This and other interesting tidbits

3 craft cocktails under 130 calories

Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com

Here at SportsMap, we love to stay active, but we also love to drink often. I'm sure you have heard Fred and AJ talking about their wild nights in Vegas. It got me thinking: what drinks can I have that taste good but are low in calories? Oh, there's one catch. I'm a total snob when it comes to food and drink.

So I started the search for creative, craft cocktails that are 130 calories or less. When I went down the rabbit hole, I found three drinks. (I'm sure there is more, but I had to drive home). I also learned some cool stuff along the way. Here they are:

Sparkling Pamplejousse at HopDoddy

Sparkling Pamplejousse

One of my favorite places for lunch is HopDoddy. They have an awesome Happy Hour with damn good food. The drinks are poured the way I like them. STRONG. I ask my favorite bartender, Christy, for a tasty, low calorie beverage. She makes me the Sparkling Pamplejousse. Here is the recipe (ish)

Start with 1 and 1/2 oz. of Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka. Rose, (as in the wine), sparkling grapefruit soda, a dash of Rhubarb bitters, lemon and a rosemary spring.

This decorated mimosa makes for a crisp, dry, cocktail with citrus notes and herbal nuances. It pairs well with HopDoddy's Farmer's Market Salad.

Hemingway Daiquiri at Miss Carousel

Hemingway Daiquri

As I continued my search, I found myself walking into the newly opened Miss Carousel in Eado. Miss Carousel, a concept from the Agricole restaurant group (think Eight Row Flight in the Heights) is the lounge to Indianola. The decor looks like the gentlemen's club in a Sherlock Holmes movie.

I approach the bar and ask for their best low calorie cocktail. "That would be the Hemingway Daiquri." Says the bartender. "Tell me what you think." He pushes it towards me. Just the way I like it. STRONG.

"Why do they call it the Hemingway Daiquri?" I ask. The bartender tells me to look it up. This is what I found. It's named after Ernest Hemingway, the famed author of For Whom The Bell Tolls (its not just a hit song from Metallica). Ernest Hemingway walks into El Florita Bar in Old Havana. He asks the bartender to make him a good drink. He is given the Daiquiri.

After taking a swig, Hemingway says "I like it, but I'll take no sugar and double the rum." The drink has beared his name ever since. Note that Hemingway was a diabetic and a known alcoholic. It is also said that he had 17 of these Daiquiris in one afternoon.

To make your own Hemingway Daiquri ,pour 2 oz. White rum in a shaker. Add 1/4 Luxardo marichino liqueur. Finish with grapefruit juice and lime juice and of course, no sugar.

Whiskey Pick at Rodeo Goat

Whiskey Pick

I walked across the street to Rodeo Goat. They are known for the Dueling Goats or 2 specialty burgers that vie for best burger every month. (The crazy name is due to this crazy story about the owner getting goats drunk at the Houston Rodeo at the age of 9). There, I'm introduced to the Whiskey Pick. It's simply a shot of Jameson followed by a shot of pickle juice. After searching the internet, I found some "bucket list " information.

Did you know that there is a marathon in the Speyside region of Scotland that finishes near the distilleries? 84 of them to be exact. Each runner finishes at a scotch tasting. This year the Dram will have its 3rd Annual Marathon withat least 1500 runners. I wonder if Fred would ever run that one. I might add it to my own bucket list.

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Let him cook! Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a rebuild. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are studs. KPJ just signed a four-year extension with the team. Other guys like Jabari Smith Jr, Kenyon Martin Jr, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Jae'Sean Tate are really good pieces to surround Green and KPJ with. The only issue with this group: they're REALLY young! Tate is the elder statesman at 27 of the young nucleus. Most are barely old enough to buy a drink. Some still aren't old enough! They're a bunch of green bananas waiting to turn yellow to slightly brown and be ripe enough for consumption.

We need to give it time. Just like bananas, they take time to ripen. Coach Stephen Silas is known for developing young players. His most prized student is the star player for that team in South Oklahoma up 45. Number 77 for that team credited Silas with helping him realize his All-Pro potential while Silas was a part of the coaching staff there. To a man, all his former players credit him with being a positive influence on their careers. So why are fans in a rush to get rid of him?

When you look at the Rockets' record over the last few years, it's gross. Sure, they've been a lottery team the last couple of seasons, but that was by design. As part of the Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook trades, they gave away pick swap rights. Had they not been that bad, they wouldn't have been able to draft Green or Smith Jr. Those two guys are building blocks for the future, along with KPJ. Giving those picks away would've put this team further down the totem pole of developing themselves into a contender. Losing pays off when you can hit on high lottery picks.

If you give a chef dirt, bread, ham, molded cheese, and spoiled mayo, can you expect anything else but a nasty ham sandwich? How about if the chef was given a steak that is almost rotten, potatoes with root growth, and spoiled butter? Could you expect a better meal than the sandwich? Yes! However, that meal may still cause a stomachache. Now, give said chef a full complement of gourmet groceries and guess what you'll get?

This is why I say let Silas cook. He's the perfect coach for this group of kids. He can teach them all the fundamentals of the game at this level and help them grow into their full potential. If there's a change to be made on the sidelines, move Silas into a front office role, but DO NOT get rid of him! Guys like him are too valuable. Why do you think Mark Cuban hated losing him, but knew he couldn't retain him because he had a head coach already? Cuban knew what he had in Silas and what Silas did for Luka Doncic. He can do something similar for the Rockets if given the time to work his magic.

Should Tilman Fertita find the need to move on, I'd look for a more experienced coach who can guide them from bottom of the playoff ladder into top four in the West and real contenders. For now, Silas is the head chef. Continue giving him the groceries he needs, and he'll continue giving these kids the lessons they need to develop. Changing the coach now could stunt their growth. Let him cook!

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