Low Carb Cocktails, from a Biochemist

All hard liquor has negligible carbohydrate content.  (Read:  zero carbs.)  This includes all brandy, bourbon, cognac, gin, rum (including black, gold and white), scotch, tequila, vodka, and any other whisky (and whiskey).  Even sweet tasting Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum has negligible carbohydrate content.

If liquor is low carb, why does a shot have 100 calories?  The answer is the human body metabolizes alcohol by a two-step enzyme-driven process resulting in a metabolite that gets fed into the citric acid cycle.  Insulin is not required for this process.  In ancient Rome before the advent of readily-available insulin, diabetics were given dry wine instead of food to help them maintain body weight.

As for garnishes, olives, onions, and lime and lemon twists and wedges have negligible carbohydrates.  Lime juice, lemon juice, and Angostura bitters also have low carbohydrate content.

Beware liqueurs, which are highly sweetened and often used as mixers and for desserts.  These include Benedictine, Campari, Cointreau, Drambuie, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, Southern Comfort, and triple sec.  Many cocktails that use these ingredients can be made lower carb by halving the mixers and doubling the liquor.

Also beware the new premixed cocktails, like Fireball and Cannonball.

Best Low (Near zero) Carb Cocktails:

  • Any hard liquor straight, neat, or on the rocks (with a lime or lemon, wedge or twist)
  • Dry Gibson (with cocktail onion)
  • Dry Martini (olive or lemon twist optional)
  • Gin and Diet Tonic (with lime wedge or twist, or dash of lime juice)
  • Rum and Diet Coke (or Coke ZERO) (with lime wedge or twist, or dash of lime juice)
  • Seagram’s 7 and Diet 7-Up (with lime wedge or twist, or dash of lime juice)
  • James’s Bond’s Vesper (with lemon twist)
  • Vodka and Diet Tonic (with lime wedge or twist, or dash of lime juice)
  • Vodka Martini (with olive, onion, or lemon twist)



Creole Chili

The most important difference between Cajun and Creole food is tomatoes. Creole has tomatoes. Cajun does not. Both are excellent.

This one-pot Creole Chili recipe combines traditional Creole flavors with Western chili ingredients. It is a winner for folks on a low carb diet because it replaces Cajun/Creole rice with beans. Ingredients are all fresh, so prep work takes a little time.

Creole Chili In-the-Pot

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 lb ground chuck (or any ground meat, but add oil if using lean meat like chicken or turkey)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 celery stalk
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 15.5 oz can of black beans
  • 15.5 oz can of red beans
  • 15.5 oz can of kidney beans
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • Tabasco (optional)


  1. Dump ground meat into large pot on medium heat, and immediately use metal or wooden spatula to chop meat into smaller pieces, at least bite-sized.
  2. Dice bell peppers, celery, and onion into 1/4″ cubes, then dump into pot and stir thoroughly once.
  3. Press garlic into pot (or peal and then dice garlic into tiny shreds and dump into pot) and stir thoroughly once.
  4. Open all cans and dump into pot, along with brown sugar.
  5. Stir occasionally until warm, then serve (with steamed rice for the carbohydrate-tolerant crowd).

Where To Go On Smith Mountain Lake

  1. Restaurants and Bars
  2. Attractions
  3. Overnighting Destinations

Five Minute Chicken Corn Chowder

This one-pot meal can be thrown together in an instant and pleases everyone!  It’s perfect when getting to anchor, dock, or slip after dark with a hungry crew, and can be a great warm meal while underway.  This meal happens to be gluten-free and lactose-free!


  • 2 short cans (or 1 tall can) of pre-cooked chicken
  • 2 short cans (or 1 tall can) of diced potatoes (omit one can for carbohydrate intolerant guests)
  • 15.5 oz can of any corn
  • 1-2 cups heavy cream (Heavy cream has no lactose.)
  • 1 tsp celery salt (or more to taste)
  • black pepper to garnish


  1. Dump chicken, potatoes, and corn in medium to large sauce pan and place on high heat.
  2. When water (from the cans) boils, reduce heat to medium.
  3. Add heavy cream to desired consistency and soupiness.
  4. Add celery salt to taste.
  5. Optionally serve with saltines, oyster crackers, or stale biscuits.

