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. 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.
Aqua Vitae Institute
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.
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.
When it comes to low-calorie cocktails, the simpler, the better. This greyhound cocktail, a Daily Meal original, calls for grapefruit juice, club soda, and vodka, and comes to only 130 calories per serving. Even drinking two of these won’t ruin your beach bod!
The Happiest Hour
The Piña Colada may have had its heyday a couple of decades ago, but this high-calorie, coconut-flavored libation is still popular. This version by bartender John Henderson, of the Happiest Hour in New York City, whittles the colada calories down to 171. How? Henderson takes out the unnecessary sugar: “the coconut-flavored rum, coconut water, and muddled pineapple duplicate all the flavors with no sticky, sugary mess.”
Here’s another twist on a popular summertime drink: the mojito. This one calls for only half a teaspoon of sugar, so you’re adding a little sweetness without going overboard. The chief cocktail officer at Drizly, a popular alcohol-ordering service says, “adding pomegranate juice, packed with antioxidants and potassium, is a great touch to help make this a healthy summer cocktail.”
How do you make the beloved margarita skinny? Again, the best option is to keep it simple. This recipe from The Daily Meal archives calls for tequila, limes, and freshly squeezed orange. That’s it. No simple syrup or high-fructose corn syrup-laden drink mixes.
Most minty cocktails use mint simple syrup. Instead, with this recipe from The Daily Meal, channel the flavor of mint itself without the added sugar by making homemade mint water and adding it to a half ounce of rum and absinthe.
Here’s another tasty cocktail made with flavored tea instead of juice or drink mixes, which cuts back significantly on the sugar content and calorie count. This strawberry mimosa uses the strawberry colada tea from David’s Tea and sparkling wine for a fruity summer brunch drink.
Who doesn’t love a delicious clementine? This cocktail from Lovecraft bar in New York is 200 calories per drink, which is a bit higher than most of our other skinny cocktails, but there is no added sugar in the recipe. As Ian Claflin at Lovecraft says, “The Lovecraft clementini has fewer calories than a beer, but packs more of a punch!”