Every woman has activities she enjoys doing in the summer, and sipping cocktails on the patio is atop most women’s lists. After all, what’s more refreshing than a tasty, icy drink and a healthy dose of gossip with your girlfriends? However, health conscious women know that alcohol is incredibly calorically dense. And who wants to sip just vodka on the rocks, anyway? Many women enjoy a refreshing cocktail with fresh fruit and different flavor elements, but a lot of those added liqueurs and sweeteners can mean your cocktail clocks in at more calories than your appetizer!
What’s a girl to do, resign herself to sipping Perrier with lime? Absolutely not! You don’t need to forego cocktails altogether, and you don’t even need to try to cut the content by choosing flavorless cocktails with less and less ounces of alcohol, all in an attempt to make them more waist-friendly. No, you just need to have a few cocktails in your back pocket that are packed full of flavor, yet will keep your bikini body looking sexy.
Here are 15 cocktails that are low in calories without being low in alcohol or flavor.
15 Skinny Mint Mojito
Made up of rum, lime juice, fresh mint and seltzer, a mojito seems like one of the safest bets, right? Well, maybe – until you consider one of the components, simple syrup. Simple syrup is basically just water and sugar, boiled down to a liquid that bartenders add to give a bit of sweetness to cocktails. As you might predict with something that’s basically pure sugar, it’s not exactly low calorie. A simple swap – make your own skinny simple syrup by substituting sugar with stevia. As stevia is sweeter than sugar, you’ll want to add about 4-6 packets to 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil. Add some mint leaves to the syrup so that your syrup soaks up all that minty flavor, then remove them. Then, combine 2 oz of your skinny syrup with ½ a lime, 1 oz of rum, a handful of fresh mint leaves, and chilled soda water. Delicious and only 72 calories.
14 Pineapple Coconut Champagne Cocktail
Love the tropical flavors of a pina colada but hate all the creamy calories that come with the standard cocktail? Look no further than this refreshing skinny swap. Simply fill a champagne glass (or just a tall, skinny glass, really) with 1 ½ ounces of pineapple juice, and the same amount of coconut water. Then, fill the glass to the top with chilled Champagne or Prosecco. Bubbly and full of flavor. If you want to up the presentation, you can rim your glass with finely shredded coconut, but let’s be honest – it’s really all about the champagne here.
13 Strawberry Rhubarb Sangria
Everyone loves sangria in the summertime, and this is the perfect drink to whip up a big batch of for evenings on the patio with your girlfriends. This is another drink that uses the popular ‘swap stevia/truvia for sugar in making your simple syrup’ trick. First, make a skinny syrup with ½ cup water and about 3 ½ tbsp. of truvia/stevia. Add 2 stalks of rhubarb, cut into small pieces, while it’s warm, then let the pinkish mix cool. In a large pitcher, combine 1 sliced orange, fresh juice from one orange, a handful of strawberries and 1 bottle (25 oz.) of sparkling wine or prosecco. Add in your skinny sweetener and four cups of calorie-free seltzer water, and serve with lots of ice. This recipe clocks in at about 107 calories per serving for a pitcher that makes eight – share it between a few friends – even though you’ll be tempted to drink it all yourself.
12 French Kiss
What girl wouldn’t be intrigued by a cocktail called the French Kiss? This drink is absolutely foolproof, and perfect for those nights that you want something a bit more special than a highball, but don’t quite want to spend an hour peeling fruit and creating endless syrups. You basically take a few berries, and two mint leaves, and place them at the bottom of a glass – go with a Champagne glass for a little extra ooh la la. Muddle the ingredients slightly with a spoon, and then fill the glass with sparkling wine or champagne. Add a splash of lemon juice and a splash of vodka, and you’ve got a guilt free, ultra-chic cocktail. Another? Mais oui!
