It’s summertime, and the drinking is easy. It’s actually almost too easy to load up every pool party, picnic, and backyard barbecue menu with gut-busting (but deliciously tempting) summer cocktails. After all, who wants to sip on a wine spritzer when you could drink a frozen margarita or strawberry daiquiri poolside instead? You may not realize it, but some of the biggest beach-body-busting culprits of the warm weather season are jumbo frozen cocktails. They’re tasty, yes, but oversized and loaded with sugar.
On the Border’s frozen daiquiri, for instance, packs a whopping 37 grams of sugar, and the average 16-ounce frozen margarita contains 300 calories. The Daily Meal has rounded up nine delicious skinny cocktails to master this summer so that you can get your tiki on without straying too far from a healthy diet.
Besides these specific drink recipes, there are a few simple tricks for taking your favorite summer cocktails down a few (or a hundred) calories. Are you a fan of gin and tonic? Replace the tonic water with seltzer water: tonic water, surprisingly, contains approximately 40 calories and 10 grams of sugar per four ounces. Soda water contains zero. Consider using low-calorie natural sweeteners like Stevia in place of simple syrup. Another smart swap is tea instead of juice — a common culprit of high-calorie cocktails.
The Gin Basil
This tasty sweet drink from Ori Geshury — director of education at the Aqua Vitae Institute, a premiere bartending school in Philadelphia — comes to just 233 calories. That may sound like a lot, but Geshury says, “Many times, cocktail recipes online are labeled as under 100 calories, but really have 250 plus calories.” A good rule of thumb, he says, is the higher the alcohol proof, the higher the calorie content.
Green Tea Mojito
How to take your summer cocktail from indulgent to totally healthy? Add a dose of one of nature’s healthiest elixirs: green tea. The original recipe from Bonavita tea and coffee company calls for two teaspoons of sugar, but you can cut it down to one teaspoon for a skinnier experience.