Top 10 lighter cocktails
Summer is here! And that means parties, fun in the sun, and refreshing drinks! Mixed drinks are inherently some of the most un-clean foods you can put in your body, with their sky-high sugar and calorie counts. But there are plenty of cocktails and mocktails that are light on the sugar. Here are 10 super-yummy healthier versions of your favorite summer drinks:
It's easy making a mojito lower in sugar and calories. All you have to do is request half the sugar or add some crushed watermelon. To make a light mojito, combine a few crushed cubes of watermelon with fresh mint, rum, and sparkling water.
If you want a non-alcoholic mojito, simply skip the rum and add some simple syrup.
Though most traditional margaritas contain up to 400 calories or more and around 55 grams of sugar, this one doesn’t. To make a margarita that’s less than half the calories and low in sugar, combine a shot of tequila with lime juice and a splash of triple sec. Shake with ice and serve.
To make a healthier mocktail version, combine agave nectar, lime juice, and lime-flavored sparkling water together.
3. Berry daiquiri
This low-calorie and low-sugar berry daiquiri is only 150 calories per serving with less than 5 grams of sugar. To make it, start with one cup of fresh berries, then add rum and ice, and sweeten with stevia. Blend together, and you’re done!
For a virgin daiquiri, omit the rum and add lemon-lime sugar-free soda.
4. Gin and tonic
Though tonic water usually has as many calories as soda, you can make any gin and tonic low-cal and low sugar by substituting tonic with seltzer water and adding some lime juice.
If you are looking for a nonalcoholic version, mix seltzer water with lime juice and ice.
5. Vodka iced tea
To make this 80-calorie cocktail, use diet lemonade combined with sweet-tea flavored vodka over ice. Light and refreshing, this drink is perfect for summer.
For a sans-alcohol drink, mix low sugar sweet tea with diet lemonade and pour over ice.
6. Piña colada
Piña coladas can have up to 500 calories and over 60 grams of sugar per drink because of the sugary coconut milk mix required to make them. But if you use rum infused with coconut flavor instead, you can eliminate around 300 calories and lots of sugar. Mix one shot of coconut rum with fresh pineapple, strawberries, and some agave syrup, and blend with ice.
For a virgin piña colada, mix frozen pineapple with light coconut milk and water.
7. Shochu cosmo
Shochu is a Japanese liqueur that has a smooth finish. It's low in alcohol (22 to 25% by volume) and sugar, with one shot containing only 26 calories, compared to 59 for sake and 97 for vodka. Combine one shot of Shochu with diet cranberry juice, fresh lime, and orange juice, and you’ve got a lighter version of a classic cosmo.
To make it alcohol-free, skip the Shochu for a refreshing beverage.
This traditional Italian cocktail is usually high in calories and sugar. But you can make a lighter version using two ounces of peach nectar mixed with four ounces of champagne. Mimosa lovers can use the same trick to reduce calories and sugar: use half the orange juice.
For a virgin Bellini, mix peach nectar with sparkling apple juice instead.
9. Tom Collins
A typical Tom Collins contains a syrupy mix of sugar and other sweeteners. This low-cal lemongrass version uses vanilla vodka instead of gin. Add a splash of lime juice and some sparkling water flavored with lemongrass to top it off.
Make it a mocktail by substituting the vanilla vodka with one or two teaspoons of vanilla simple syrup.
10. Sex on the beach
To make this low-cal version of sex on the beach, combine a shot of vodka with a splash of diet cranberry juice, peach nectar, and half a cup of diet 7up. Top it off with sliced strawberries.
If you want an alcohol-free version, omit the vodka.
Drink to your health
You can cut some of the guilt from fun and refreshing drinks with simple substitutions. Here's to feeling good all summer long!