you’re less hostile to your mate. Getting laid is easier and more fun. Can the same be said of a carrot?
Or those unsalted egg-whites-only omelets with which they urge us to begin our grim days? We Jews eat bitter herbs at Passover to remind us of our afflictions as slaves of the Egyptians. The diet police recommend more or less the same thing and nothing else, except for those ”treat days” when you get a skinless piece of chicken breast. Oh boy!
Don’t fall for this Puritanical propaganda, this pleasure-fearing ideology masquerading as self-help. Liquor is good for you. It’s fine on its own, of course, but when it’s blended with fresh fruit juice, it’s without question a scientifically proven health benefit. The screwdriver is the best example of this perfect mix of buzz and nourishment, pleasure and personal nutritional care. Whether you sip or guzzle a well-made screwdriver—and it takes a real cretin to make a bad screwdriver—you’re getting more than 130% of your recommended daily dose of Vitamin C. This is an enormous benefit to your immune system as well as protection from cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C doesn’t cure the common cold, but it does help the body produce collagen, which you shouldn’t lack unless you want your gums to decompose, not to mention your blood vessels and bones. Without enough Vitamin C you’ll come down with scurvy. And unless I’m very much mistaken, bleeding under the skin is generally considered quite unattractive by nearly the entire population of the planet. Never appear at a singles bar with visible hematomas—that’s my motto.
So enjoy your screwdrivers, and don’t let those party-pooper nutritionists ruin your life. Tell ‘em you’re on a mission to wipe out scurvy in our lifetime. That should shut ‘em up.