Ten Minute Savory, Smoky Pork and Beans

The secrets to this recipe are to burn the pork a bit to create a savory flavor and to use smoked paprika to impart a smoky flavor. Everything else about the recipe can be varied.

10 Minutes Later:  Savory and Smoky Ham and Beans

Required Time: 10 minutes


  • 1/2 lb pre-cooked pork (ham, loin, butt, lunch meat, etc.)
  • Medium (or whatever size) yellow onion (or 1 tsp onion powder)
  • 15.5 oz can (normal can size) of prepared pinto beans (any beans can do)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Texas Pete (or vinegar with a few dashes Tabasco)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce


  1. Dice pork into bite-sized pieces and place in medium or large sauce pan.
  2. Place pan on high heat. Do not stir.
  3. Dice yellow onion into small pieces, such as 1/4″ cubes.
  4. When inside bottom of the pan is black, add the onion and remove from heat.
  5. Add the water and use a hard metal spatula to deglaze the pan (means scrape all the black off the bottom – the water and heat make this easy).
  6. Place pan on low to medium heat.
  7. Add the smoked paprika, mustard, and garlic powders, black pepper, salt, Texas Pete, and soy sauce.
  8. Stir occasionally until the entire mixture is warm and serve (with optional cornbread or biscuits for the carbohydrate tolerant crowd).
Savory, Smoky Pork and Beans In-the-Pot
Savory, Smoky Pork and Beans In-the-Pot

Mechanic’s Tips

  1. Take it slow.
  2. Wear gloves to save your skin, especially your knuckles.
  3. If you are scared of getting under the vehicle or do not like getting greasy and dirty, have a drink before you get started. Do not drink too much because working on heavy vehicles can be dangerous and so you need your wits about you.
  4. When working under a vehicle, use redundant lifting/holding devices. You do not want to rely on a single piece of Chinese-made equipment to protect your face from the vehicle falling on it. If lifting the rear of a vehicle, let the vehicle rest on jack stands at the jack point by each rear wheel and then place the floor jack under the differential, jacked just enough to apply a little pressure but not take the load off the jack stands. If lifting the front of a vehicle, double up on the jack stands, placing two at each jack point. If using ramps, wedge jack stands at jack points on both sides of the vehicle after the vehicle is on the ramps.
  5. If a nut or bolt will not come off with an air impact wrench (or impact driver), do not switch to a breaker bar because you will only shear the bolt or stud. Instead go for the nut breaker, which will sacrifice your nut in favor of the stud or bolt.
  6. If a nut or bolt will not come loose, try spraying it liberally with penetrating oil and allowing some time to wick into the threads.  Then hit it hard with a smaller socket that barely fits over the bolt or stud.

Quote Me

Mankind shares the same few reasons for getting drunk, but diverges toward infinity in reasons for remaining sober.

One ideal reason to write is that one can fight for any case he chooses, regardless of the client’s desire for assistance.

The Best Fruit Fly Trap

The best fruit fly trap is an old mimosa in a goblet. Fruit flies cannot resist the aromas of fruit and alcohol. Any remaining effervescence in the champagne acts to spread the scent and attract the flies. The large mouth, unlike a champagne flute, allows the aroma to spread more and more flies to enter the trap simultaneously. The flies cannot escape the surface tension once they touch the liquid.

The Best Fruit Fly Trap:  Fruit Flies Cannot Resist Nor Escape an Old Mimosa In a Wine Goblet
The Best Fruit Fly Trap: Fruit Flies Cannot Resist Nor Escape an Old Mimosa In a Wine Goblet

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