Avoid a Beer Belly: 5 Healthy Drink Alternatives to Beer

Summer is the season to be carefree. Between heading to the beach, hosting a barbecue, or enjoying a nice cold beer at a party, summer is hard to beat. But before you know it, all of those carefree beers could add up to one gut-busting nightmare. Don’t let your fit physique turn into something less desirable by the end of the season. Rather than chugging the brews or calorie-packed party cocktails, go for some of these healthier drink alternatives at your next shindig.

1. Classic Margarita


Margarita on the rocks with a lime wedge | Source: iStock

What could be more refreshing for a summer party than a festive margarita? Mix up this marg recipe from Eating Well, which contains 150 fewer calories than the standard tequila treat, to keep your guests feeling as happy as they are healthy.


  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice, plus 1 lime wedge
  • 1 cup seltzer or club soda
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) tequila
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • Ice

Directions: Combine lime zest and salt on a small plate. Combine lime juice, seltzer (or club soda), tequila, and Triple Sec (or Cointreau) in a pitcher. Rub the rim of four 10-ounce glasses with the lime wedge and dip in the lime-salt. Fill the glasses with ice and top with the margarita mixture.

2. Whiskey and Ginger

Whiskey Sour

Whiskey cocktail with an orange wedge | Source: iStock

Are you a whiskey guy? Well luckily for you, according to Healthline, whiskey actually contains healthy antioxidants. But instead of covering up the healthy aspects with coke or other sugary sodas, consider trying this ginger cocktail alternative.


  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup ginger water
  • 1.5 ounces whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon of agave nectar
  • Dash of bitters

Directions: Boil 1 tablespoon of grated ginger in 2 cups water and chill. Mix ½ cup ginger water with 1.5 ounces whiskey, 1 teaspoon of agave nectar, and a dash of bitters. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon peel.

3. Summer Sangria

sangria, wine

Sangria made with red wine | Source: iStock

Not only is sangria a sweet summer drink, but it’s also an even healthier version of red wine. The vitamins in fruit plus antioxidants in vino, equals one guilt-free fiesta beverage. Try this recipe from Healthline for the perfect pitcher of summer sangria.


  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 2 tablespoons of agave nectar
  • Juice of a lemon, lime and orange
  • 1 cup of apples, pineapples, and strawberries

Directions: In a pitcher, combine a bottle of your favorite red wine, 2 tablespoons of agave nectar, and the juice of a lemon, lime, and orange. Add 1 cup each of apples, pineapple, and strawberries. Serve in wine glasses over ice.

4. Wasaberita

Refreshing cocktail with limes | Source: Thinkstock

Want to spice up your usual margarita mix? This recipe from Fitness Magazine infuses the cocktail with Wasabi for a surprising kick to a refreshing classic. And since it’ll only cost you 220 calories, why not try this new take on an old summer favorite?


  • 1 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce light agave nectar, such as Wholesome Sweetener’s
  • 1¾ ounces Tequila blanco

Directions: Salt rim of a margarita glass. In a shaker add all of the ingredients with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds and then strain over fresh ice into glass.

5. Michelada

Michelada cocktail with beer and tomato juice | Source: Thinkstock

Touted by Gizmodo as the tastiest hangover cure in existence, this flavor-packed drink is also packed to the rim with healthy ingredients. So the next time you need to resort to the hair-of-the-dog method, or just want to sip on a nutritious cocktail, give this Food Network michelada recipe a taste.


  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus 1 lime wedge
  • 2 cups ice
  • 3 ounces tomato juice (⅓ cup)
  • 4 dashes Louisiana-style hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce) chilled Mexican-style beer, such as Dos Equis Amber

Directions: Combine the salt and chili powder on a small plate. Rub the lime wedge along the rim of a large lager beer glass, and then dip the rim into the chili salt. Fill the glass with the ice. Pour in the lime juice, tomato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, and beer. Stir briefly to incorporate. Garnish with the lime wedge.

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