11 Clementine, Bourbon and Clove Chill-Buster
Not a fan of the summery sparkling wines, or just looking for something to sip on those chillier days when you have to toss a sweater over your sundress? This cocktail perfectly marries the fresh citrus flavors of summer with some spices to warm you up on chillier occasions. The simple three ingredient cocktail is foolproof – combine one ounce of bourbon with three whole cloves and ¼ cup of freshly squeezed clementine juice in a shaker with ice. Shake, and strain into a glass (no one wants to be sipping on pulp or whole cloves) and enjoy. The simple ingredients mean that this sip is still less than 150 calories per drink.
10 Strawberry Grapefruit Mimosa
Every woman loves a mimosa with a leisurely Sunday brunch – the classic mixture of orange juice and champagne is the perfect treat for the weekend. If weekend brunches are a staple in your summer schedule, however, you might eventually be getting a little tired of the same old orange juice cocktail – so mix it up! This recipe is the perfect combination of tart and sweet, with a little bit extra added by some unusual fresh herbs. You’ll want to combine four or five fresh strawberry slices with some grapefruit juice and shake it to let the strawberries infuse the citrus juice. Strain into a champagne glass and top up with champagne – either a 1:1 proportion of juice to champagne, or a 1:2 proportion if you like your cocktails a bit stronger (and who doesn’t!). Garnish with fresh thyme and a whole strawberry.
9 Skinny Blackberry Margaritas
This recipe serves four, so make sure to gather a few girlfriends when you try it out or you’ll be tempted to make a supersized cocktail all for yourself – they’re delicious. Make a light simple syrup with ½ cup water and ¼ cup sugar (or, if you want to slash the calories even further, make the skinny simple syrup with ½ cup water and 3 tbsp of stevia/truvia). Combine the syrup in a blender with ½ cup tequila, 6 oz. of fresh blackberries, and 1/3 cup each of fresh squeezed lime juice and orange juice. Blend it all until smooth and gorgeously purple. Strain it – because blackberry seeds in your teeth is not cute – and serve in glasses with a traditional margarita salted rim and tons of ice.
8 Skinny Toasted Coconut Colada
Sometimes, you want a straight up pina colada – not just a cocktail with pineapple juice, not just a whisper of coconut water. You want that creamy, tropical, island goodness. Heads up – this frozen treat is a bit more time intensive, but no one is saying you can’t sip another cocktail while waiting for this to work its magic in the freezer. First, you need to toast about 4 tbsp of unsweetened shredded coconut in a pan on medium heat until slightly brown. Then, mix half of your toasty coconut with 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (a staple of skinny girl fridges around the world), ½ cup of unsweetened pineapple juice, and about 10 drops of liquid stevia. Freeze in ice cube trays for about four hours.
When time has elapsed and you’re ready for your sweet, sweet skinny colada, combine the coco-cubes in a blender with the rest of your toasted coconut, 2 pineapple rings, ¼ cup coconut water, 2 oz of pineapple rum, ½ oz of whipped cream vodka, and 2 cups of ice. This serves two – allegedly. Sure, it might be a bit more work, but it’s also 225 calories, compared to a normal pina colada that’s pretty much always 500+. In fact, you could drink both servings of your skinny coladas and still only equal one regular pina colada (not that you’d do that. Obviously. )
7 Watermelon Fizz
Watermelon is one of the staple ingredients of summer – who doesn’t love slicing into the refreshing, hydrating fruit. Well, now you can incorporate it into your cocktail hour as well, thanks to this cocktail that clocks in at a mere 100 calories. To make it, start by muddling 3 oz of watermelon with a small handful of cilantro leaves. Add ice, 1 oz of tequila, a tiny splash (0.1 oz) of simple syrup, and top off with soda water – since watermelon is so packed full of water, you don’t need to use as much soda as in other skinny cocktails. Garnish with some lime and a piece of watermelon.
