While alcoholic drinks are never healthy per se, even the most health conscious among us still want to let loose and have a few to end a long week, celebrate life events or relax on vacation. The trouble is that so many alcoholic beverages contain loads of calories and can derail a day of eating healthy in a matter of minutes. Luckily, there are a number of tasty drinks out there that aren’t too heavy on the calories, so you can have fun while still sticking to a diet plan. Check out these great recipes for cocktails perfect for the health conscious.
These drinks keep it simple, low-cal and delicious.
- Vodka and Sprite Zero: Choose a nice vodka, mix it with diet Sierra Mist or Sprite Zero and a twist of lemon or lime for a tasty, refreshing drink.
- Rum and Diet Coke: Often referred to as a “skinny bitch,” this combo tastes best with a spiced rum like Captain Morgan.
- Gin and Tonic: You’ll watch your waistline and still have a classy drink when you order this combo. Look for diet tonics when available.
- Vodka and Cranberry: This common combo tastes great and won’t have you packing on the pounds.
- Maggie McQuade: If you’re looking for low-cal, you’ll find it in this drink that mixes diet ginger ale and vanilla vodka.
- White Wine Spritzer: Perfect for a balmy summer day, this cocktail blends white wine with a bit of club soda for sparkle.
- Classic Martini: Choose either gin or vodka to make this classic drink that will not only make you look sophisticated but will help you watch your figure as well.
Low-Cal Versions of Classics
You don’t necessarily have to give up on classic drinks to cut back on calories. Try these versions instead.
- Skinny Girl Margarita: Instead of using a pre-made, sugary mix, this recipe relies on fresh lime juice to mix up a tasty margarita.
- Low-Cal Coffee Mudslide: With only 83 calories a serving, this drink is a super tasty way to have a cocktail and get your chocolate fix.
- Low-Cal Long Island Iced Tea: A traditional Long Island can have as many as 700 calories, but this version knocks that down by about 80 percent.
- Sugar-Free Whisky Sour: Whiskey, lemon juice, water and artificial sweetener combine to make this yummy drink.
- Lynchburg Lemonade: The regular version of this drink is loaded with sugar (up to 40 grams) but this twist lets you cut it down to almost nothing with 3 g carbs and 107 calories.
- Low-Cal Pina Colada: There are few drinks out there as unhealthy for you as a pina colada. If you can’t resist the coconutty goodness, try out this recipe that packs a much smaller nutritional punch instead.
- Slim Screwdriver: Instead of using orange juice, this recipe uses orange vodka and diet soda.
- Skinny Arnold Palmer: Weighing in at just 70 calories, this drink is a delicious low-cal treat.
- Mimosa Lite: OJ can be filled with sugar and calories, so use light tangerine juice instead to make this low-cal drink.
If you’re a whiskey drinker, consider one of these cocktails.
- Alabama Slammer: Pick up some whiskey, amaretto, and gin to make this boozy shot. Cut it with water or ice for a sipper.
- John Collins: This classic bourbon drink is pretty low-cal at 168 per glass, and better yet, it’s super simple to make.
- Uomo del Mondo: This sexy drink uses Campari, bourbon and orgeat syrup.
Enjoy a tropical cocktail without hurting your waistline with one of these drink recipes.
- Mojito: This refreshing minty drink gets a low-cal twist by using diet soda and Splenda.
- Strawberry Daiquiri: With this recipe, you can get a beach-inspired drink without the hefty calories– just 144 per serving.
- Strawberry Kiss: Rum, strawberries, orange liqueur, and lemon juice get shaken and poured into an ice-filled glass for a fruity treat with only 197 calories.
- Caipirinha: Finding this Brazilian rum may not be easy, but when you do you’ll be able to appreciate this simple and delicious drink.
- Rumbling Papaya: Even in the dead of winter, you’ll feel tropical when drinking this cocktail of coconut rum, papaya juice, and raspberries. With just 133 calories, you’ll be ready for the beach when summer comes around.
- Island Limeade: With 182 calories per serving, this tangy cocktail will become one of your summertime favorites.
- Hot Pomegranate Toddy: Brandy or rum can be used to make this classic drink with a twist.
This low-cal spirit mixes well with just about anything, as these recipes will show.
- Sour Apple Martini: For a great 160-calorie treat, try this delicious martini made with sour apple liqueur and vodka.
- Watermelon Martini: Use fresh watermelon to help mix up this tasty twist on the martini.
- Spiked Strawberry: Pick up some strawberry vodka, diet lemonade, fresh lemon and strawberries to make this sweet and sour drink.
- Blended Raspberry Cocktail: If you prefer frozen drinks, this one is for you, combining low-cal raspberry cooler with vodka.
- Bloody Mary: Get in a serving of veggies with your drink by mixing up this low-cal, low-carb version of this breakfast favorite.
- Moscow Mule: Vodka, diet ginger ale, lime and some ice will give you this basic but delicious drink.
- Cosmopolitan: Vodka and cranberry with a splash of orange and lime make up this drink.
Here are some great recipes for low-cal gin cocktails.
- Blueberry Lemon Breeze: Gin and champagne pair up with blueberries and lemon juice to make this yummy drink with just 205 calories.
- Gin Sour: Keep things simple with this gin drink that mixes gin with lemon juice and sugar for a 122 calorie cocktail.
- Grapefruit Basil Martini: This super fresh-tasting combo will only cost you 161 calories.
Get the party started right with these cocktails made with tequila.
- Bombay Magic: Putting together Cointreau, tequila, lemon juice, club soda and mint will yield this delicious drink with only 109 calories.
- Pomerita: This twist on a traditional margarita replaces some of that lime with pomegranate juice for a 196-calorie cocktail.
- Tequila Sunrise: Using low-cal and diet versions of the juices that go into this drink will cut down on the calorie count.
- Cran-tim: Tequila and cranberry juice mix to make this twist on a classic Cosmo.
- Jalisco Bramble: While a bramble is usually made with gin, this adaptation takes it south of the border and mixes things up by using tequila instead.
- Salty Chihuahua: Whether you’re watching your weight or not, this drink is a delicious mix of tequila, orange liqueur and grapefruit juice worth trying.
- Blueberry-Lime Margarita: Blend up some blueberries and lime juice to make this yummy frozen drink.
If your tastes lean more towards wine, champagne or liqueur, check out one of these recipes.
- Fruity White Sangria: If you’re a committed wine drinker, consider mixing up some sangria with your next bottle. Depending on the kind of fruit you use, the drink may have as little as 94 calories a glass.
- Grown Up Hot Chocolate: With just 132 calories a mug, this hot drink is perfect for a rainy day or snowy day.
- Bellini: You’ll be happy to know that this classic drink is super low-cal, packing only 83 calories per serving.
- Kir Royale: Creme de Casis and champagne make up this tasty cocktail.
- Choco-lite Cocktail: Need dessert and a drink? Do both with this drink using Godiva chocolate liqueur.
- Elderflower Sparkler: Champagne and elderflower concentrate make up this drink. If you can’t find elderflower concentrate, you can substitute an elderflower liqueur like St. Germain, though it might up your calorie content.
- Golden Sparkler: Use champagne or sparkling white wine to give this drink its sparkle. With only 68 calories per serving, you can afford to have more than one!