Cutting calories isn’t always the easiest of tasks. Just when you think you’ve hit your dieting stride, it’s sometimes all too easy to fall off the wagon and revert to old ways. And one of the easiest ways to forgo your steady weight loss program? Regularly sipping your favorite alcoholic drink.
Your favorite after-work beverages and go-to weekend cocktails can really throw a wrench into your otherwise healthy lifestyle, so it’s important to maintain some sort of semblance when it comes to your alcohol intake. Besides being riddled with calories, sugar, and other toxins, adult beverages tend to leave most people hungover, and who has time for that? Next time you’re looking to imbibe, give these seven healthier cocktails a try.
For all the mint-loving folks out there, the pull of a classic mojito is strong. The downside, though, is the drink is typically packed with tons of sugar. In a calorie-conscious version of the Cuban cocktail, Bethenny Frankel’s recipe, published in Health, contains only 150 calories (as opposed to 250 commonly found in other versions). Once the lime wedges and mint leaves have been muddled in a shaker with the ice and a splash of lime juice, a dash of warm honey, rum, and club soda make a great addition to this low-cal, yet refreshing cocktail.
2. Hot pepper-infused vodka
Next time you’re craving a dirty martini, which can contain up to 330 calories, we’d suggest this alternative from Oprah Winfrey. In this version, you’ll be getting a flavor kick all for just 105 calories. In a dirty martini, olive brine can add an extra 20 calories, which isn’t much, but the sodium that comes along with it isn’t good, either, Stephanie Clarke, M.S., R.D., told Oprah Winfrey. Instead, switch it up with hot pepper-infused vodka over ice with an olive.
3. Vanilla vodka and diet ginger ale
Looking to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours without packing on the calories? Well, if you’ve saved some room for an evening cocktail, then this drink is for you. Ditch the vanilla milkshake and trade it for something a bit less filling, and a bit more fun.
Whether you opt for sweet over salty, there’s no denying the tasty lure of a vanilla vodka and diet ginger ale. As Glamour puts it, it tastes like a slice of cake. Combine a single shot of liquor and diet ginger ale, and you’ve got yourself a virtually sugar-free beverage that’s less than 100 calories. Besides the missing sprinkles, this drink delivers a party-worthy option every time.
Who doesn’t love a good margarita at their favorite Mexican restaurant? And just because you’re counting calories sure doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your love of the almighty marg for good.
As this 144 calorie recipe from PopSugar reminds us, it’s back to basics and a return to a simpler time. All you need for this drink is some ice, 1½ ounces of 100% agave blanco tequila, an ounce of fresh lime juice, and ½ an ounce of Cointreau. Make it yourself at home, or request it at the bar. Just keep in mind that many places use high-calorie mixes and sugary syrups, so just be sure you’re forgoing those unnecessary additives.
At 178 calories, a gimlet is the go-to for gin lovers everywhere. All you need is gin, Rose’s lime juice, and a lime slice. That’s it. Or, to further cut calories on this long time favorite, Self recommends swapping pre-bought juice for simple syrup and fresh-squeezed lime, instead. You don’t have to forgo your favorite old-timey cocktail just because you’re watching your waistline.
6. Coconut water champagne fruit punch
OK, so you might not be likely to stumble upon this concoction at your local bar, but we have to admit, it does make a pretty perfect addition to any weekend brunch. And of course, we’d be remiss not to mention at least one cocktail that involves popping some bubbly. This cocktail, which can be found on Daily Burn, rings in at just 132 calories. Add in some hydrating coconut water and fruit juice for flavor, and top it all off with some fresh berries or pineapple as garnish.
7. Skinny Arnold Palmer
Most southerners know just how good sweet tea vodka is, and with this recipe by Lisa Trace, published on Health, you can drink up the alcohol without packing on the pounds. Coming in at about 70 calories, the Skinny Arnold Palmer combines one shot of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, sugar-free lemonade, and a lemon wedge for garnish.