You Should Never Order These Drinks at the Bar

In the summertime, nothing’s better than enjoying the sunshine with an ice-cold cocktail in your hand. Bars everywhere have summer deals that are hard to beat — $5 margaritas at one place and bottomless mimosas at another. But before you go ordering that second mojito, you should know exactly what’s going into your drinks before making your decision. Many cocktails at bars are complete calorie bombs or they’re made with bottom-of-the-barrel liquor that you would never buy off the shelf. Here are seven drinks you should skip when you’re at the bar — your body will thank you.

1. Margarita


Margaritas are full of sugar. |

The margarita you’re getting at the bar likely contains enough sugar to fulfill half your daily allotment. A typical margarita starts with tequila, triple sec, and the juice of a lime or a lemon, with a salt or sugar rim added to the glass. Livestrong explains most versions made at the bar are concocted with a premade sour mix that’s loaded with sugar and calories. A typical margarita is around 400 calories, so this is something to be aware of if you’re planning on drinking more than one in a night. If you’d like to make this drink a bit healthier, skip the sour mix and ask your bartender to make it with just fresh lime juice instead. This will cut the sugar content significantly.

2. Long Island iced tea

group of four friends clinking alcoholic beverages

Long Islands are calorie bombs to avoid. |

A Long Island iced tea may look innocent and refreshing, but this cocktail is one you should steer clear of. Gizmodo says a typical Long Island can have 780 calories because the mix of the many alcohols with the small amount of soda gives you a drink that’s packed with sugar and calories. This drink offers just about every house liquor the bar has to offer — you’re getting vodka, light rum, gin, triple sec, and a splash of cola to top it all off. With all of this alcohol in your system, don’t expect to be able to drink more than one.

3. Mudslide

Coffee mudlside

Mudslides are packed with fat and calories. |

If you’re lucky enough to go to a bar that has a blender, feel free to ask for your drink frozen, but stay away from the mudslide. This alcoholic milkshake offers Bailey’s Irish Cream, vodka, Kahlua, and a nice topping of chocolate, explains Naturally Savvy. In addition to the large amount of dairy, which can pack plenty of fat and cholesterol, the sugar from the alcohol and the chocolate syrup is giving you a drink with high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavorings, and a sky-high calorie count. If you’re drinking a mudslide, expect to take in over 800 calories.

4. Piña colada

Piña Colada at a bar

Piña coladas are delicious, but beware. |

Fruity and refreshing, don’t be fooled into thinking all of the sugar in your piña colada is from fresh fruit. This drink contains rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, and ice, and it’s typically blended to create a smooth and creamy summer treat. It’s not the rum or the pineapple juice that’s really going to get you into trouble here — it’s the cream of coconut. Just ¼ cup can set you back around 280 calories and 40 grams of sugar. Newsweek explains that your entire piña colada has 650 calories. You can try making your own low-calorie version at home using crushed pineapple and fat-free vanilla ice cream.

5. Amaretto sour

Four different alcoholic drinks in glasses

Sour mix found at the bar has way too much sugar. |

In theory, an amaretto sour isn’t the worst drink you could order at the bar. Unfortunately, most bars use commercial sour mix that’s loaded with sugar, calories, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, and preservatives, Prevention says. And amaretto is not the best choice of alcohol, either. One ounce of amaretto will cost you 110 calories and 9 grams of sugar. Add that to your pre-bottled sour mix and you’re in for a sickeningly sweet cocktail that could reach over 400 calories.

6. Strawberry daiquiri

Strawberry cocktail

Avoid this cocktail if you’re watching your waistline. |

This is a delicious summer drink that has the potential to be low in fat and calories, but because many bars don’t use fresh strawberries in their mixture, the syrups used in this drink are loaded with corn syrup. A typical daiquiri ordered at the bar can run you nearly 300 calories, according to Eat This, Not That!  All you need in a strawberry daiquiri is light rum, triple sec, fresh strawberries, and lime juice — blend it up into perfection and you have yourself a cocktail that you can feel good about.

7. Mai tai

Mai tai

Mai tais may taste refreshing, but we suggest staying far away. |

Here’s another cocktail that has multiple house liquors tossed into the mix for a sweet and sugary summer drink you should skip. The Daily Meal explains a mai tai at a typical chain restaurant is usually over 400 calories, and the sweet taste will have you coming back for another. Mai tai’s are generally made with light rum, crème de almond, triple sec, sour mix, pineapple juice, and dark rum on top. The sour mix, pineapple juice, and multiple rums are what really take this drink over the calorie and sugar edge.