6 The Skinny Bikini
With a cheeky name like ‘the Skinny Bikini,’ and a girly pink hue, how can you resist trying this drink? And, at less than 140 calories per serving, you don’t need to resist it. For this fruity libation, you simply fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 oz of X-Rated Fusion Liqueuer (which, if you’re not familiar, is an intoxicating blend of vodka, blood orange, mango and passion fruit), 1 ½ oz of coconut vodka, 1 oz of diet lemon-lime soda, and 3 oz of light cranberry juice. It’s basically a twist on the ever-popular vodka cranberry, with a little more sparkle and a lot more fruity flavor. Once you’ve added the ingredients, you just shake, strain and serve. So simple it’s dangerous!
5 White Peach and Lemonade
Many women glance at the Smirnoff Sorbet bottles (with their cute colors, they definitely stand out on a dreary liquor store shelf) but hesitate to buy them, fearing they’ll be too sickly-sweet or artificial tasting. However, they’re a great base for a fruity summer cocktail. Peach is a popular summer flavor, and you can make a great peach cocktail with only a few ingredients. Combine 1 ½ oz of Smirnoff Sorbet light white peach liquor (or another peach-flavored vodka or rum) with 4 oz of lemonade, and serve over ice. You can use low calorie lemonade to lighten it up, or even combine 2 oz. of lemonade with 2 oz. of seltzer water for an ultra-skinny treat.
4 Limoncello Gin Cocktail
Sometimes, you have the energy to muddle and blend and freeze and shake – and sometimes you just want a delicious, chilled cocktail stat. Girl, we’ve all had those days. This cocktail contains only three ingredients and you can have it made before you even kick off your heels. Ready? Take a tall glass and fill it with ice. Then, add 1 oz. of Limoncello, 1 oz. of gin, and 4 oz. of soda water. Stir and enjoy. Limoncello is a perfect lemony component for any citrusy summer cocktail – even just combined with soda water, it’s almost like a refreshing, boozy lemonade.
3 Semi-Paloma Splash
If you’re looking for something citrusy, this is a perfect choice – and at only 120 calories, you can probably fit two into your daily calorie requirement. If you’re craving something different than the vodka-based drinks that make up a lot of skinny cocktails, but you’re not quite sure you want a margarita, this cocktail incorporates tequila in a different way. All you do is mix 4 oz. of light grapefruit juice with 4 oz. of diet lemon-lime soda and 1 ½ oz of tequila, and serve it on ice. It’s refreshing, and so easy that you can definitely whip up a few for your girlfriends when they pop in.
Very few flavors transport you to a tropical state of mind quite like pineapple – from its tart yet sweet flavor to its cheery yellow color, it’s a great cocktail component for those hot summer days. This recipe doesn’t attempt to combine the fruit with its frequent partner coconut – it just lets the pineapple shine. Just get out your handy cocktail shaker (a staple in any girl’s kitchen, really) and pour in 3 oz. of pineapple juice, 1 ½ oz. of pineapple rum, and 1 tsp. of fresh lemon juice. Shake with ice until everything is chilled and delicious. Then, add 2 oz. of club soda and stir (you don’t want to shake the club soda, trust us). Strain into a glass of your choosing, garnish with a pineapple wedge if you’re feeling fancy, and enjoy.
1 Skinny Beer-garitas
Okay, ladies who love a little brew – we’re not leaving you out. This cocktail combines beer, lime, tequila… basically everything you love about Bulldogs, but with far fewer calories. First, you have to make your homemade limeade (sure, you can buy the store bought kind, but it’s far higher in calories). All you do is combine 1 ½ cups of water with ½ cup Stevia and the zest of two limes in a saucepan, and heat it until the Stevia is all dissolved. Let it cool, stir in 1 cup of fresh lime juice, and stick that delicious citrus mixture in the freezer. When it’s frozen,toss it into a pitcher with 2 bottles of light beer and ½ cup of tequila. Stick it in the freezer until it’s frozen, then mix until you get the perfect slushy consistency. Warning – this serves four, so even though you’ll be tempted to sip away at the icy treat until it’s all gone, make sure to split it with friends.
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