It’s hard enough to avoid temptation from all the delicious sweets, desserts and deep fried goodies that are around every corner. But even if you’ve mastered the foods you should eat versus the foods you should avoid, you may not be aware of how many calories you ingest simply by sipping a cocktail with friends. Not all bad cocktail choices are as obvious to avoid as a giant Mudslide from Applebee’s, which by the way will set you back 755 calories, 290 fat calories and 80 grams of sugar. Other not so obvious choices pack a surprising calorie punch, like Mai Tai’s and Long Island Iced Teas, which will set you back an average of over 200 calories each.
To help you avoid drinking your calories, we’ve compiled the following list of refreshing, flavorful cocktails that will put a smile on your face without adding to your waistline. Each of these delightful alternatives to their popular counterparts come in at a fraction of the calories you’d get by drinking the original versions.
1. Skinny Cosmopolitan
A typical Cosmopolitan will set you back just over 200 calories, but why not enjoy a similar drink for one third of the calories? Just squeeze a wedge each of lime and orange into 1 ounce of cranberry flavored vodka and top with a splash of club soda. Serve over ice for a delicious, skinny alternative.
2. Better Pina Colada
Who doesn’t like a pina colada by the pool on a hot summer’s day? Problem is, at easily over 650 calories per glass, consuming them will add a tremendous amount of fat and sugar to your diet making you less likely to enjoy being seen poolside in a swimsuit. Skip the traditional fatty colada by mixing 4 ounces of pineapple juice with 1 ounce of coconut rum and a splash of club soda. Serve on the rocks or throw into a blender for the same texture and similar taste. You can enjoy several of these pina coladas for what it would cost you to have just one of the traditional version.
3. Refreshing Mojito
A classic mojito is a refreshing cocktail favorite, but the refined sugar and calories contained in regular mojitos leaves a lot to be desired. By making some simple substitutions, you can save calories, be healthier and feel more refreshed. Simply squeeze one and a half fresh limes into a glass, add one and a half tablespoons of lime juice and two tablespoons of fresh mint leaves. Smash the leaves with a spoon or pestle until bruised and fragrant. Mix in 2 ounces of rum, 4 ounces of club soda and a half teaspoon honey, pour over ice and you have yourself a refreshing cocktail you can feel good about indulging in.
4. Sugar-Free Sangria
Sangria can be a great, low-calorie, healthy choice and a favorite at parties, and it’s easy to make. Simply choose your favorite medium bodied red wine and add to it one and a half apples, sliced, one sliced orange, four ounces of red grapes, halved, half a can of diet lemon soda and half a can of club soda. Allow it to sit for at least 10-15 minutes before pouring into iced glasses.
5. Guilt-Free Margarita
Some nights just call for a delicious margarita, but before you take a sip of that traditional fishbowl version, remember that it likely contains over 600 calories, plus a powerful punch of sodium from the salted rim. Instead, mix 12 ounces of sparkling lemon lime flavored water with 6 ounces of tequila, a quarter cup of orange juice and two tablespoons of lime juice. Pour over a glass of crushed ice and you can enjoy your margarita with your meal, instead of consuming all your dinner calories with one drink.
Bonus: If you’re out and about and want an easy, low-cal cocktail, ask for your choice of flavored vodka or rum, on the rocks, mixed with club soda and a twist of lime.
There are many, easy ways to enjoy your favorite cocktails without overindulging on calories. By making smarter cocktail choices, you and enjoy your drink and your food instead of drinking your meals away in calories.