POPSUGAR Celebrity

Don't Waste Calories at a Bar: 5 Low-Calorie Cocktails to Order at Happy Hour

Jan 28 2017 - 12:40pm

When you're worried about calories, drinking the wrong cocktail can make all the difference. Two drinks out with the girls suddenly turns into a 1,000-calorie night. Vodka sodas are always a safe bet but can get boring quickly. The next time you're out at a bar or restaurant, order one of these cocktails instead — all good and all well under 200 calories!

Old Fashioned

Before mudslides and appletinis were all the rage, there were old fashioneds. One of the earliest recorded cocktails, this 200-year-old bourbon drink is now a classic, and for good reason — there aren't a lot of ingredients getting in the way. Balanced and complex, try our recipe for an old fashioned [1] and then make sure to order one the next time you are out!


When made right, a margarita is a refreshing and low-cal cocktail. The classic margarita recipe [2] simply calls for tequila, lime juice, and a tiny bit of agave syrup or Cointreau. The most important thing is to skip premade mixes. If you're worried that the bartender may use a sugary mix, don't be afraid to ask them to use fresh lime juice and a splash of simple syrup instead.


Carrie and the rest of the Sex and the City gang obviously knew what they were doing, ordering cosmopolitans [3]. Made from vodka, lime juice, and a splash of cranberry juice, a cosmopolitan barely breaks the 150-calorie mark.


Just like the margarita, the classic mojito recipe [4] has been tainted with a reliance on too much sugar or premade mixes. The original recipe is rum, mint, soda water, lime, and just a touch of sugar. Any trusted bartender will do you up right, resulting in a mojito that falls under 150 calories. To be on the safe side, ask the bartender to go easy on the sugar.


Whether you choose vodka, gin, or tequila, a gimlet is a tart, straightforward choice for those wishing to save calories. The basic recipe is alcohol (traditionally gin) mixed with lightly sweetened lime juice, served up in a martini glass. Make things more interesting by ordering a cucumber or basil gimlet [5].

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