Is there anything better than reclining on a beach chair, looking out at the crashing waves, and sipping a summer cocktail like a margarita or piña colada?
Pure heaven. The only downside? That piña colada has a staggering 664 calories.
Click here to see 10 low calorie drinks perfect for summer.
If we really wanted to keep our bikini bodies looking great the easiest solution would be to forgo those tasty summer cocktails altogether, but how boring is that? Very. Which is why we tapped a team of mixologists and nutritionists and asked them for best-of-both-worlds solutions: low calorie drinks that taste just as good, or even better, than your high-cal summer cocktail staples.
If these tasty, low-calorie sips sound too good to be true (we were skeptical at first, too), keep reading to see the recipes our team came up with. The secret? Instead of using calorie-filled mixes loaded with sugar, they swapped in fresh fruit and juices that give you plenty of flavor without all the extra stuff.
Consider these 10 summer drink recipes your key to diet-friendly fun. And if you want to go even further and try your own hand at mixology, keep these guidelines in mind:
•Use soda water as a low-calorie mixer.
•Add pieces of fruit for sweetness, instead of sugar.
•Try making summer cocktails with sake, shochu, or soju, they tend to have fewer calories than traditional spirits, like vodka or gin.
*Editors note: All calorie counts are approximate.
Watermelon Fizz Calories: 100
1 oz. Tequila
0.1 oz. Simple Syrup
0.1 oz. Soda water
5 Cilantro pieces (optional)
Squeeze of lime
1 Bamboo spike (optional)
Directions: Muddle the watermelon with the optional cilantro leaves in a cocktail shaker (or if you want a sweet drink, just stick with the watermelon). Then add ice, simple syrup, and tequila. Shake vigorously and pour all contents into a rocks glass. If you’d like, garnish with a piece of watermelon in a bamboo spike.
Vegan Mudslide Calories: 80
1 oz. vodka
2 oz. coffee
3 oz. light almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Combing all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake, then strain over ice into a cocktail glass. Or if you want it to be more like a traditional mudslide, blend in a blender for that milkshake texture.
Source: Kristin and Beth, bloggers for Haute + Healthy
Skinny Sake Mojito Calories: 127
1/2 fresh lime
8 sprigs fresh mint
3 oz. sake
2-3 drops liquid Stevia (or to taste)
Directions: Muddle the lime and mint in a cocktail shaker, then add the sake and Stevia. (Taste a small amount to see if it’s sweet enough and add more Stevia if desired.) Pour over ice, then top off with club soda.
Source: Denise Posnak, former bartender and current Pilates instructor
Pineapple Martini Calories: 146
2 oz. Coconut rum
2 oz. Pineapple Juice (fresh or canned)
Twist of orange peel (optional)
Directions: Add rum and pineapple juice to shaker filled with ice, cover and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge or twist of orange peel.
Source: Pamela Braun, recipe developer and blogger for MyMansBelly.com
Healthy Girl Margarita or Daiquiri Calories: 100
Ingredients (makes 4 drinks):
1 cup coconut water
1/4 cup honey
1 packet Stevia
4 shots tequila (for margaritas) or rum (for daiquiris)
Juice from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lime
6 fresh strawberries
1 cup ice
Directions: Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth and frothy. Serve in chilled margarita glasses.
Source: Kirsten Helle, personal chef and nutrition consultant
Gin Infusion Calories: 80
Zest of 1 lemon
1.75 liters of gin (any brand)
Directions: Wash all ingredients (except the gin, obviously) and tie the mint into a bundle. Put all ingredients into a pitcher, cover, and leave overnight. Then filter the liquid through a coffee filter and rebottle it. Now you can mix it however you like, but try serving it in a martini glass with club soda and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Because of the natural sweetness of the strawberries and the flavor of the mint and cucumbers, you won’t need to add sugar or anything else.
Javatini Calories: 100
2 parts espresso vodka
1 part Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Low-fat Vanilla
Directions: Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice, then add espresso vodka and Coffe-mate. Cover and shake for 10 seconds, then strain into a chilled glass.
Created for the MTV Beauty Bar event in Los Angeles
Honey Lemonade Calories: 100 per serving
Ingredients (makes 1 full pitcher):
8 organic lemons
8 oz. tequila
8 teaspoons raw, local honey
Directions: Juice the lemons and add to a 64 oz. pitcher, along with the tequila. Dissolve the honey in warm water, then add to the pitcher. Fill the rest of the pitcher with cold water and stir well. Pour into iced glasses and garnish with a lemon or lime wedge. Honey is a good alternative to sugar because it’s anti-microbial, aids digestion, has B-vitamins, and live enzymes.
Gluten-Free Mojito Calories: 140
6 to 8 mint leaves
6 lime slices
1 oz. agave nectar
1.5 oz. Blanco Tequila
Directions: Muddle together the mint, lime, and agave nectar, then pour the mixture over ice. Add the tequila, top with soda water, and stir together.
Source: Jennie Blomberg, mixologist at Book & Stage, Cosmopolitan Resort in Las Vegas
Mint Garden Calories: 130
Chopped red bell pepper
Fresh mint leaves
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Gold tequila
Directions: Muddle the bell pepper, mint, lemon juice, simple syrup, and grapefruit juice, then add the triple sec and tequila. Shake and add into a glass with ice.