Go Ahead, Drink Up: 9 Summer Cocktails Under 200 Calories
A well-spent weekend should (almost) always include a cocktail. But for those concerned with calories, a good happy hour doesn't have to ruin your diet. Here are some of our favorite cocktails, all of which clock in under 200 calories — and we're not talking vodka sodas, either. These drinks celebrate fresh fruit, tropical destinations, and celebratory nights.
Mojitos are made with fresh ingredients and zero-calorie soda water, making the drink a much better choice than a gin and tonic or a rum and Coke. The classic Cuban cocktail is even better with the addition of fresh fruit like strawberries, mangoes, or pineapple. Adding fruit is a win-win, since it allows you to cut down on the amount of sugar in the classic mojito recipe.
Before you go out and order a margarita at your local bar or restaurant, make sure it doesn't use corn-syrup-filled margarita mix. If so, skip it and make our margarita recipe at home. Not only will it taste better, but you'll also save major calories. This recipe, which purists will love, has only 144 calories — not a bad way to spend happy hour!
Light, refreshing, and crisp, a traditional gimlet clocks in at 215 calories, but when made with shochu (like in our basil gimlet recipe), it doesn't even hit the 100-calorie mark. Best of all, a basil gimlet feels light going down — the combination of basil and lime gives the cocktail a nice clean taste that isn't heavy at all. Make it even more interesting by muddling some hydrating cucumber into the drink.
Our ginger fizz gets a double whammy of ginger's medicinal benefits by incorporating both vodka and simple syrup that have been infused with fresh ginger root.
Disclaimer: the Brazilian just barely goes over the 200-calorie mark, but that's not bad at all considering it's a tropical-inspired cocktail. If calories are a big concern, just shave a half-ounce of cachaca off the recipe; you'll save about 40 calories in the process but still have a well-balanced drink. The fresh tropical fruit puree will make you feel like you're drinking a spiked smoothie and have you wishing you were hanging on warmer shores.
A mixture of gin, lemon, fresh blackberries, and blackberry liqueur, the bramble is a classic Summer cocktail. Change things up a bit and make it even more warm-weather friendly with this variation of the classic — the tequila bramble. If you're not into blackberries, don't worry! Any Summer berry will do well in this drink.
Beer drinkers, rejoice! There's a Summer cocktail for you. A michelada is the perfect go-to drink on a hot Summer day. Refreshing with just the right amount of kick, it's sure to cool you down.
The avocado in the Copa Verde tips the calorie scale at 300, but I think we can all admit that a few extra calories from avocado go a long way. You wind up with a cocktail full of healthy fats, vitamin C, and fiber. That's a first!