By Rennie Aranda, Skinny Gene Nutritionist
A day’s worth of exercising and eating right can go down the drain in just one night of happy hour. Calories consumed while drinking your favorite cocktails can add up fast. For example, an 8oz Long Island Iced Tea can rack up to 780 calories! But before you swear off Long Islands for life, try some of the healthier ways to sip your favorite drinks. Just follow these skinny cocktail do’s and don’ts.
Skinny Cocktails- Skimp on the Calories, Not the Taste!
Skinny Cocktail Do’s:
- Choose fresh 100% juice or pureed fruit rather than cocktail mixes.
- Rather than soft drinks, substitute with zero-calorie bubblers such as flavored seltzer, sparkling water, or club soda.
- General rule of thumb: fewer ingredients equals fewer calories.
- Moderation is key for your waistline and health. Pay attention to the number of cocktails you’re having in one sitting.
Skinny Cocktail Don’ts:
- Don’t add creamed spirits or liqueurs – these mixers can double the calories in one drink.
- Don’t have several shots in one drink. This makes it more difficult to keep up with the number of drinks and it also packs on the calories.
- Don’t sip too much sweet dessert wine – it has about 40 more calories than table wine.
Don’t let worries about the calories in your cocktails stress you out or keep you from enjoying a drink with your family and friends. Try one of these 10 skinny cocktails that are low in calories but great in taste:
10 Skinny Cocktails
1) Watermelon Mojito (100 calories) – Gently crush cubes of watermelon with fresh mint leaves. Add rum and sparkling water for a sweet mojito with half the calories of a regular mojito.
2) Simple Margarita (170 calories) – Skip the syrupy mixes and try these basic ingredients: one shot of tequila, lime juice to taste, and a splash of triple sec. Shake with ice and serve.
3) Skinny Piña Colada (229 calories) – Add fresh strawberries and a splash of agave syrup to one shot of coconut rum. Blend with ice. Cutting out the sugary, coconut milk mix cuts down on the calories but not on the taste.
4) Shochu Cosmo (70 calories) – Cut the calories in a cosmopolitan in half by replacing the vodka with shochu, a Japanese spirit with a smooth flavor since a 2-oz serving contains only about 35 calories. Add splashes of diet cranberry juice, fresh lime juice, and orange juice and mix in a martini shaker.
5) Slim Berry Daiquiri (145 calories) – Start with 1 cup of fresh or frozen no-sugar-added berries for just 50 calories, compared with 255 calories in berries frozen with syrup. Add rum, ice, and 1 teaspoon of stevia, a sugar substitute. Blend together for a slim and delicious frozen concoction.
6) Slim Gin & Tonic (75 calories) – Tonic water can contain nearly as many calories as soda. Try switching to diet tonic water, bubbly seltzer water, or club soda for a skinny version of this favorite cocktail. Add some flavor with a squeeze of lime juice.
7) Better Bellini (120 calories) – Cut the calories in half by using half of the usual amount of peach nectar. Try slimming down this drink with just about 2oz of peach nectar with 4oz of champagne. Mimosa drinkers can try the same trick by using half the usual amount of orange juice to cut the calories.
8) Asian Flavor Fusion (90 calories) – Flavor-infused alcohols can be a tasty alternative to high calorie juice mixes. Try ginger vodka and lime sparkling water for a low-calorie fusion of Asian flavors. Look for flavored seltzer or mineral waters with no added calories.
9) Skinny Vodka Iced Tea (80 calories) – Cut the calories in the popular cocktail of lemonade, sweet iced tea, and a shot of vodka. Instead, try using low-calorie lemonade and sweet-tea-flavored vodka.
10) Lemongrass Collins (90 calories) – Cut the syrupy mix, sugar, and other sweeteners in the usual Tom Collins and try this drink instead: vanilla vodka, splash of lime juice, and a zero-calorie sparkling water flavored with lemongrass, mint, and vanilla.